Happening this week around the county …

Big Rooster Bargain Outlet is now open at 124 Greenmount Road off U.S. Route 1 in Rising Sun.

Owner Charles Iglinsky said what started as an Amazon business is now an actual store full of personal care items, lawn and garden, toys, housewares, cleaning needs and more.

"I work with a lot of big box stores that have overstock," he said of his suppliers.

Now that the online business is successful, Iglinsky wanted to branch out.

"Let's see if we can serve the local community," he said.

Iglinsky was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground when his military career came to a close and he stayed in the area. His new hometown was on his mind when he was coming up with a name for the store.

"We were thinking of tigers because of the Rising Sun Tigers," he said, referring to the mascots of all three Rising Sun public schools. "But I was raised in the country and (the rooster) just came to me."

Big Rooster Bargain Outlet is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

•••

Cecil County Tourism recently honored its supporters and exceptional businesses at its annual Tourism Awards breakfast held this year at Sinking Springs Herb Farm in Elkton.

Sandy Cove Ministries received the 2019 Tourism Economic Impact Award. The town of North East, North East Chamber of Commerce, North East Branch Library, North East Chocolates owner Christie McDevitt, St. Mary Anne's Episcopal Church and the Cecil County Salute to Veterans shared the Destination Spotlight Award.

Broken Spoke Winery in Earleville was given the Tourism Business of the Year honors.

The Cecil County Executive and County Council Tourism Award was presented posthumously to Mary Jo Jablonski. The longtime executive director of the Elkton Chamber and Alliance passed away in January after battling cancer. Her family and co-worker Jessica Price accepted the award.

The 2019 Tourism Person of the Year honors went to Rupert Rossetti.

•••

Greater Elkton Area Toastmasters and Cecil County Chamber of Commerce officially started their new partnership Friday with a ribbon cutting at the chamber offices in Elkton.

"I had been thinking about this the past six months," said Adrienne Dillard, vice president of public relations for the GrEAT chapter, which is now 25 years old.

She made contact with Bonnie Grady, president and CEO of the chamber, and now there's a memorandum of understanding between the two groups. Grady said the new agreement "encourages and promotes the work of the two organizations in the spirit of collaboration and partnership, and strengthens the combined impact of Toastmasters and the Cecil Chamber in our community."

"For us, it's more about exposure and helps us with our marketing," Dillard said. "We were a secret and we did not want to be a secret."

In return, Dillard said the members of GrEAT will be an asset to the chamber.

"We will help them with their speaking and leadership skills," Dillard said, adding that the motto of Toastmasters is "Where leaders are made." 

•••

The Wave Tea and Energy Bar held its grand opening Thursday, standing on the porch of the shop at 212 W. Main St. in Elkton in the rain to do the honors.

Kim and Heather Dotson, the mother-daughter duo who owns the shop, have a regular stream of customers since the official opening in November.

"We know what they want, but we are looking for new creations all the time," Kim said as Heather whipped up another "Sea Water," a blue concoction made with aloe and other enhancements.

"We're very happy they are here," said Larry Crouse, chairman of the Elkton Chamber and Alliance. "We will do anything we can to help them succeed."

That includes enjoying a tall cold Sea Water.

"This is a good thing for the town," Commissioner Earl Piner said. "Any time a business can open it's good for the town."

•••

Martin's Direct, an online shopping service, has been in business inside Martin's Food Store in the Rising Sun Towne Center for several weeks. However, Friday was the official grand opening.

"We are adding a valuable convenience to our customers," store manager Chris Reeves said, noting even he likes the service. "I save money on my own order. There's no, 'Oh here's the candy and I want this magazine.'"

Customers also get the $2.95 service fee waived for the first 90 days from their first order. Powered by Peapod, a shopper selects groceries and also a time for pickup. The order can be changed and coupons will be accepted.

"We'll ask if you have any coupons or rain checks and we'll honor them," said Melissa Bullins, Martin's Direct lead.

Dry goods will be bagged and waiting. Refrigerators and freezers hold perishables until the shopper arrives.

Up to eight orders can be ready for pickup in one time slot, Bullins said.

•••

"It feels like Black Friday," was how Melissa King described the grand opening of the new BBs Grocery Outlet at 2176 Baltimore Pike in Oxford, Pa. With daughter Savanna along to push a second cart, King, from Oxford, stocked up on food for her family of 12. 

Amanda Robinson said she was practically ordered to be at the first day of business by her 4-year-old daughter, Matilda.

"I told her BBs was opening and she said, 'We have to be there,'" said Robinson, from Peach Bottom, Pa. 

Matilda was barely visible in the cart, covered by large pool toys.

"Somebody put this down," Robinson said of the large colorful turtle float. "How cute is this?"

Every cart was in use Monday morning. Inside the former Acme store, Jesse Showalter, from Christiana, Pa., was restocking for his 1-year-old son, Jesse.

"This little guy goes through a lot of drinks," he said.

Showaleter said he does most of his shopping at the discount store. With the opening of the Oxford location, there are now five stores in the BBs chain.

Trisha Johnson was digging through boxes and bins in search of bargains.

"I'm looking for everything and anything," the Quarryville, Pa., woman said moments after the 8 a.m. opening.

Also from Quarryville, where there is another BBs on Camargo Road, Joyce Letterman liked this new store.

"It's so modern looking. I'm surprised," she said.

The interior has been completely refreshed and updated from when shoppers were last inside the store in April 2017.

George Gregor welcomed having a BBs closer to his Oxford home.

"I've got a brother and a son in Quarryville, so I'd go up there and kill three birds with one stone," he said, noting that he enjoyed not have to walk into a freezer in the new location. "But I didn't spend much time in it anyway."

King likes the coffers too, rather than going into the walk-in at Quarryville.

"I did not go there quite as often, but this is great," she said. "I don't have to worry about freezing the kids."

King said the store is a welcome addition.

"Oxford needed this," she said.

•••

Tickets are being sold now for the Mason Dixon Summer Tour of Best Kept Secrets.

"The tour covers three states ... but it's doable in a day," said Melissa Nordhoff, owner.

Stores in Rising Sun and Elkton, as well as Newark, Del., and Pennsylvania stops in Oxford, Kirkwood and Quarryville, are on the tour of 21 features businesses. 

"You get everything from an art gallery to gift stores, antiques, flowers, country decor, ice cream, candies, nurseries, and a restaurant at a golf course," Nordhoff said of the tour.

The $10 tickets can be purchased locally at Sun Pharmacy in Rising Sun and Millstone Jewelers in Elkton. There is also a contest included in the tour with a $525 shopping spree as the prize.

The Mason Dixon Summer Tour takes place Aug. 15-24.

Business Beat is a weekly column on business happenings in and around Cecil County. If interested in having your business featured in this column, contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007.

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