Happening this week around the county …

After celebrating their third anniversary at 102 W. Main St. in downtown Elkton last month, the popular Spork Cafe, Bakery & Market surprisingly announced last week that it will be changing hands.

Owners Brielle and Jason Curtis and Elena and Mike Smart have sold the restaurant and will close it Friday, July 12, with custom cake and bakery orders concluded on Sunday, July 14. The new owners, who the Spork founders declined to identify this week, will reportedly reopen the cafe on Tuesday, July 16.

The outgoing Spork owners declined a Whig request for an interview, and said they would leave their explanation to the July 4 statement posted on Facebook.

“Throughout the past four years we have created a place from our blood, sweat, laughter and tears. A place that has grown beyond our belief. While this is a very tough time for us we can only look to the greatest of futures for Spork!,” the statement reads. “It is time for a new chapter in the book of Spork to be written. Over the coming weeks there will be some transitioning happening. Elena, Mike, Jason and Brielle will be taking the next steps forward and passing on their greatest success to a new owner.”

“We know everyone has a million questions however, we wish to keep our business private,” it added. “We have so much love and appreciation for our friends, family and customers who have made this journey as successful as it has been. You all mean the world to us and for that we are beyond grateful.”

The popularity of Spork, which featured a rustic decor, daily fresh bakery items and artisan sandwiches, helped jumpstart Elkton’s revitalization of Main Street when it opened in June 2016. With more people heading downtown to check out its rotating lunch menu, other cafes, shops and a brewery have opened in recent years.

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David Gilbert is looking for a buyer for Pleasant Hill Store at 2360 Blue Ball Road north of Elkton.

He’s owned the store since 1980, although Gilbert began working at the neighborhood store and gas station the year before. Now 40 years later, and with none of his children interested in taking over, the store is up for sale for $1.1 million.

“I’ll miss the wheeling and dealing and dealing with the people,” Gilbert said while making a deli sandwich for a customer Friday and accepting a delivery from a vendor. “A lot of the people I got to be good friends with.”

Selling everything from milk and eggs to motor oil, school supplies and fishing tackle, Gilbert has a system to track what is moving from his shelves.

“We change the (price) stickers every three months. If it took six months to sell it, I don’t need it,” he said.

As for the food items, he has a simpler method.

“If I won’t eat it, I won’t sell it,” he said.

Over these 40 years Gilbert said the biggest change has been the level of regulation.

“They put things on you that you didn’t have to pay for before,” he said.

For example, the annual health department inspection of the deli was a few dollars in years past, but now costs $300, he said. Insurance and maintenance — especially for the fuels — goes higher all the time.

“Regulation is getting outrageous,” he said.

Anyone interested in Pleasant Hill Store, which also includes an ice cream shop and a three-bedroom apartment, should contact Loura Quinn at ReMax Chesapeake at 410-703-8709.

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Mom’s Car Detailing officially opened for business June 28 with a ribbon cutting. Located at 1191 E. Pulaski Highway in Elkton, Joe and Josefina Young started cleaning vehicles at their shop in March offering steam cleaning, vacuuming, and other comprehensive services.

To schedule an appointment, call 302-781-0553.

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Singerly Manor Assisted Living is now Well Homed Inc. Singerly House. The acquisition was made public recently during the annual picnic held June 29 at the facility located at 1800 Singerly Road in Elkton.

Kendall Williamson, owner of Well Homed Inc., has plans to add to the 13-year-old center with its eight bedrooms and four bathrooms. Well Homed Inc. is based in Las Vegas, but incorporated in Maryland in February.

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Rising Sun Commissioner Dave Warnick was appointed recently to the Maryland Municipal League Board of Directors. Warnick will serve as District 10 vice president, representing Cecil and Harford counties.

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The party is on at Chick-fil-A Elkton on Tuesday, July 16, to celebrate the location’s 10th year in business. Cecilia Beckmeyer, director of marketing for the fast food restaurant at 1100 E. Pulaski Highway, said the ”Big Birthday Bash” runs from 5 to 8 p.m. It will feature free games and activities for kids and families plus giveaways, door prizes and a cake.

“And it’s never a party without the Chick fil-A cow,” Beckmeyer said.

Commemorative T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

•••

Howard Bank has announced plans to buy back up to $7 million of its own common stock. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond issued no objection to the planned repurchase of outstanding stock.

Stock is typically repurchased when value is low enough that it is seen as a worthwhile investment for shareholders. Once repurchased, the shares are eliminated. As of Tuesday, Howard Bank was trading at $14.80 a share — down about 17% from a year ago.

Mary Ann Scully, chairwoman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement that the move is about improving value.

“Howard Bancorp remains committed to enhancing long-term shareholder value and in this challenging market for bank stocks, we see this program as an additional capital management tool to complement our continued growth, revenue and expense management emphasis,” Scully said.

The buy back program will run through December 2020.

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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