Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brewing Up Business: Frederick Changes Code to Allow Breweries to Host Food Trucks, Vendors, and Events


The craft brewing industry contributes $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy and Frederick is well-positioned to attract and support this rapidly expanding industry. On August 4, 2016, The City of Frederick amended City code to allow breweries, farm breweries, and wineries to hold special events, including the ability to host events with food trucks and vendors. This newest legislation proactively addresses the changing nature of breweries and wineries, and allows them to host complementary activities for visitors such as festivals, concerts, and special events.

The legislative changes have the potential to expand and diversify the City's economy by opening up additional opportunities for this industry. Frederick continues to receive national and international recognition for its thriving brewing industry, including an accolade from Matador naming Frederick among 17 of the Worlds' Best Cities for Craft Beer (#16) and inclusion in Livability.com's listing of the 99 Best Beers in 99 Best Beer Cities (#35).

Brewery patrons frequently visit the surrounding area, leading to increased spending at local restaurants, shops, and hotels. New breweries will further bolster Frederick County's 1.7 million annual visitors and related $380.5 million in visitor spending (2014 Tourism Council of Frederick County study).

The brewery/winery legislation is the latest example of the City's proactive approach to supporting manufacturing, and specifically, the craft beverage industry. In 2014, the City adopted legislation to allow craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries to locate in Downtown Frederick. Additionally, the City of Frederick enacted a 10-year phase-out of the business personal property tax, including a 100% tax credit for manufacturers.  

For more information on starting a business in Frederick, contact the City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development.

5 Office Spaces That Inspire Every Day

Throughout the year, Inspiring Offices showcases unique, beautiful, and collaborative office spaces in Frederick. From standing desks to snack bars, these spaces stretch beyond the imagination to ignite creativity and spark innovation. Frederick's stock of historic and industrial buildings provide opportunities for businesses to express themselves through unique spaces. 

Here are five unique spaces that inspire employees every day in Frederick.
1.  Mosaic Power
Mosaic Power’s office space offers staff flexible space, outdoor retreats, and an industrial vibe. CEO Laurie Vaudreuil wanted the space to feel comfortable, like home.  And it does.  A shared kitchen, couches, and even a hammock allow staff to take a break without leaving the office. 



2.  Welocalize
Welocalize's office is located within the Glass Factory, a 17,000-square-foot structure that was built as a cannery in the early 1900s. It was previously a tailor company and also a window factory. Today, the renovated warehouse space is home to a variety of companies in Downtown Frederick. 



3.  Someone With
Someone With began as an online marketplace for breast cancer products, and expanded to include membership based financial service for those suffering from a chronic condition. The company's mission has inspired its office design. Pink is the classic awareness color for breast cancer, and it can be found infused into all aspects of the office's design. 



4.  En-Net
Located along East Street, En-Net's office served as a former torpedo factory and gym.Today, corrugated metal and bright colors make the space pop, while nooks and crannies create spaces to work and play. 



5.  Warner Commercial and Gallagher Design
These offices share an eclectic and rustic attic space in the heart of Downtown Frederick. On the corner of West Church and North Court Streets, the offices have high ceilings, wooden beams, and natural light.

Find Your Own Inspiring Office
If you are looking to open or expand a business in Frederick, we can help.  Contact us, and let us help you find your own inspiring office space so you can build your dream. 


Grants Give Downtown Businesses a Facelift

In collaboration with The City of Frederick, Downtown Frederick Partnership, and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), nearly 100 businesses in historic Downtown Frederick have received matching grant funds to enhance their facades since 2004The Facade Improvement Program is funded through DHCD's Community Legacy program and is targeted at strengthening the community through commercial revitalization, business retention, and attraction

Take a look at some of the most recently completed facade improvement projects within Downtown Frederick:



10 S. Bentz Street 
629 N. Market Street

35 N. Market Street

31 West Patrick Street


Interested in Applying?
Business owners along the Patrick Street Corridor may be eligible for a matching grant under the Facade Improvement Program.  The Program is administered jointly by the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development and its partners - the Downtown Frederick Partnership, the Golden Mile Alliance, and East Frederick Rising.

Details on each grant opportunity is provided below:
 
Downtown Frederick
  • Facade Improvement Program - Eligible businesses may receive a 1:1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements up to $10,000. For details, contact the Downtown Frederick Partnership at 301-698-8118 or download the application.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.

East Frederick

  • Facade Improvement Program - Eligible businesses may receive a 1:1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements up to $10,000. For details, contact the Department of Economic Development at 301-600-6360 or download the application.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Golden Mile

  • Facade Improvement Program - Eligible businesses may receive a 1:1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements of up to $22,000. For details, contact the Golden Mile Alliance at goldenmilealliance@gmail.com or download the application.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.




Thursday, July 21, 2016

7 Ways to Participate in the Buy Local Challenge


By Michelle Kershner

The annual Buy Local Challenge encourages participants to make a personal commitment to eat local during Buy Local Week, July 23 - July 31, 2016. It's easy to sign up ttake the challenge.   

Residents can easily step up to the challenge any time of the year, not just during the Buy Local Challenge week. Here are some tips to get started.

7 Ways to Participate in the Buy Local Challenge 
Seasonal pick-your-own options at Glade Link Farms.

1.  Shop at one of the 8 Farmers Markets located in The City of Frederick or at a county market.


2.  Sip and sample at a local winery, brewery, or distillery.

3.  Visit a farm and take home some locally grown treats. Hours vary, so verify hours in advance.

4.  Visit one of Frederick County's two creameries, Rocky Point Creamery and South Mountain Creamery, for a farm-fresh treat.

5.  Dine at one of Frederick's many restaurants that source their products locally.
   
6.  Discover what is in season and plan a pick-your-own trip to a local farm.

7.  Visit the new Homegrown Frederick website to learn more about products grown right in your back yard!  



Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development. 

Made in Frederick: Uncle Ralph's Not Yet Famous Cookies




By Michelle Kershner

In The City of Frederick, many local businesses make and manufacture their own products. From popcorn and coffee to dog treats, many businesses are choosing Frederick as a place to make their products and to do business.

Made in Frederick is a feature that showcases these businesses and their products. 
  
Made in Frederick: Uncle Ralph's Not Yet Famous Cookies
Located on Frederick's east side, Uncle Ralph's has been offering their baked goods for over three decades. Their sweets and cookies more closely resemble home-baked goods than factory-baked desserts. Anne-Margaret Denlinger, Sales and Marketing Specialist and daughter of owners Margaret and Ralph Wight, answered a few questions about Uncle Ralph's and let us have a behind-the-scenes tour at how their products are made.



How long has your company been in business?

Last August we celebrated our 30 year anniversary!

What is your product/products?
Our trademark product is our frozen ready-to-bake cookie dough but we also have baked cookies, baked and unbaked brownies, crumb cakes, pound cakes, mini cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls and twists.  In recent years we have also begun making specialized proprietary products for certain customers including, Roy Roger’s and Elevation Burger Restaurants.  

What makes your product different?
We never skimp on the good stuff.  Since the beginning, chocolate chips have always been and will always be the number one ingredient in our chocolate chip cookies because what’s a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips?  This philosophy runs through all of our product lines from cookies to cupcakes.  We use top quality gourmet ingredients with no added artificial preservatives in any of our products.



What do you want your customers to know about your product?

As we have grown over the years, our processes have become more automated but each product is still made with some level of hands on labor from our dedicated employees. From measuring to mixing to scooping, our employees take immense pride in the products they make.  While it may not be made in our family kitchen anymore, we guarantee it will still taste like it was.
 

  
Products like cookies and zucchini breads are made from
scratch and require an element of hands-on labor.
Our size also gives us the unique ability to make custom products.  We welcome the challenge of taking a customer’s recipes or ideas and figuring how to produce and distribute them on a larger scale.   

Why are you located in Frederick?
At the core of it, we are located in Frederick because it is home. The business was started in our family home right here in the city of Frederick.  As the business grew, there was never any question that it would always stay in Frederick. Its central location close to Baltimore and DC with easy highway access has helped the business grow and thrive.  Its location allows us the ability to deliver to our wholesale customers throughout the mid Atlantic region.


What does Frederick offer a company like yours?
Frederick offers a great sense of community and loyalty.  Despite not having a recognizable storefront on Market St., we have loyal retail customers who make sure to visit our Sweet Shoppe regularly for all of their sweet treat needs.  We also have many local wholesale customers who have been with us for years.  In turn, we make every effort to support the community with donations of cookies to local charities and events.  Our business has grown right along with the city and despite Frederick’s growth, it still has the wonderful small town charm that makes it a great place to live and do business.  

Sweet Shoppe Information



Hours:  Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 (Open Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 10:00-2:00).
 

Directions: We are in the large brown building (old Frederick Trading Company) across from the Family Meal and Pit Crew on East Street.  However, our Sweet Shoppe entrance can be accessed from 8th Street.  

Products Available: In the store you will find a freezer stuffed full of 2-pound bags of ready to bake frozen cookie dough, baked brownies, crumb cakes, pound cakes, and mini cupcakes.  We also have a limited selection of already baked cookies available.  If you want specific baked cookies, you can order them ahead of time to ensure you get just the flavor you want.  We also have cookie and brownie platters for order, which are great for gatherings and get-togethers, or even customer appreciation gifts.  

  
Connect with Uncle Ralph's Not Yet Famous Cookies






Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development. 

3 Key Takeaways From the Frederick Retail Report


By Michelle Kershner

The City of Frederick recently released "The City of Frederick Retail Report." The report was completed in April 2016 by a retail consultant and is the first comprehensive retail study completed by the city. It will assist the Department of Economic Development in identifying best practices and retail brands that are currently missing in Frederick. The report can be used as a valuable tool for both existing retailers in Frederick and for businesses considering the Frederick area.

Retail is an important community attribute for residents, businesses, and visitors alike. Retailers and restaurants contribute to Frederick's quality of life, tax base, and provide employment opportunities for residents.  
The report’s executive summary stated that, “Frederick is the most unique and vibrant small city in the region in which to live and work. The City boasts low unemployment dominated by desirable and creative jobs in diverse industries with deep local roots offering family supporting wages and benefits.” 
There is a strong existing demand for retail and restaurants in Frederick, and opportunities remain to attract missing brands and to better understand the changing trends in consumer habits. 

The report contains relevant demographic, spending, and economic data and can be used by businesses seeking to prepare or update a business plan, for property owners seeking new tenants, and for existing retailers interested in learning more about the changing trends in the retail market.   

3 Key Takeaways

Frederick is Growing 
The city has enjoyed continuous residential growth while many other small towns are retracting. The estimated rate of growth from 2010 – 2015 is 4.7%, above the U.S. rate of 3.3% for the same period. Projections indicate that the population will continue to grow through 2020, though at a slightly slower rate of 4.25% for a similar period (2015-2020). As the population expands, it is also getting younger. The median age drops by several years the further from Downtown you travel.

Today, 68,347 people call Frederick home including 16,347 millennials who are entering their peak spending years. The diverse residential base is well employed and educated. Over forty-percent have at least a BS degree, more than sixty-five percent hold white-collar jobs. These empty-nesters, singles and families generate over $470 million of retail demand.

The 3,400 businesses located in Frederick provide employment for nearly 49,000 workers. There are over 90,000 workers within fifteen minutes of Downtown Frederick.

More Opportunities for Retail 
The city has over 650,000 square feet of gross leasable retail space, yet there are still gaps and opportunities to establish a more diverse merchandise mix. 

Specific retail opportunities include 
  • a grocer in Downtown Frederick
  • entertainment retail uses
  • general merchandise outside the core
  • the cottage food industry
This analysis suggests that there is an exceedingly strong market opportunity in the Downtown and primary trade area for specialty retail stores, entertainment, grocers and regional businesses. (see page 29)

The study also suggests Frederick should capitalize on its reputation as a food destination. “Leverage the strong food culture that already exists in the area including agriculture and promote related business opportunities. Pay particular attention to what is commonly referred to as the cottage food industry (those individuals producing food on small scale).” 

How Frederick Residents Buy by Geography (see pages 7-8)

The report analyzed spending and lifestyle trends of Frederick residents according to where they lived in reference to Downtown Frederick.
 

Households in the Core - Downtown Frederick (.5 miles from W. Patrick and Market Streets) 
  • Spend more on apparel and food away from home than other households
  • When they do eat out, it’s almost 3:1 at full service restaurants as opposed to limited service eateries
  • Shop at traditional grocery stores and prefer fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, and baked goods.
  • They tend to watch movies at home using streaming and renting of DVDs rather than at a theater 
Households in the Outer Ring - More than 2 miles from Downtown Frederick
  • Younger
  • Highest concentration of incomes over $100,000
  • Larger families with higher mortgage obligations and less overall disposable income
  • Spends more on kids apparel and menswear (work and sporting wear)
  • Spend more on food than Downtown Frederick
  • When go out, spend money at limited service restaurants and when patronize a full service restaurant, it tends to be family-style chains
Households in the Middle Ring – Between a 15 minute walk and a 1-mile ring from Downtown Frederick
  • Slightly older than the outer tier, but younger than the core 
  • Households are larger than the core, homes are less expensive than those in the core, incomes are slightly less, but disposable income about the same as households in the core
  • Well Connected – subscriptions for movies and TV, gadgets, technology
  • This category tends to spend the most on apparel, food, their mortgage, childcare and entertainment.
  • Prefer natural and organic products
  • Lifestyle: they work out, tend toward name brands, and happily spend money on clothes, jewelry and apparel 
  • Well educated and fairly well employed
View online: http://bit.ly/frederickretail 

Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Inspiring Offices: Rustic attic office offers light and warmth




By Michelle Kershner

In The City of Frederick, business spaces go beyond basics. Here, unique offices allow businesses to cultivate creativity, express their company's culture, and create a work environment that inspires. From industrial to classic, artsy to funky, historic to high tech, spaces abound to meet a variety of needs.  

Inspiring Offices is a feature that highlights some of the creative and unique office spaces in Frederick.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek inside TWO inspiring offices in Frederick - Warner Commercial and Gallagher Design. These offices share an eclectic and rustic attic space in the heart of Downtown Frederick. On the corner of West Church and North Court Streets, the offices have high ceilings, wooden beams, and natural light.

Learn what these companies love about their Downtown attic office space. 

Warner Commercial 
Q&A with Jonathan Warner, owner of Warner Commercial.
 

Why did you choose your current office location and how long has your company been located here? 

Downtown is the heart of my business and also my life in Frederick. The energy and vibrancy of Downtown Frederick impacts everything I do.

Was it “move in” ready or did you have to design/fit it out? 

The space was an attic with a grand staircase up to it. I worked with my brother, Mallory, to custom design the space and transform it from a dusty attic full of old junk to a bright light office environment.  

What inspirations did you use to decorate/design the space? 

We used a barn and natural wood theme with exposed ceilings that loft up and vertical wood planks to form walls. The structural elements of the building play a key role in giving the space character and warmth. Large barn type door slide across to provide a visual barrier between offices while the space above is all open to the ceiling.   The only enclosed spaces are the bathroom and conference room.  The rest of the space is airy and bright complemented by the four skylights that were added.



What are the most unique aspects about your office space?

The windows were covered with exterior storm windows that masked the windows unique half moon detail that matches the windows across the historic town green on the Trail and Mathias Mansions.

We removed the storm windows and added clear interior storms so now everyone looking up from the street can enjoy the beautiful detail of the windows on both sides of the historic green.  The common window design adds architectural symmetry to entire town green as envisioned by some of the originals architects and builders of Frederick.  I was pleased to restore this elements to the streetscape while bring increased light into the space.




What do you or your employees like best about the office space? 

Everyone loves the airy open feeling of the space and the unique warmth of the natural wood and historic structural elements of the building. The space speaks to what I love to do in my commercial real estate business. I love to bring old building and spaces back to life and Downtown Frederick is the perfect place to work!




Gallagher Design
Q&A with Patrice Gallagher, owner of Gallagher Design and frequent collaborator with Warner Commercial.

Why did you choose your current office location and how long have you been located there?

I’ve been in this location for almost 8 years. I happened on the space accidentally, when I called Jonathan Warner about an office space in Middletown. Turned out that space was way too big for my business, but the space he was subletting here, in his own office, was just perfect! We hit it off well the first time we met, which helped a lot in making my decision to rent the space. I feel lucky to be here, every day.

Was it “move in” ready or did you have to design/fit it out?

It was “move in” ready. My furnishings worked very well in the space.



What inspirations did you use to decorate/design the space?

This space is full of wood beams and barn doors and high ceilings which were perfect for my rustic tastes. I was living in a log house at the time I took the office space!




What are the most unique aspects about your office space?

The building is historic and not very large, so we tenants know each other pretty well. And… did I mention the wood beams and barn doors and high ceilings? :-)

What do you, your employees, or clients like best about the space?

Everyone who comes here comments on two things:
-- How refreshingly unusual the design of the office is.
-- How out of shape they feel after climbing the three flights of stairs to get up here!






Find Your Own Inspiring Office
If you are looking to open or expand a business in Frederick, we can help.  Contact us, and let us help you find your own inspiring office space so you can build your dream. 

If YOU know of any interesting office spaces, let us know and we will put them on our list to feature.

Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development.