Get it Downtown - Frederick

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Downtown Frederick Love Stories

We asked our social media following to submit their Downtown Frederick love stories, and here they are! Many thanks to all who submitted their beautiful stories. Do you have your own Downtown Frederick love story? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Emily + Carlin
Emily + Carlin (left: at Brewer's Alley)
“I met 'the one' in 2010 at Brewer's Alley during In the Street. I'm from Frederick and went to the University of Maryland, and he's from southern Maryland and went to Hood College. I needed to know who this guy was who stole my local friends. After graduating, he moved back to southern Maryland and I moved back to Frederick. Over 3 years of dating at two extreme ends of the beltway, trips around the world, and a US Navy officer commissioning later, our next step is moving to Florida together for flight school!” 

Melina + Richard
Ashley + Brian
 I asked my wife Melinda to marry me by having her and a friend go on a scavenger hunt to downtown businesses. I pre-bought items like Starbucks coffee, flowers from En Masse, jewelry at Colonial Jewelers, and finished by meeting her to propose at Ayse Meze!

Ashley + Brian
“My boyfriend Brian and I met right here in downtown Frederick! We live, work, and play here! It's been a wonderful year together! This past Christmas he bought me a rose gold bar necklace with the coordinates of where we met.. Here's a hint: it's on market and they sell tapas.” 

Jenna + Joe
Jenna + Joe in Baker Park
“Joe and I had met the night before Easter in 2013. On Jan 19, 2015 Joe took me and our dog Baloo downtown for a fun photo shoot. After doing a couple shots, The photographer suggested we just casually walk and talk while she took photos. We stopped in front of a guitar player who started playing our song "sunny and 75". Then Joe got down on one knee and proposed! After dropping off our dog at my parents we went to Brewer's Ally where some of our closest friends surprised me too celebrate! It was perfect :)”

Jesye + Martin
“My husband and I were walking our dog downtown and he stopped in front of the bell tower in Baker Park to kneel down and propose to me! He specifically chose that spot because that was the first place we said we loved each other:-) 9 happy years later we are still loving each other and Downtown Frederick!

Mike + Terri
“My wife Terri and I happen to own Frederick Coffee Co., Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream Co., Shab Row Tea Emporium, and we met at the bar at Firestone 12 years ago.”

Anne + Bill
Anne + Bill on Carroll Creek
“I moved to Frederick in 2001, and my now-husband and I still live here.

In 2002 I met my future husband after he saw my on-line profile on, a connection that was so new at the time, I hesitated to mention to people. Now it’s ubiquitous it seems and much more accepted. After chatting via e-mail and later by phone he asked if he could meet me - willing to make the trip up from Fredericksburg, VA, where he lived at the time.

It was November 2002 when I invited him to meet me at Hood College’s Rosenstock Hall (Have to check the spelling of that) where my congregation was holding its Sunday services. I had volunteered to make coffee that morning so I arrived early - an extremely well dressed and groomed coffee maker - a little nervous yet hopefully about meeting this gentleman who seemed so wonderful…on-line.

He arrived early (Yikes) and I was nervous enough that as he accompanied me to roll the large coffee pot out to the lobby, he had to point out to me that I’d neglected to put the top on the giant percolator! He remains my favorite coffee lover to this day.

After church services our first date consisted of walking all through downtown Frederick, stopping at Beans ’N Bagels and spending an hour wandering the stacks of books at the C. Burr Artz  library. There were many similar dates as we came to know each other and as he came to love Frederick as much as I do - resulting in his move here in 2003 and our marriage a few years later.

We still delight in walking through downtown, Baker Park and, as we did this past Sunday, taking in shows at the Weinberg or taking a class at the MET. It’s the only town for us.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Frederick Faces: Citizen Frederick

Antonio Rico saw a need for a men’s clothing shop in Downtown Frederick and opened his store, Citizen Frederick, in April 2014.   His longtime dream had finally come true.

Originally from a family of entrepreneurs located in Salt Lake City, Antonio has worked in a variety of venues such as doing architectural design for casinos and resorts all over the world, building restaurants, to designing kitchens and cafeterias for the Health Department in DC.  Searching for a change of lifestyle and a better quality of life he and his partner, Nolan moved to Frederick in 2012.

Antonio loves being involved in the Frederick community. His clients are like family to him and Nolan. They often stop by just to chat or invite him to their homes for barbecues and homecomings.  Antonio takes pride in supporting the needs of his clients and welcomes their feedback on merchandising choices.  It’s all about “supporting the needs of his clients.”

Due to the many images that he posts on social media, Citizen Frederick has visitors from all around the country.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Frederick Faces: Doug Zaruba

Doug Zaruba, owner of Vortex in downtown Frederick, fell in love with the arts during his college years in Buffalo.

While pursuing a major in Physics, Zaruba attended a wide variety of art classes. His interest in painting and jewelry allowed him to participate in many craft shows around the country, winning him an honorable mention for a piece of jewelry in the NY International Jewelry Competition. After completing an apprenticeship with a jeweler for 5 years he became a Master Goldsmith. Doug opened his first store, Zaruba & Zaruba in 1989. He was looking to settle in a rural environment and chose Frederick for its close proximity to two metropolitan cities. Doug worked with his son until 2005 when he sold him the business and moved to Panama for 5 years. There he enjoyed doing sculpture work. He returned to Frederick in 2010, took over the jewelry store and renamed it Vortex.

“Working at the bench” is the most inspiring aspect of Doug’s business. He enjoys the challenge of creating a handmade piece of art that will last a lifetime. Doug believes that the art scene in Frederick is growing. He and the other gallery owners in downtown Frederick are working together to start their own gallery walk, which is set to start in January 2015.

His dream is to one day create sculptures for public outdoor settings.

Frederick Faces

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Frederick Faces: Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson, owner of Ec’clectibles, has always loved merchandising.  He has been in the business “forever.” 

Originally from the Ellicott City area, Paul spent 10 years working for the National Retailer Association in Rochester, NY where he was the merchandising manager, in charge of the designing displays for stores.  He moved on to work for the Goodwill stores in the same city. During that time, a good friend suggested that he should look at Frederick as a possibility to open his own business. The rest is history. 

Ec’clectibles opened its doors in 2004.  Paul enjoys all aspects of the business but what excites him most is the merchandising part. He loves making the product appetizing and gets tremendous satisfaction when customers react positively to his displays. 
Paul loves the vitality of [Downtown Frederick], the wide variety and quality of shops as well as the camaraderie that has developed.

Frederick Faces

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Frederick Faces: Luke and Bob Kannor

Luke Kannor and his father Bob complement each other perfectly as owners of Viniferous (227 N. Market Street), which sells an eclectic selection of wines and craft beers. Luke had always wanted to be involved in running his own business, and Bob had developed a passion for wine while working abroad and attending wine tastings all over Europe. Bob opened the shop over 4 years ago in Downtown Frederick, and Luke decided to join him 2 years later after attending college in Charlotte, North Carolina.

At Viniferous, Luke and Bob pride themselves in having the best wines and craft beers from all over the world, as well being well-informed about the products they have in stock. ”We go on trips and tours to educate ourselves and it reflects in our shop,” says Luke, “It's great to know where the wines come from and to have an interesting story to share with customers about why we chose a specific bottle.” Once the owners have personally tasted each wine and beer they offer, they pass on their knowledge to their staff so they can recommend new favorites to try and suggest wine and food pairings.

Though discovering new brands and developing new pairings is an enjoyable aspect of work for Luke and Bob, their absolute favorite part of their job is working with the customers. “The conversations and stories in our shop are like a reality TV show,” Luke exclaims. Luke and Bob are Frederick locals themselves, living only 3 blocks away from Viniferous. 

“Travel and family are top priorities,” Luke said, and luckily he and Bob have the opportunity to share the family business and travel all over the world for wine tastings. Outside of work, Bob spends time fixing up the 1939 International ‘Viniferous’ Truck, which is used as a delivery truck for the business, and Luke plays drums for a local band, Signs Point East. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Frederick Faces: Jason Jennings, Beth Mason, and David Morders

 Jason, Beth, and Dave

Jason Jennings, Beth Mason, and David Morders began their journey together in 2000 at a large Wire House in Frederick. From there, the trio decided to “bring wall street to main street,” and opened Key Financial Group, LLC, in 2009. Though the group had always wanted to open their own independent financial company, they waited until they had the necessary experience and for the most advantageous time. Once Jason, Beth, and David had gained experience in the field, the timing was triggered by the financial meltdown of 2008-2009. 

The most rewarding part of Jason and his partners’ job is “helping individuals reach their goals and needs from a financial standpoint.” Key Financial Group, LLC, operates as a full service independent financial planning company with a goal of providing “unbiased, independent advice and guidance,” to individuals in the Frederick area.  Aside from helping people, Beth, Jason, and David enjoy the ever-changing business caused by the ever-changing financial markets in our economy. “Our jobs are never the same on a day-to-day basis,” says Jason.

David, Beth, and Jason chose to open their business in Downtown Frederick because of its unique atmosphere and structure unlike that found in corporate Wall Street. Along with helping the citizens individually, the group enjoys “being involved in Downtown Frederick and helping/watching the downtown area prosper and grow.” 

As Frederick natives, Jason and David knew that the downtown area was one they would enjoy living and working in, and Beth has grown to love the city as well. All 3 of the business owners have young families and plan on being in the Frederick area for a long time.

“Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Frederick Faces: Leslie Wallis and Jacque Zoerner

Only a little over two years ago, Downtown Frederick was just a place Leslie Wallis and her sister Jacque Zoerner could meet for lunch and catch up on each other’s lives. Now, it is a place to call home for their families and their shared business, Sisters Corners Emporium (132 N. East Street). As Jacque and Leslie grew older and progressed in their separate careers, they realized that working for other people was becoming “less and less fun.” When they stumbled across the open shop on East Street, they just knew it was the place for them. “The idea to showcase and support women artisans became a mission and a goal that has been both rewarding and satisfying,” says Leslie.

At Sisters Corner Emporium, the goal to showcase and support women artisans is achieved. The shop offers unique and beautiful handmade goods by local women and fair trade groups, but the business does more for these women than act as a middleman for their products. “We support women in taking an idea, making it reality, and then we sell it for them for the whole world to enjoy,” states Jacque, adding, “We describe ourselves as part incubator, part gift shop, and part therapist’s office.”

Just as Leslie and Jacque foster creativity in the women artisans they support, the artists inspire them in turn.  “The variety of art and artists that pass through our doors is amazing. The depths of the creativity that these women possess is astounding, and with a little support and encouragement, many of them grow as artists and stretch to try new things,” Leslie says admiringly.

When asked why they enjoy having their business in Downtown Frederick, the sisters attributed part of their success to the Downtown Frederick Partnership and other downtown businesses. Jacque claims, “The level of participation and welcome among the downtown businesses is great, and the Downtown Frederick Partnership does a great job supporting all of the businesses and keeping us all working together.”
In case stopping by the store to see Leslie and Jacque isn’t enough for you, there will soon be more opportunities to see them working together. The sisters are involved in a musical group that will be performing in and around Frederick in the near future!