Business Appreciation Week

Calvert County Business Appreciation Week Logo
Business Appreciation Week 2016 Site Visits
Each May Calvert County businesses open their doors to the county commissioners and Calvert County government staff for Business Appreciation Week site visits. In 2016, Business Appreciation Week celebrates its 11th anniversary with a salute to women entrepreneurs. 

The visits give county commissioners and staff the opportunity to thank businesses of all sizes for their contributions to the county’s economy and quality of life, as well as hear owner's questions and concerns. Below are the businesses highlighted during Business Appreciation Week 2016.

Abigail Francisco School of Classical Ballet

4110 3rd St., North Beach

Owner Abigail Francisco started this dance studio in 1986 and opened the current North Beach location in 1990. The school offers dance instruction in ballet, Broadway, jazz and tap, along with yoga and Pilates to children, teens and adults of all skill levels. Guest artist master classes are held on a regular basis. The North Beach location offers two fully equipped studios complete with sprung floors and dressing rooms. The studio’s two employees and nine contracted dance instructors continue to perform and take classes as well as teach courses in order to provide students with updated teaching techniques and choreography.


From left are Anne Kerze, pre-ballet and jazz teacher, William Mockabee, Artistic Director/Owner Abigail Francisco, Commissioner Pat Nutter and Elena Oring, ballet and character/folk teacher.

Back Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast

Alexander and Calvert Street, Solomons

The Back Creek Inn is a Solomons Island favorite. This former waterman's home stands on the tree-lined banks of Back Creek and offers luxury all-private baths and suites, a beautiful setting for breakfast dining and deep-water slips for those arriving by boat. Founded in 1987, the inn is decorated with antiques, handmade quilts and fresh bouquets from the on-site herb and floral gardens. Innkeeper Carol Pennock is an accomplished artist, specializing in oils, watercolors and stained glass. Many of her creations are on display and can be purchased at the inn.


Pictured from left are Belinda Denton of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, Commissioner Mike Hart, Back Creek Inn Owner Carol Pennock and Jenny Plummer of the Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building.

Barefoot Wellness

445 Main St., Prince Frederick

In the heart of Prince Frederick stands the holistic and yoga studio Barefoot Wellness. Owner Sergina Rodriguez and her staff of eight contracted therapists offer classes in yoga, tai chi and Pilates as well as healing services such as hot stone and deep tissue massage, body treatments and facials. The studio provides a spiritually grounded setting for people interested in growth, healing and community, making it easy for clients to take care of the body and soul. Barefoot Wellness was originally founded in July 2012 and Rodriguez took it over in July 2015.

The Barefoot Wellness visit included Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President Bill Chambers, County Administrator Terry Shannon, Owner Sergina Rodriguez, Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr. and Calvert County Economic Development  Commission Chair Chris Moore.

The Carol M. Porto Treatment Center

125 Fairground Road, Prince Frederick

Founder Carol Porto started this state-certified residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment program in Prince Frederick in 2006. It is based on a program originally established in 1986. Initially designed for DWI offenders, the program was expanded to treat both alcohol and other drug problems for any adult who is medically and psychologically stable. Residents age 18 and older can remain for as long as needed with minimum length of stay being 28 days. The center’s team of 40 employees includes graduate-level, certified and/or licensed clinicians.
Porto Treatment_web

From left are Kelly Robertson-Slagle of the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Beth Rimmer of the county Department of Community Planning and Building, founder Carol Porto, Commissioner Steve Weems and Steve Wall of the Maryland Department of Commerce.

Erly Family Solutions

218 Merrimac Court, Prince Frederick

Erly Family Solutions offers separating families the alternative of professional domestic mediation in Southern Maryland. Founded in 2003, the company also provides court-ordered services for abuse intervention and anger management. Owner Katherine Erly and her team bring more than 33 years combined professional experience in therapy and divorce litigation to the process. Their personal experience with divorce and the challenges of a blended family uniquely motivates them to help create a family’s solution. 


The certificate of appreciation presentation included Kathy MacAdams of the Small Business Development Center, owner Katherine Erly, Commissioner Tom Hejl and Tony DeStefano of the Calvert County Economic Development Commission.

Keep it Simple Computer Training

230 West Dares Beach Road, Suite 105, Prince Frederick

Keep It Simple Computer Training (KIS) provides professional, instructor-led software training classes to corporations and to individuals. KIS instructors are professional software trainers who have mastered the principles of adult education and provide instruction in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, PageMaker, InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator and more. Founded in 1993 by Laura Allison, Keep It Simple maintains a commitment to the customer that makes them the premier solution for computer training. The hands-on instruction features free practice time, free retakes and customized classes.

Pictured are Laura Allison and Commissioner Mike Hart.

Lotus Kitchen

14618 Solomons Island Road South, Solomons

Located on Solomons Island, Lotus Kitchen is owned and operated by two local female chefs focusing on simple, fresh, elegant food that is good for the body, mind and spirit. Co-owners Amanda Comer and Kelly Guilfoye are known for incorporating the freshest in-season ingredients in their menus. Recently named one of the 10 best restaurants in Calvert County by, Lotus Kitchen is also famed for offering some of the best key lime pie around. 


The Lotus Kitchen visit included, from left,  Steve Wall of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Beth Rimmer of the county Department of Community Planning and Building, owners Amanda Comer and Kelly Guilfoye and Commissioner Steve Weems.

Loving Care Senior Services

260 Merrimac Court, Prince Frederick

Loving Care Senior Services is a licensed assisted-living home in Lusby focused on helping clients achieve the best quality of life possible. Owner Lisa Height-Gross and the staff of 23 tailor care to maximize the client's independence and dignity. Loving Care encourages independence with assistance plans provided by well-trained team members who remain available 24-hours a day. The home features private and semi-private rooms, home-cooked meals, recreational activities and more. Loving Care is also a state-licensed and insured nursing referral agency serving clients in Southern Maryland.

Loving Care

From left  are Loving Care office manager Nitra Lloyd, owner Lisa Height-Gross, Kelly Robertson-Slagle of the county Department of Economic Development and Small Business Development Center representative Kathy MacAdams.

Maertens Fine Jewelry & Gifts

11743 HG Trueman Road, Lusby

Maertens Fine Jewelry, owned by Southern Maryland native Heather Maertens, has been the jewel of the Chesapeake Bay region since opening its doors in 2002. Maertens is considered one of the most unique jewelers among tourists and locals alike. Heather has been in the jewelry industry for nearly 25 years. She began her craft in the fine jewelry industry as an apprentice, progressing to become a custom designer of fine jewelry. The store offers unique pieces by fine jewelry designers, nautical inspired collections, designer handbags, wallets and unique homewares and gift items.


Pictured are Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President Bill Chambers, Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr., Maertens General Manager Kim Harkins, Calvert County Economic Development Commission Chair Chris Moore and County Administrator Terry Shannon.


10735 Town Center Blvd., Suite 7, Dunkirk

Mathnasium of Dunkirk has been offering math tutoring and homework help to Calvert County students in grades 2 through 12 since June 2014. Owner Kama Friedman and her staff are passionate about helping students improve and excel in math while having fun. Specially trained math instructors use the Mathnasium Method that has helped children learn math for more than a decade across more than 600 centers in the U.S. and Canada. Instruction includes year-round and summer math programs serving all of Calvert County from the Dunkirk location. Friedman also recently opened a second location in St. Mary’s County.


Mathnasium owner Kama Friedman is joined by Commissioner Tom Hejl, Kathy MacAdams of the Small Business Development Center and Tony DeStefano of the Calvert County Economic Development Commission.

No Thyme to Cook

3405 Hallowing Point Road, Prince Frederick

No Thyme to Cook began as a personal chef service in 1998. Owned and operated by Gwyn Novak, it provides in-home personalized gourmet meals to clients and has recently evolved into a series of seasonal cooking classes. A graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College and a member of the United States Personal Chef Association, Novak has been cooking and writing about food for more than 20 years. Her cooking classes are small in size to allow plenty of participation and individual instruction. She also offers private lessons, cooking parties, parties for kids, team building events and more.


Finding the 'thyme' for a certificate presentation are Belinda Denton of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, owner Gwyn Novak, Commissioner Mike Hart and Jenny Plummer of the Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building.

Prince Frederick Animal Hospital

60 Stafford Road, Prince Frederick

This full-service veterinary medical facility in Prince Frederick seeks to provide the best possible medical, preventive, surgical, emergency and dental care for its patients. Led by co-owners Dr. Nancy G. Ramsey and Dr. William A. Dorsey, Prince Frederick Animal Hospital has 30 employees offering immunization and wellness care, grooming, internal medicine, dental care, surgery, radiology, microchipping, exotics, pain management, a stocked pharmacy and dog and cat boarding. 


From left are Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr., owner Nancy Ramsey, County Administrator Terry Shannon, Chamber of Commerce President Bill Chambers and Economic Development Commission Chair Chris Moore.

Smart Ride, Inc.

120 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick

Since its inception in 1996, Smart Ride has evolved from a focus on children's transportation to a growing customer base of business executives, wedding guests, medical clients, politicians, airport travelers, the elderly and more. Owner Cynthia Thorne-Carter and her 13 employees utilize a fleet of minivans, SUVs, 15-passenger vans, wheelchair-accessible vehicles and sedans to offer service to regional airports, train stations and bus stations. Smart Ride also provides transportation for Southern Maryland veterans to the Baltimore VA Medical Center and for patients in the Adolescent Day Treatment Program at Calvert Memorial Hospital.

Smart Ride_web

Pictured are, from left, Smart Ride employee Tracey Waddell, Beth Rimmer of the Department of Community Planning and Building, Commissioner Steve Weems, Steve Wall of the Maryland Department of Commerce, company owner Cynthia Thorne-Carter, Kelly Robertson-Slagle of the Department of Economic Development and Lisa Goff of Smart Ride.

Smoothie King

428 Solomons Island Road, Prince Frederick

Smoothie King in Prince Frederick opened in 2008 and owner Patricia Marple’s quest is to make living a healthier, more active lifestyle delicious and nutritious. The store offers “Smoothies With a Purpose” for those trying to lose a few pounds, have a little more energy at the end of the day or simply feel better about their diet.
The Prince Frederick location’s 12 employees help customers choose the blends right for them from a variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables and yogurt.


Commissioner Pat Nutter joins Patricia Marple and her daughter, Sarah.

Windy Willow Farm Services

421 Clyde Jones Road, Sunderland

A family owned and operated farm, Windy Willow Farm Services boasts more than 30 years of farming experience. The name came from the willow trees on the property and the farm is now in its third generation of ownership. Co-owners Dale and Debbie Jones provide a diverse group of services and products including meat, eggs, jam and jelly, breeding stock, hay, firewood, fencing and stone driveway installation and repair. The company also delivers mowing and yard cleanup services for commercial and residential customers. In 2011 Windy Willow was named the Calvert County Sustainable Meat Producer of the Year.

Windy Willow

Down on the farm are Tony DeStefano of the Calvert County Economic Development Commission, Commissioner Tom Hejl, Becky Jones, Dale Jones, Debbie Jones, Fluff the cat and Kathy MacAdams of the Small Business Development Center.