commissioners calvert bayside

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. — On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) participated in Business Appreciation Week (BAW) site visits to celebrate the contributions, economic resiliency and success of 15 local businesses.

This year marked the 15th anniversary celebration of Business Appreciation Week and the Commissioners, small business resource partners and Department of Economic Development staff visited a variety of businesses in a number of industry sectors including hospitality, agriculture and manufacturing. The teams ended their day with a final stop at the Calvert County Farmers Market at CalvertHealth. 

Bayside History Museum
4025 4th Street, North Beach

The mission of the Bayside History Museum is to provide all citizens with an understanding of the role the Chesapeake Bay environment had in shaping the cultures of the bayside communities from Fairhaven to Plum Point, from prehistoric times to the present. Through research and interpretation of collections, historical education and preservation of historical resources, Bayside History Museum will promote stewardship of this heritage and ensure the continuation of this relationship for future generations.

The idea of starting a museum began in 2001. Grace Mary Brady, a member of the North Beach Historic Preservation Commission, had been working with the county tourism office by participating in a speaker’s series and creating exhibits for Calvert County’s 350th Anniversary Celebration. During this time, Ms. Brady amassed quite a collection of North Beach memorabilia in addition to photographs from around Calvert County. Meanwhile, Mayor Mark Frazer and the Town Council for North Beach acquired the historic “Charlie Mead” House and the idea of starting a museum became a reality. 

The Bayside History Museum was incorporated as a not-for-profit entity having a 501(c)3 tax exempt status in 2003 and the museum opened its doors on Oct. 30, 2004. 

Mayor Mark Frazer (2010-2014), with support from the Town Council, negotiated with the Board of County Commissioners to lease the Community Center Building, which was the site of the first fire department in Calvert County. It was also the site of the Twin Beach Library, which operated out of this facility from 1981-1991 until the library was relocated to Chesapeake Beach. In addition, the senior center and Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation used this facility until their new buildings were finished. 

In 2012, the Town of North Beach and the Bayside History Museum leased the building located at 4025 4th Street, North Beach, MD 20714.  The grand reopening of the Bayside History Museum was held May 4, 2013.

Visit their website to learn more.

Bayside History Museum

From left, Chairman of the Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce Edsel Brown, Small Business Development Center consultant Autumn Bailey, Commissioner Kelly McConkey, President of the Bayside History Museum Grace Mary Brady, Mayor Mike Benton and Bayside History Museum staff Catherine Couchman, Vincent Turner and Richard Ball.

1 Benedict Metal Works

From left, Commissioner Vice President Steve Weems, Benedict Metals Vice President Eric Williams, owners Jim and Josh Sanders and Maryland Department of Commerce Business Development Representative Steve Wall.

Benedict Metals
231 Bugeye Square, Prince Frederick

Benedict Metal Works, Inc. is a sheet metal workers local 100 union contractor.

With a core level of experience dating back to 1974, Benedict Metal Works, Inc. provides the necessary expertise in today’s metal work industry.  Their products have been installed in cutting edge data facilities and server rooms, factories, museums, airports, restaurants, military bases and banks.  Their staff is highly experienced in the design, fabrication and installation of all aspects of the sheet metal industry and expertise ranges from new construction and tenant buildout/renovation of high-profile occupied buildings to specialized design and fabricated products.  

This company relocated their business to Calvert County from Prince George’s County in 2021 when they purchased their building in the Calvert County Industrial Park.

Visit their website to learn more.

Bowensville Farm & Nursery
4900 Sixes Road, Prince Frederick

Suzi Gibson has been around gardening almost her entire life. From weekly trips to the local garden center with her grandmother, to fulfilling various roles in horticulture from academia to commercial grower, Suzi has experienced a lot. In 2013, Bowensville Farm began by setting up in local farmers markets selling heirloom produce and unique bedding plants. In 2018, they realigned the business model and took a breather from the markets and focused on one plant sale per year and hand-crafted Christmas wreaths.  In 2019, they began offering landscaping services tailored to the needs of their customers. In 2022, their goal is to expand plant selections by adding more perennials and native plants. They will also be adding more unique, fresh produce, including ginger, fresh cut herbs and shallots.

Visit their website to learn more.


From left, Bowensville Farm & Nursery owner Suzi Gibson and Commissioner Chris Gadway.


Bulrushes Cafe
135 Central Square Drive, Prince Frederick 

Bulrushes Café is a locally owned and operated café open for breakfast and lunch serving elevated comfort food. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They also offer afterhours rentals for private events such as birthdays, baby showers, business meetings etc.

Robert and his wife, Wendy, also own and operate Caney Creek Catering. 

Visit their website to learn more.

From left, Economic Development Advisory Commission Chair Larry Jaworski, Destination Southern Maryland Executive Director Lucille Walker, Bulrushes owner Robert Bonner and Commissioner Chris Gadway.

Capps Mechanical
1435 N. Solomons Island Road, Huntingtown

In 2011, Tim and Evelyn settled in Calvert County with a dream of having their own business. In 2014, they started their business from their home by providing the community with energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions. In 2019, Tim and Evelyn moved into their first commercial location, a 3,850-square-foot facility.  

Capps provides mechanical construction and HVAC services to general contractors, property managers, associations, government agencies, private sector clients and residential homeowners throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

In order to provide superior service and innovative solutions, all their service technicians go through a five-year apprenticeship program through the Steamfitters Local Union 602, making them highly trained professionals. They are a diamond-level contractor with Mitsubishi and install their HVAC systems.

Visit their website to learn more.


From left, Destination Southern Maryland Executive Director Lucille Walker, Calvert County Department of Economic Development Tourism Specialist Hilary Dailey, Economic Development Advisory Commission Chair Larry Jaworski, Capps Mechanical owner Evelyn Capps and Commissioner Chris Gadway.


From left, Deputy County Administrator Linda Vassallo, Chesapeake’s Bounty employees Katie Sullivan, Colton Smith and Holly Smith, Commissioner Mike Hart and Office of the Governor representative Gretchen Hardman.

Chesapeake’s Bounty
6415 St. Leonard Road, St. Leonard

Chesapeake’s Bounty, founded by Greg Ciesielski in 1994, began as a small farm stand on the side of Route 4 South. After a brief closing, the stand was reopened in September 2007 by the founder’s grandson, William Kreamer.

Soon after reopening, Chesapeake’s Bounty moved to a small farm in St. Leonard. Chesapeake’s Bounty offers a growing selection of local, sustainable foods with all their products being grown, caught or processed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Their ever-expanding offerings include local seafood, dairy products, meats, baked goods, produce, plants and seasonal items.

Unlike many open-air produce markets, Chesapeake’s Bounty is open year-round and supports local famers, watermen and producers and pays fair market prices for their products. Their goal is to find new and innovative ways of connecting local food producers with steady markets, while at the same time considering the ecological consequences of food production. 

They also have a storefront in North Beach which offers locally grown and harvested items.

Visit their website to learn more.

Freedom Hill Horse Rescue

Freedom Hill Horse Rescue was established in the spring of 2004 to support the local horse community and to rescue horses from unfortunate situations.

They are committed to saving neglected, abused and unwanted horses that are typically difficult to adopt. Since most of the horses rescued by Freedom Hill Horse Rescue cannot be ridden, these gentle souls often find themselves at auction or on a trailer to the slaughterhouse. 

Freedom Hill Horse Rescue strives to educate the community and provide a safe haven for needy horses. With the help of community volunteers, this all-volunteer nonprofit has supported and found homes for over 200 horses.  

Visit their website to learn more.

Freedom Hill Horse Rescue

From left, Small Business Development Center consultant Autumn Bailey, Commissioner Kelly McConkey, “Dawson,” Freedom Hill Horse Rescue President Lori Harrington, Freedom Hill Horse Rescue Secretary Beth Meader and Chairman of the Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce Edsel Brown.


From left, Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Maney, Fridays Creek Winery owner Frank Cleary, Commissioner President Earl “Buddy” Hance and County Administrator Mark Willis.

Fridays Creek Winery
3485 Chaneyville Road, Owings

Located on the fertile farmlands of Southern Maryland, Fridays Creek Winery is following in the rich agricultural history of Calvert County. A stately old barn where tobacco once hung now houses oak barrels of wine and those fertile fields now produce premium wine grapes.

The grapes, grown locally on a 10-acre vineyard where Fridays Creek meets the Patuxent River, include Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Concord as well as blackberries and blueberries. This year, Fridays Creek will produce over 1,200 cases of wine, with 95% of the grapes coming from their own vineyard.

Fridays Creek Winery and Gallery has become a popular destination, where people can spend a pleasant afternoon learning about Southern Maryland wines, browsing through the local art on display and strolling the vineyards.

Friday’s Creek wines have won numerous Maryland Governor’s Cup awards over the last 10 years. The Clearys are active in local agricultural initiatives.

Visit their website to learn more.

Hilton Garden Inn
13100 Dowell Road, Solomons

Hilton Garden Inn features one hundred air-conditioned rooms with refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. Wired and wireless internet access is complimentary as well as MP3 docking stations and cable programming.

Take advantage of recreation opportunities including an outdoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center as well as multi-cultural cuisine at the Garden Grille and Bar, a restaurant featuring a bar/lounge. Buffet and made-to-order hot breakfast is available daily from 6-9 a.m. on weekdays and 7-10 a.m. on weekends for a fee. The public is welcome as well.

Visit their website to learn more.

Mellanie Teed

From left, Deputy County Administrator Linda Vassallo, Commissioner Mike Hart, Hilton Garden Inn Director of Sales Mellanie Teed and Office of the Governor representative Gretchen Hardman.

1 Patuxent Seafodd

From left, Maryland Department of Commerce Business Development Representative Steve Wall, Patuxent Seafood Company owners Andy and Jill Buck and Commissioner Vice President Steve Weems.

Patuxent Seafood Company
4149 School Road, Broomes Island 

Patuxent Seafood is a family-owned and operated seafood business specializing in farm-raised oysters and Maryland blue crabs.

Patuxent Seafood takes pride in the quality and freshness of their seafood, and offers a complete satisfaction, money-back guarantee. 

Their crabs and wild-harvested oysters come from the Patuxent River and local Chesapeake Bay regions. Their farm-raised oysters are meaty and symmetrical, and are harvested from the Patuxent River (year-round) using a proven aquaculture method that enables ecological sustainability while improving the waters of the Patuxent River.

Owners Andy and Jill are members of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, Calvert County Watermen’s Association, the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association and the Southern Maryland Shellfish Growers Association.

Visit their website to learn more.

Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort & Spa
4160 Mears Avenue, Chesapeake Beach 

Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort features a wealth of truly unique amenities that you simply won’t find at other hotels with two on-site marinas, live entertainment and a game room with video pull-tab machines and bingo. Take a dip in the indoor pool or challenge yourself to a workout in the fitness center. Dining options include casual bayfront cuisine and exquisite seafood. For those hosting events, several flexible venues with the assistance of experienced planning and catering teams are available.

Visit their website to learn more.


From left, Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort Director of Sales Mary Lynch, Chairman of the Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce Edsel Brown, Commissioner Kelly McConkey, Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort President Wes Donovan, Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort General Manager Mary Lanham and Small Business Development Center consultant Autumn Bailey.


From left, County Administrator Mark Willis, Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Maney, Sassafras Farms owners Chad and Curk Smart and Commissioner President Earl “Buddy” Hance.

Sassafras Farm

Sassafras Farm was named from the ever-popular Sassafras tree. The farm is based on 226 acres between two locations. The operation started in 1962 with a love of the outdoors and has grown into what is it today.  

In 2006, Sassafras Farm began buying and breeding cattle and in 2010 became a fully registered Black Angus herd.  As a family-owned and operated business, Sassafras Farm focuses on superior genetics when breeding through artificial insemination and embryo transfer. They take pride in being a 100% natural-raised beef operation where their cattle do not receive growth hormones or antibiotics. They also offer year-round private bull and heifer sales. .

Visit their website to learn more.

SpringHill Suites
75 Sherry Ln, Prince Frederick

SpringHill Suites by Marriott, the largest all-suites brand in the upscale tier, delivers a refreshing and stylish take on the travel experience by fusing form and function and wrapping it all in attractive, modern décor.

The brand consistently ranks among the top Marriott brands in guest satisfaction and has won numerous J.D. Power awards for service.

Visit their website to learn more.

1 Spring Hill

From left, Calvert County Economic Development Executive Assistant Sandy Staples, Maryland Department of Commerce Business Development Representative Steve Wall, Commissioner Vice President Steve Weems, SpringHill Suites General Manager Rosa Baleta, Director of Sales Mina Kim and Front Office Manager Ruthanne Saylor.

Dr Margaret Zarouba and Dr Jill Ausenbaugh 1

From left, Solomons Veterinary Medical Center veterinarian Dr. Margaret Zarouba and Chief of Staff Dr. Jill Ausenbaugh.

Solomons Veterinary Medical Center
13872 H.G. Trueman Road, Solomons

Solomons Veterinary Medical Center provides a range of services for dogs, cats and pocket pets, including preventive medical care, wellness programs and services, sentinel heartworm and parasite prevention, wellness screening for diseases, surgical procedures and regular check-ups. In addition, pet dentistry is available, which includes regular and specialized dental care and teeth cleanings. The vet also provides dermatology services to care for skin problems, diagnosis and treatment of pet allergies, and has an in-house pharmacy to supply medications and treatments. Solomons Veterinary Medical Center offers both urgent and emergency vet care services.

On May 24, 2021, the practice suffered a devastating fire. On Nov. 10, 2021, they were able to reopen their doors. 

Visit their website to learn more.

Wear Your Spirit Warehouse
155 Prospect Drive, Unit 102, Huntingtown

Ali began Wear Your Spirit Warehouse in 2004 at her kitchen table. She was a mom of two young girls and a proud military wife. In 2010, the business outgrew the house and she moved into a commercial space. In 2014, sadly her husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer forcing Ali to close her commercial location and move her business back into her home where she could take care of her husband and children. In 2016, Col. Banholzer passed and Ali took some time to grieve, take care of her family and plan her future.  

With the support of friends, employees and the community, Ali reopened her business in a small location in Huntingtown. Today, her business is growing leaps and bounds. She is currently in her largest commercial space yet with a little over 1,600 square feet.  


  • 2021 Powerful Professional Award recipient
  • 2021 Rosie Network nominee
  • 2020 Women in Screen Printing Award recipient
  • 2020 Military Spouse Entrepreneur You Should Know:  Stars and Stripes Magazine
  • Featured in Military Spouse Magazine
  • Guest speaker for multiple industry podcasts
  • Keynote speaker Print Hustlers Conference
  •  Speaker Shirt Lab
  • Decorated Apparel Expo educator

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *