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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Buying local is good business

BERLIN — Thee Berlin businesses are banding together this month to promote the benefits of buying goods locally.
The owners and operators of The Good Farm, Burley Oak Brewing Company and Baked Dessert Café created this Buy Local Challenge to encourage consumers to avoid traditional grocery stores and retailers in August and instead purchase goods from local businesses.
“Localized community production satisfying localized community demand is what it’s all about,” said Ric Gresia, who operates The Good Farm on Route 611 with owner Christie McDowell.
Its purpose is not only to support local business financially, but also to make the public more aware of the advantages buying locally offers consumers and businesses.
“You see who is making your food and you know them,” McDowell said.
McDowell and Gresia came up with the idea last year while building business relationships throughout town.
When they began talking to Bryan Brushmiller, owner of Burley Oak Brewing Company on Old Ocean City Boulevard, the brewery owner was instantly on board with the idea of the businesses uniting behind such a cause.
“We’re always going to tell our guests to check out Berlin,” said Brushmiller. “Everyone really supports one another.”
Robin Tomaselli, owner of Baked Dessert Cafe on Bay Street, got behind this second Buy Local Challenge for essentially the same reason.
“It’s called a challenge because it really isn’t easy,” Tomaselli said. She said although she and other Buy Local Challenge supporters do try to buy locally and develop relationships with as many local food producers as possible, sometimes the quantity of product needed from local businesses cannot meet the demand.
Also a part of the month-long campaign is a recipe contest seeking dishes made with as many local ingredients as possible.
Contestants are encouraged to bring a soup, appetizer, side, main dish or dessert to The Good Farm’s monthly Eleven Fork potluck dinner on Aug. 18 with a list showing which local business supplied each ingredient. Judges consisting of local restaurant and business owners will award local food-related prizes to the winners.
People interested in building relationships with local producers can visit The Good Farm’s Facebook page at