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


Urban Nectar opens Berlin food, art ‘exchange’

Billed as a local food and art exchange, Urban Nectar opened its doors in Berlin last Thursday.
Shanen Cute of Local Mojo and Christie McDowell of the Good Farm created the new shop/collective on 10019 Old Ocean City Boulevard across from Burley Oak.
Urban Nectar starts with a basic shop, selling items ranging from prepackaged kale chips and bottled ginger beer to local produce and art and artisan products.
Behind the storefront – or inside an adjacent room depending on the weather – a farmer’s market will run every Thursday from 3-6 p.m.
Here, customers will be able to find additional purveyors such as organic and hydroponic farmer Johnny Harrison from Terrapin Farms, who grows specialty greens and heirloom varieties of lettuce.  
“We just kind of linked up with [Urban Nectar] a couple months ago,” Harrison said. “We’ve been helping them out, doing some work inside, so it’s kind of a recent development. A bunch of people who didn’t necessarily know each other before came together, and it’s turned out pretty nice.”
Harrison said the majority of his customers are chefs and restaurant owners.
“We want to give restaurants around here a really good source of high-quality organic greens that have a long shelf life and are produced locally,” he said. “They have a smaller carbon footprint and no transit time. It’s not going in any trucks or trains or planes – it’s all grown right here.”
Crystal Springman from Coco Nut-Gypsy, who makes organic soaps and lotions using coconut oil and homegrown herbs, said she plans to be at the market every Thursday.
“It’s all made with organic stuff and I locally source the things that I can’t grow myself,” she said. “I do everything local and handmade.”
Other contributors like Ashley Garland, who plans to sell her sea glass jewelry, recycled art and paintings in person during the farmer’s market, will have displays inside in the main shop as well.
Cute said she would like to eventually expand the market to run Thursday through Saturday.
“Our whole concept is to try to do local and to try to encourage local growers, so what doesn’t sell at the market we’ll actually buy for the store.
That includes produce and other foods, such as micro greens and local eggs, which would then be used in the attached commercial kitchen. Carryout food would be served to start, although Cute said seating could be added in the future.
“That’s about three weeks away,” she said. “Once that happens, those ingredients will be what our menu is based off of. We’ll do things like juices, wraps, crepes and bubble tea.”
In the future, Cute said that part of the operation could expand into a “full healthy grab and go.”
“We also want to provide the community with classes,” she said. “Everything from homesteading, canning, painting, soap making. We want to bring as much local as we can to the community.”