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The Star Democrat: Comptroller kicks off Shop Maryland for the Holidays tour in St. Michaels

ST. MICHAELS — Comptroller Peter Franchot kicked off his annual Shop Maryland for the Holidays tour, starting at The Christmas Shop, located at 215 N. Talbot St., on Friday afternoon.

The statewide tour is hosted by the comptroller along with the Maryland Retailers Association to encourage Marylanders to shop locally instead of shopping online or at out-of-state businesses.

Franchot also passed four medallions out to owners Kathy Brown and Jay Brown, and Peg Savinger and Florence Hood.

The Christmas Shop in St. Michaels has been in business for 46 years, and has drawn in people from all over the country. Items include ornaments and nutcrackers that leave customers and visitors with holiday cheer.

“As you can see in the Christmas Shop, they lead in having high-quality products, and great customer service convenience. They also strengthen Talbot County’s community by employing our friends and neighbors, paying taxes and promoting local economic activity,” Franchot said.

According to Franchot, there is $50 billion in economic activity, and 750,000 Marylanders are employed in small retail businesses.

The Christmas Shop has been through three owners, with Kathy Brown staying for the past 36 years. When picking the right items for the shop, Kathy said she goes by what is selling the most.

She likes to add the St. Michaels touch featuring boats, crabs and other items that relate to the area. There are also hand painted items that are locally done for customers to take a special memento home.

“It’s very special to be acknowledged by the comptroller,” Brown said. “It’s an honor when you have been doing it for a long time. We do it because we love what we do, people love it and it’s a happy spot for customers to browse and enjoy. You just have to go with what people are going to like including price, how [items] are made and their themes.”

In order to maintain the store with holiday cheers in the years to come, Brown would like to take the store to fifty years. She said that as long as her body and mind hold up and her staff stays by her side, the store will have continued success.

Brown’s strong will to keep the store running was what Franchot ultimately admired and prompted him to visit the store that is enhancing Maryland’s economy.

“I’m glad that there is an extra day between Thanksgiving and Christmas because you would be surprised how much that adds to the success of the holiday season,” said Franchot. “We need to have these wonderful main street stores to promote the general economy rather than a sector. The Shore is a terrific place because it has great potential. I will continue to maintain a good workforce, beautiful environment because this is good for the future.”

The Christmas Shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 410-745-9346.

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