BERLIN, Md. — Beth Gorley is hoping to use her lifestyle to make a living with the opening of her organic grocery store in downtown Berlin.
Gorley, a Berlin native, opened Go Organic Grocer this fall in the building known as the "Peach Shed" since it was painted for the filming of "Runaway Bride." She hopes to share her organic lifestyle with others through the store's array of natural products and local foods.
"I'm a big believer in the organic way," Gorley said.
In her store, situated at the back of the town's public parking lot, Gorley sells "a little bit of everything." She has fresh meat from Greenbranch Farm and Chesapeake Bay Farms, farm fresh eggs and local produce. Shelves are filled with breads, tortillas, bagels, nut butters and jams. She also has a variety of products made at Berlin's Lilley Farm, including healing salve and bath salts.
"Anyone who comes in, there's something they can find to buy," she said, adding that she posts daily updates of what's in stock on the store's Facebook page.
Gorley gets much of her stock locally but uses a distributor for items that cannot be found on the Eastern Shore. She said shoppers have been surprised to find that she sells local meat.
"That's the one thing that's been a shock to people," she said. "We have real meat."
She also has live lobsters that she gets from the Pot Luck in West Ocean City.
Patrons of Go Organic Grocer have the option of joining a buyer's club. For a one-time $40 membership fee, they receive a 20 percent discount, Gorley said.
"It's a good thing," she said.
Gorley, who grew up on a local farm, hopes her store, and its convenient downtown location, will give others a chance to embrace the natural lifestyle she has. Living in Berlin, she said she realized locals needed more options.
"I live in Berlin, grew up in Berlin," she said. "I felt it was something that was needed. Now you can walk right to the store."
The only difficulty she's faced, she said, was turning the "Peach Shed" into a grocery store.
"It was a little challenging as far as climate control, but we're working it out," she said.
The shed now features blinds for when the sun's heat is too strong and a heater to combat winter temperatures. The building's windows provide plenty of ventilation.
"We're fitting in here quite nicely," Gorley said.
Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://www.delmarvanow.com/