If you find yourself in Maryland you should make your way down Tilghman Island Road and visit Tilghman Island Country Store. Owner and Partner, Patricia McGlannan shares her story of this “as local as you can get” island country store.
What inspired Patricia to get into foodservice?
“We bought a rural country market as a real estate investment. After seven years our tenant gave up their lease. Unable to sell or rent it in this economy we partnered with in laws and opened after a nine month renovation project! My sister in law runs the kitchen and I do the baking, our husbands help with everything!”
What does she love about her business?
“I love the vibe and quirkiness of our unique setting and how quickly we became an integral part of the community. We are located on a very rural island that is a traditional fishing village. There are three very distinct groups of people there – watermen, second home owners and tourists. Everyone comes to the store and it feels like we are hosting ‘the party’ every day.”
What’s been the most interesting/oddest/coolest thing to happen to the Tilghman Island Country Store?
“So many weird things happen to us there it would be hard to choose. The same families have lived on this island for generations. Often people come to the island looking for their roots. Last week a woman showed up saying she was looking for information on a long dead uncle. We realized she was talking about one of our predecessors who is framed and hanging on the wall behind us.”
What has been the biggest business challenge Patricia’s family has had to overcome?
“We had many challenges. The first being that none of the business owners knew the first thing about this level of retail. We couldn’t even work the cash register the day before we opened. One of our other challenges was training the locals to shop with us, again. The store had been closed for nine months, so everyone had learned to shop elsewhere. The store had been dirty when we took over so we had to convince everyone that it was now ‘clean and affordable!”
Any Cambro products find their way to Tilghman Island to help out the Island Country Store?
“One of the first major purchases I (the baker) made was your tubs with fitting lids to cart muffins back and forth. We’ve also bought them to brine/soak the pork bellies we use to make our own bacon!”
We’ll take that answer to mean that the best bacon on Tilghman Island is made with a Cambro!
Thank you for sharing your story Patricia and we wish you and the rest of the family continued success with this very cool local business. As the featured foodservice business of the week, she will receive a storage container gift pack.
Links for Tilghman Island Country Store:
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