Biz Beat: Bistro By Hill Culinary, Total Rehab At Home celebrates, Crystal’s Creations, hotel grants | Business

Susan S. Johnson

Happening this week around Cecil County …

Bistro By Hill Culinary is a new eatery in the Elkton Commercial Plaza offering upscale food to eat in or take out.

Chef Zack Trabbold is the new operating partner and brings to the table years of experience creating dishes pleasing to the eye and the palate. He won an award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for his local catfish recipe and another from Restaurant Association of Maryland, which qualifies him for the Food World Championship in November in Austin, Texas.

“I was nominated for Best Chef in Maryland two years ago,” he added.

So come in and find out just how good the food is at the Bistro. Choose from several soups and salads including cream of crab and Hill’s Culinary Signature Chopped Salad. Appetizers include truffle fries and roasted Brussels sprouts. Then on to the main course there’s Ahi Tuna Tacos, The Mad Scientist Burger, Colossal Lump Crab Cakes and Smoked Beef Tenderloin and Turkey Breast, both of which is smoked on site.

”And we’re famous for our mac-n-cheese,” Trabbold said. He gets his inspiration by reading books, including books by the late Anthony Bourdain. “I love being in the kitchen just coming up with stuff.”

While cooking for the Bistro and continuing to run Hill Culinary catering, Trabbold and Erikkson Hill also have a benevolent side, donating meals to front line workers.

”We’re sending boxed lunches to Union Hospital first, but our goal is to flow from that to the fire companies, police … and keep giving back to the community,” Trabbold said.

Total Rehab At Home is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The Elkton-based in-home physical and occupational therapy company is owned and operated by Keri and Steven Kunkel.

”What makes us different is we only accept Medicare Part B,” said Colleen Powers, spokeswoman for Total Rehab At Home. “The patient or the patient’s family can request our services.”

As the name implies, the services are done in home, rather than having the patient come to a central location. That home can even be an assisted living facility or a senior living apartment.

“We noticed there was a segment of society, seniors, who were being referred to therapy … but weren’t going to get in a car and go,” Steve Kunkel said. He was working for another therapy company at the time.

Keri Kunkel said the reasons ranged from inability to drive themselves to having nobody available to get them there.

“And there’s no mass transit,” she noted. Patients do not have to be considered home bound to receive Total Rehab At Home services.

Offering the services in home made sense, Keri said.

“But it took a long time to educate the doctors offices and patients on what we do,” she said. Now 10 years later they’ve had over 1,000 patients, the staff has grown to 15 and they’ve been working in Harford County as well as Cecil.

Keri added that, by having the PT or OT sessions in their own home, the therapists can see the home’s layout and the mobility challenges specific to that patient.

Medicare Part B recipients can refer themselves to Total Rehab At Home. Family members can do the same.

“If you are concerned about falls at home, dropping things, caregiver training or a safety evaluation we can do that,” Keri said.

Call 410-392-2731 to get more information or to make an appointment with Total Rehab At Home or find them on Facebook.

If you typically work in the hospitality industry but are out of work, or underemployed because of the pandemic The Maryland Department of Labor would like to help.

Join in on a Feb. 18 Virtual Job Fair from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and find out about the wide variety of temporary jobs available to hold you over until you can return to your chosen field.

There are tons of cottage businesses in Cecil County; folks who focus on making a particular type of craft or food and sell it from the front door or on social media.

Call it extra income or just a passion to share their talent, but they are out there with delicious candies and cakes, fragrant soaps, candles and lotions, stunning colorful jewelry and more.

One such cottage businessperson is Crystal Hitchcock and her business is called “Crystal’s Creations.”

“I learned that I love to play in chocolate,” the Conowingo woman said. Working the past 12 years with carnival food is what sparked that interest. “Now I create things that are beautiful and taste good.”

She’s selling a lot of hot chocolate bombs these days, along with an addictive sweet and salty popcorn. If you are thinking of getting either for your Valentine you must order by Feb. 10.

”I want it all to be freshly made and perfect,” she said.

You can find Crystal’s Creations — and an order form — on Facebook. Search for @Alotofthingssweet

Hotels, motels, inns, and bed-and-breakfast businesses in Cecil County can now apply for COVID-19 relief through the Cecil County Office of Economic Development’s Hotel Relief Grant. The county has $267,083 to disburse according to Steven Overbay, director.

“We are excited to have relief funding to help one of the hardest hit segments of the business community” Overbay said. “Every little bit helps and we are diligently working to get it in the hands of the businesses as quickly as possible.”

Qualified uses for the funding include rent, payroll, taxes, and other normal operating costs as well as costs associated with the pandemic including sanitization and the purchase of PPE.

Grant money must be spent by May 15.

To be eligible the business must be in the county and contributed to either the Cecil County Hotel Rental Tax or the Sales and Use Taxes for Maryland. The business had to be open by Nov. 2019 and show a year-over-gross loss of revenue of at least 25%. Among the other requirements, the business must also have a minimum of 10 sleeping rooms or, if a bed-and-breakfast the minimum is 5 rooms.

If the business is currently closed it must show proof of re-opening by March 31. Another requirement is that it be in good standing with the county and state and have no outstanding taxes or charges.

Applications will be taken through 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

“This is an important program that can and will assist many of our Cecil County hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” said County Executive Danielle Hornberger. “I encourage all eligible establishments to apply for this funding opportunity, and I commend our Office of Economic Development and Finance Department staff for continuing to provide services and support to our small businesses and their employees.”

La Comunidad Hispana in Chester County, Pa. has changed its name to better reflect its comprehensive service offerings.

Now it will be known as LCH Health and Community Services. The change actually began back in 2016 with a logo revamp. LCH, a Federally Qualified Health Center founded in 1973, also now has three locations in Oxford, Kennett Square and West Grove offering medical, dental, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, behavioral health and numerous other resources.

Similar to West Cecil Health Center in Conowingo, LCH Health and Community Services helps anyone, and charges based on income; with or without insurance.

Food Lion and Martin’s Food Stores have again received high marks on the Corporate Equality Index, a survey hosted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

The survey and report is considered the benchmark measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.

“Our team members are at the front and center of everything that we do, which is why we support each team member fully and uniquely,” said Matt Lutcavage, vice president of human resources, The GIANT Company, which includes Martin’s stores.

”LGBTQ equality is important to Food Lion and we are proud to have earned a perfect score for the 12th consecutive year,” said Linda Johnson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer at Food Lion.

“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality,” said Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign president. “This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial in the work to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. Thank you to the companies that understand protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do—but the best business decision.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation 767 major US businesses and organizations earned top marks this year, which the organization calls record-breaking.

Cecil County Chamber of Commerce is giving you the opportunity to hear and be heard by the county’s delegation in Annapolis and other legislative leaders.

Senators and delegates from Districts 35 and 36 have been invited to speak along with Andrew Cassilly, senior advisor to Gov. Larry Hogan. Delegates Steven Arentz, Jeff Ghrist, Mike Griffith, Kevin Hornberger, Jay Jacobs and Teresa Reilly will be joined by Senators Jason Gallion and Stephen Hershey in a free virtual Cecil 21 Session Legislative Event Feb. 10 from 9 until 10:30 a.m.

Business Beat is a weekly column on business happenings in and around Cecil County. If interested in having your business featured in this column, contact Jane Bellmyer at [email protected] or 443-245-5007.

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