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Consuming Interests
A blog for the smart consumer
Fractured Prune Doughnuts will open in Towson

Fractured Prune Doughnuts, the Ocean City-founded chain known for hand dipping doughnuts in a choice of glazes and toppings, is opening a Towson shop in early November as part of a national expansion announced last year.

Company CEO Dan Brinton had said last September that plans were in the works for new locations at the Inner Harbor and in Towson and Westminster. Brinton had said he hopes to open 50 new franchised stores in the next three years, including about 20 in the Baltimore area.

A shop at 3 W. Chesapeake Ave. will open in early November, the company announced Wednesday. The opening date will be posted on the shop's Facebook page, FracturedPruneTowson.

Fractured Prune, founded in 1976 in Ocean City, has a specialty doughnuts menu with items such as French Toast (maple glaze, cinnamon and sugar), Blueberry Hill (blueberry glaze, powdered sugar) and Banana Cream Pie (banana glaze, vanilla wafers, cinnamon

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Baltimore's The Great Cookie launches corporate gift program

Owings Mills-based The Great Cookie is hoping to appeal to companies that want to give their clients and prospective customers something sweet.

The cookie maker and retailer has launched a gift program allowing corporate customers to brand and customize cookie tins and cookie cakes. Tins and 13-inch cakes can be customized with artwork or images including logos and pictures.

The tins can help increase brand exposure "even after the cookies are gone," said Jason Fruman, president of The Great Cookie.

The corporate program is timed for the holiday season, when the cookie chain will be rolling out an expanded line of holiday themed tins and cakes. Next day delivery is available in Maryland, the company said.

The company, founded in 1979 and known for its Snickerdoodle recipe, operates seven Baltimore area stores, two mobile cookie trucks and an online store.



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Halloween will cost you more than $250, survey says

If you just walked out of Party City or Spirit Halloween more than $200 poorer, you are not alone.

You are just another average American who spends more than $250 on the holiday, or about $257 per person, according to research by

The bulk of the cost comes from preparing to throw or attend a Halloween party, and for that you can expect to pay about $103, the poll found.

The website surveyed more than 3,200 people about their spending habits.

The average cost of a costume is more than $59, while most people spend about $39 on candy for trick-or-treaters.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said its all worth the expense.








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HomeGoods to open in Westminster Nov. 9

 HomeGoods, an off-price home decor retailer, will open a store in Westminster on Nov. 9.

The store in the Carroll Plaza Shopping Center will be the ninth in the Baltimore area and employ about 60 people. On the store's opening day, the first thousand shoppers will get free reusable HomeGoods bags.

The retailer says merchandise such as furniture, rugs, lamps and goods for the kitchen and bath is discounted 20 percent to 60 percent off department store and specialty store prices.

HomeGoods, a division of The TJX Cos. Inc., runs more than 470 stores in the U.S. Other brands run by the parent company include T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.


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Five new shops coming to Towne Centre Laurel

Two cafes, a barbecue place, a wireless retailer and a physical therapy business are the five newest tenants announced for the Towne Centre at Laurel development, a $130 million redevelopment of the former Laurel Mall site. They include:

  • Mission BBQ: the Maryland-based, fast-casual barbecue restaurant will open a 3,791-square-foot restaurant 
  • First Watch: a daytime cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and brunch will open a 3,768-square-foot restaurant.
  • Hard Bean Cafe - a cafe specializing in coffee and tea and serving light fare will open a 1,349-square-foot restaurant.
  • AT&T - the nationwide wireless provider will open a 3,500-square-foot store. 
  • Pivot Physical Therapy - the physical therapy business will open a 1,468-square-foot location.

Developer Greenberg Gibbons announced Thursday that the new tenants will open by December.

“We’re excited to add more great retailers, restaurants and services to Towne Centre at Laurel,” said Brian Gibbons, chairman and CEO of Greenberg...

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Proposed White Marsh outlet mall gets OK

A Baltimore County administrative judge has approved a proposed outlet mall in White Marsh that's drawn opposition from neighbors and rival retailers.

Paragon Outlet Partners has proposed a combination of outlet stores, non-outlet stores and residences on an 83-acre property across Interstate 95 from the White Marsh Mall and The Avenue at White Marsh. Two existing office buildings on the site would be rebuilt.

John E. Beverungen, a Baltimore County administrative law judge, ruled on Tuesday in favor of changes to the project's planned unit development with two conditions. The main tower sign can be no more than 75 feet tall and cannot name individual stores, and the developer must follow updated rules for controlling stormwater pollution from the site, Beverungen ruled.

The outlet mall would be the first phase of the project, and developers have said they would bring in high-end brands such as Calvin Klein, Coach and Kate Spade. Paragon is headquartered in Baltimore and has developed...

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