Ellicott City's Discoveries, Bean Hollow shops looking for new futures

Two longtime Ellicott City Main Street business owners recently have taken to social media to give updates about their shops, a year after the Memorial Day weekend flood.

Sally Tennant, owner of Discoveries, a boutique featuring clothing and jewelry, is closing her temporary location on Main Street at the end of the month, she announced Saturday on Facebook.


Gretchen Shuey, owner of the Bean Hollow coffee shop, announced last week on Facebook that she and her husband, Jim Bolton, are actively looking into roasting coffee for wholesale and online retail sale.

Discoveries and Bean Hollow are in two of the four buildings to be razed on lower Main Street under the approved flood plan by County Executive Calvin Ball. The Phoenix Emporium, which is actively looking to stay on Main Street, and Great Panes Art Glass Studio will also be demolished.

The building that houses the Phoenix Emporium in Ellicott City — which has stood in that spot since its construction in the 1850s — will soon be gone.

Scheduled to be completed by mid-2025, the plan calls for a tunnel to be bored parallel to the lower strip to divert stormwater and the creation of retention ponds, among other projects.

The estimated cost of the plan falls in the range of $113 million to $140 million.

Since the winter holiday season, Tennant has been open at 8090 Main St., up the hill from her former shop.

“It’s been a great space and a good layover since I knew I could not go back to my building,” Tennant wrote on Facebook.

She does not know where her new location will be. Tennant’s boutique had been on Main Street for 38 years.

“My brain is juggling options but my path is not clear yet,” Tennant said.

A day after the 2018 flood, Shuey said she would not be reopening Bean Hollow on Main Street. She had reopened after the July 2016 flood, saying at the time it was the best economical option.

Recently determining it would not be feasible to open a new coffee shop, an idea that had been at the back of Shuey’s mind from the first flood crept back up: to roast coffee for wholesale.

As a sophomore at Marriotts Ridge High School, Michael Wade has been researching flood reduction strategies specifically for Ellicott City.

Shuey can either roast coffee in a space deemed “light industrial” that provides wholesale or warehouse use, or is in a business district. If she moves into a business district, Shuey will need to have a small retail business that would be able to provide carryout drinks, bulk coffees and teas, pastries and other specialty items, she said.

“It’s a scary prospect to rebuild somewhere else, go into debt again after you spent years working to not be in debt ever again and hope that it works, hope that the chemistry is right and hope that community wants what you have to offer ... it’s a really tough decision,” Shuey said.

She has looked at places in Catonsville and Savage, she said, and people have reached out about other potential spots in Halethorpe, Arbutus and Sykesville.

“I miss the daily bustle of the community and talking to people, and I miss coming up with creative drinks [and] new coffee blends,” Shuey said. “I miss working with coffee and I miss the community.”

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