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Catonsville business group to honor innovation at next week's awards night

Catonsville: The Place to Be is the theme of the 2011 Catonsville Business Awards being held at Rolling Road Golf Club, 814 Hilltop Road Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m.

From the entrepreneur award to innovative technology and revitalization, next week's event is an opportunity for the chamber to honor its members for their business achievements and their strong support of the Catonsville community.

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Hardly a month goes by without reading or hearing about great businesses thriving or opening in Catonsville, as it is truly becoming The Place to Be. There is nothing the chamber likes more than honoring those businesses for their vision and determination to improve our community.

During next week's event, the chamber will announce the winners of its President's Award and its Businessperson of the Year.

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Everyone is invited to share in the elegant dining of Rolling Road Golf Club and to recognize excellence in business in our community. Tickets are $60 each and available at http://www.catonsville.org.

The 2011 winners are:

Entrepreneur Award

Grilled Cheese & Co.

You just can't get a more down-to-earth, basic comfort food than a grilled cheese sandwich.

Is there anyone here who didn't grow up with this rainy-day lunch staple? Just one whiff of that aroma — never mind one gooey bite! —- brings out the hungry inner child.

It almost seems too simple a dish to be the basis of a restaurant, but Catonsville natives Matt Lancelotta and Vic Corbi have made this kids menu classic into the cornerstone for a menu of scrumptious and sophisticated sandwiches for grownups at the Grilled Cheese & Co.

Like most great entrepreneurial inspirations (not to mention great cheeses), the concept matured slowly. First envisioned in 2005 as an add-on to a Fells Point bar, the eatery went through a brief phase as a wildly successful festival tent before settling into its home at 500 Edmondson Avenue in January 2010.

Now, less than 18 months after their brainchild's grand opening, Matt and Vic are already busy with the next step: expanding the flourishing restaurant into a nationwide franchise. There is now a second locations in Eldersburg on Johnsville Road with a third soon to open on Light Street, in Baltimore. And there is the site Ravens Walk at M&T Bank Stadium on the days when the Ravens have a home game.

Innovative Technology

Mindgrub Technologies

Presenting a visionary local business with an award for Most Innovative Technology?

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Isn't there an app for that?

If there isn't, we're sure that Mindgrub Technologies would be able to create one. It's what they do: integrating mobile technology with social media to create innovative user-focused applications.

The wizard behind the curtain is Oella resident Todd Marks, a former high school math and computer science teacher who leaped into the .com boom to become an author, information architect and user experience specialist.

Founded in 2002, the company offers a mind-bending range of technical skill, with services including instruction and consulting as well as product development for iPhone and Internet apps, Flash and Flex programming, latest-generation Web technologies, social media and mobile development, web-based training and augmented reality (that is, superimposing additional information on views of an actual environment).

With their main office at 640 Frederick Road, and branch offices in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York, MindGrub's staff of developers, designers, speakers and authors serves clients ranging from the U.S. Navy to Johns Hopkins University and nearby University of Maryland, Baltimore County to Zurich Insurance.

In today's nanospeed information market, MindGrub creates new ways for consumers and professionals to access targeted data when and as they need it.

Revitalization

701 Frederick Road

Anyone who has lived, worked, shopped or played in Catonsville knows that magic happens on Main Street.

The 701 Frederick Road coalition, formed by Catonsville residents Jim Himel, Meg Tipper, Greg and Julia Alexander, is the latest and most inspiring demonstration of that magic.

Not too long ago, few Catonsville residents realized that the storefront at the southwest corner of Frederick Road and Bloomsbury Avenue hid a historic landmark dating back to the first half of the 19th century — a solidly constructed stone edifice that had housed Catonsville's first post office, a steam mill, a drug store and soda fountain over the years.

Himel and his small circle did recognize the well-hidden historic gem, and when the building came onto the market, they pooled their money to buy it.

Joe and Cindy Loverde of Realty Concepts negotiated the complex sale, which took more than a year to complete.

The adventures didn't end with the settlement. The five-month restoration project produced a series of surprises, ranging from the discovery of almost two centuries' worth of historic artifacts to the theft of copper plumbing from the basement.

In May 2011, the elegantly restored building was ready for its new tenants as The House of Time and Jewelry moved from Baltimore National Pike into the storefront space facing Frederick Road. The older portion of the building facing Bloomsbury Avenue offers a vintage atmosphere for a cigar store and smoking lounge.

People's Choice

Atwater's

With its in-house artisanal bakery, unique "tiffin" lunches and selection of restorative beverages, not to mention a catering service and spacious second-floor dining room overlooking Main Street, Atwater's has unquestionably won the heart of Catonsville.

It's the go-to place to see and be seen, for a coffee date, networking breakfast or business meeting over lunch. Customers come to enjoy one-of-a-kind breads and pastries and soul-nourishing soups or drop by to shop the well-stocked selection of prepared foods and farm-fresh groceries.

Catonsville resident Ned Atwater has created a bakery/cafe in the best tradition.

Established in 2010 in the renovated 19th-century post office building at 815 Frederick Road, Atwater's is a welcoming hub of local activity where the community gathers and serendipitous meetings occur as often as scheduled appointments.

It's an eco-conscious friend to farmers, a participant in the Wednesday Farmer's Market and a recognized presence in the Taste of Catonsville, the Arts and Crafts Festival, and other annual local events.

Welcome, new members

Nonprofit Level

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Connections Church

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Ajay Vyas

P.O. Box 8147

Elkridge, MD 21075

410-615-0082

Member Level

Advanced Radiology

Kate Wright

724 Maiden Choice Lane

Suites 102, 103

Catonsville, MD 21228

410-493-7831

Blue Iris Flowers

Allison Glascock

809 Frederick Road

Suite 1

Catonsville, MD 21228

410-747-5186

Takin Art Yoga Photography

Katie Ficca

8129 Main Street

Ellicott City, MD 21042

443-742-0319

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