Drop In, Donate and Jump

Airbound Trampoline Center, 5811 Allender Road in White Marsh, is now open and wants to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with you and your family. From Friday, Nov. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 26, when you bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Maryland Food Bank, Airbound will give you 30 minutes of free jump time or a free driver’s license to Maryland’s first Autosport Simulator Speedway (valid for one year). Thanksgiving weekend is a wonderful time to bring the whole family together and what better way to do so than in the fun and fit environment of Airbound Trampoline Center.

On Friday, Nov. 24, the center will host the first ever Black Friday Drop and Shop - a kid-free event. Shop Black Friday kid-free from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. Simply drop your child off to run, jump and explore Airbound Trampoline Center and Freestate Indoor Sports Arena! Snacks and meals will be included! In addition to normal pricing, we are offering special Black Friday deals all day long.

Just when you think the excitement is coming to an end, on Saturday, Nov. 25, we are holding a special Turkey Hop Glow Party edition of our Glow Night program. Glow Nights at Airbound Trampoline Center are every Saturday from 8 - 11 p.m. Admission is sold on a per-hour basis. So don’t forget to come out all weekend long to check out White Marsh’s only all-in-one family fun facility! For additional information, contact Melissa Zaba at 410-335-6400 or at Melissa@Funstatesports.com.

Airbound Trampoline Center celebrates grand opening at Freestate Sports Arena

Airbound Trampoline Center celebrates grand opening at Freestate Sports Arena
The Ninja Warrior course is sure to test your agility and strength. Photo by Devin Crum.

(Updated 11/1/17)

- By Devin Crum -

The new Airbound Trampoline Center held its grand opening celebration last Saturday, Oct. 28, inside the building at Freestate Sports Arena in White Marsh.

If you haven’t heard, Airbound is the newest high-flying, high-energy, jumping good time in the area, complete with foam pits, slam dunks and even an Ultimate Ninja Warrior course.

Just about any way you can imagine jumping on - or off of - a trampoline is available at Airbound. Try out new tricks while launching yourself into the foam pit; challenge your opponents’ speed and agility, as well as your own, with a game of jumping dodgeball; channel your inner NBA Jams with Slam Dunk Basketball; test your ninja skills on the Ultimate Ninja Warrior course; or just enjoy some good, old-fashioned bouncing on the level and slanted trampolines.

Of course, Airbound is for adults and children alike, so parents are welcome to enjoy the fun with their kids. And while Saturdays may be the most popular day to go, you will want to check out all of their special programming during the week as well.

According to Airbound’s manager, Adam, Mondays are Family Nights and Air Fit fitness classes are held Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. On Wednesdays and Saturdays they hold Little One Leap for toddlers, and Thursdays are Parents’ Night Out when parents can drop off the kids to jump for two hours. That package includes a meal from Freestate’s Sports Café.

They also have Middle School Madness on Fridays from 7 - 9 p.m., followed by High School Hop from 9 - 11 p.m., along with DJ glow nights on Saturdays from 8 - 11 p.m.

Freestate Director Eric Erhardt anticipates lots of parties on the weekends. “That’s going to be heavy party time,” he said.

And while walk-ins are welcome anytime, Airbound does have a capacity of 75 people at any given time. So you may have to wait until space opens up if you have not reserved your spot in advance.

The good news, though, is that you can book time slots before you go by calling or simply booking online at www.airboundtrampolinecenter.com, and pricing is based on time blocks of 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes.

“Say you want to secure a jump time for 12 o’clock,” Erhardt said. “You go online, you buy a ticket and you can jump at 12 o’clock.” He added that online bookings will already be in the system when the guest(s) arrive.

“It’s a fun, fitness atmosphere, there’s music, there’s lights, it’s colorful, it’s filled with energy and it’s good for all ages,” Adam said.

And if you get tired of jumping or just need a break, check out the Autosport Simulator Speedway just a few feet away. This complete racing experience features a full motion simulator with real feel tactile feedback to deliver the feeling of being in an actual racecar from the safety of a video game chair.

Up to five racers can all race together on the same course to challenge each other for the trophy.

Erhardt said one of the great things about Freestate Sports Arena overall is that there are a lot of different things for people to do there. And just because you go for one thing does not mean you are tied to just that one thing.

“So if someone comes in for one of our [sports] leagues and they want to go over [to Airbound] without setting a time, they can just go over there and jump,” he said. “They can go race in the simulators, they can come and rent one of our fields, we have roller hockey leagues, soccer leagues - a lot of different things for people to do here.”

Guests can also book private parties for any aspect of the facility, from Airbound to the raceway, to soccer or basketball parties, you name it. This also includes laser tag and bounce house parties, as well as bubble ball.

During bubble ball, players wear big bubble suits and play soccer, but they can run into and bounce off of each other to add to the fun. The suits are similar to large sumo wrestling suits sometimes seen at carnivals or other events, according to Erhardt.

“It’s kind of like that except you’re in a bubble,” he said, adding that it has also been popular for adult parties.

Freestate is also available for team building activities, corporate events or even school field trips in addition to parties for birthdays or other occasions.

Airbound Trampoline Center and Freestate Sports Arena are located at 5811 Allender Road in White Marsh. See their ad on page 2 of this issue for more information, and contact them at 410-335-6400 or visit www.freestatesports.com.

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Oktoberfest menu returns to Dellis’ Bar and Grill

Oktoberfest menu returns to Dellis’ Bar and Grill
The smoked pork loin (left) is this writer’s personal favorite, but the roasted loin brings with it all the delicious roasting juices. Photo by Devin Crum.

(Updated 10/4/17)

- By Devin Crum -

You don’t need lederhosen or beer steins for an authentic Oktoberfest celebration, especially if you can get to Dellis’ Bar and Grill in Rosedale before the end of the month.

Dellis’ iconic seasonal menu has once again returned for the month of October and looks to again delight anyone hoping to satisfy their craving for German-inspired food in the spirit of the annual festival.

It is worth noting as well that the Oktoberfest menu continues to be a favorite eating event of both my coworker, Patrick, and myself, and to date it has never failed to deliver.

As usual, we shared in a sampling of everything on the special menu, starting with the schnitzel, which was a cut of tender and delicious fried veal.

If you’re looking for something extremely tasty and uniquely German, look no further. The schnitzel will get the job done while its name alone will ensure everyone knows you had German food.

Next up were the other most recognizable and iconic staples of any Oktoberfest offering - the German sausages. Dellis’ menu includes weisswurst, bauernwurst, knockwurst and bratwurst, each of which is delicious in its own way and will also solidify that it is authentic German food in your belly.

The sausages are listed above in order from mild to stronger flavor, but you really cannot go wrong, especially when paired with the German mustard Dellis’ always supplies.

Of course, mixed in were Dellis’ fluffy and flaky potato pancakes, topped with a crispy piece of bacon and served with a side of sour cream. These are truly the best potato pancakes I have ever eaten.

Working our way down the list, we then came to the pork loins, offered as either roasted or smoked. Again, you really can’t go wrong because both are such great choices.

Each is a savory dream, with the roasted variety being moist and flavorful while the smoked delivers that mesquite, smoky flavor. Take a date and you can each try them both!

Sour beef and dumplings are another uniquely German dish which will leave you wanting more when prepared at Dellis’. Fortunately for me (and many others), the Dellis’ recipe is not so heavy on the sour, which gives it broader appeal across a wider range of palette preferences.

The beef is smothered in gravy and pulls apart as easy as meats that have been slow-roasted for a full day. Meanwhile, the dumplings resemble a dollop of rich and delicious mashed potatoes. Anyone craving comfort food will love this dish.

Rounding out the menu is the stuffed cabbage, which is another splendid choice if you like meats (ground beef) wrapped in perfectly cured and cooked cabbage.

It can’t be emphasized enough that there are no lesser choices here. And if you’re leaning toward one of the items that do not sound as authentically German, fret not! You can take solace in the fact that Dellis’ purchases all of their Oktoberfest menu meats from Binkert’s German Meat market just across the street.

If you happen to save room for dessert, the special menu has you covered there too. Featuring Black Forest Cake and Apple Streudel, the menu is sure to leave you in a happy disposition.

Chocolate lovers will surely enjoy the rich and moist cake, which includes cherry and vanilla accents. And others may gravitate instead to the streudel, which comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to contrast perfectly with the warm and flaky apples and crust.

Dellis’ Oktoberfest menu will be served through Oct. 29. So don’t miss your chance to fill up on loads of great cultural favorites all month long.

Dellis’ Bar and Grill is located at 8776 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale.

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Local senior living communities celebrate expansion, ‘significant’ renovations

Local senior living communities celebrate expansion, ‘significant’ renovations
A new bistro-style dining room with a brick pizza oven was part of the facility’s 80,000-square-foot expansion. Photo courtesy of The Shelter Group.

(Updated 10/4/17)

- By Marge Neal -

When the Brightview senior living community in Perry Hall opened in 2014, it didn’t take long for the facility to reach capacity.

As a “significant wait list” for potential residents kept growing, officials realized an expansion would be needed sooner rather than later.

“We strive to create senior living communities that provide quality service, care and amenities,” Eileen Adams, regional director of operations for Brightview, said in a statement. “With the overwhelming demand to live in these communities, we wanted to ensure more seniors had access to Brightview.”

Last month, officials from The Shelter Group, Brightview’s parent company, gathered to celebrate the 80,000-square-foot expansion of the Belair Road community that added 63 independent living apartments, a new bistro-style dining room with a brick pizza oven, a sports pub, movie theater and game room with a pool table, shuffle boards and a poker table.

“All of the adult children of our residents who visit say, ‘I want to live here,’” Julie Masiello, a company spokeswoman, said with a laugh. “It really is beautiful.”

With the expansion, the Perry Hall community now has 210 apartments, with 145 independent living and 35 assisted living units, and 29 apartments in Wellspring Village, a specialized community that provides dementia care to residents, according to Masiello.

The company is also celebrating recently completed renovations to its White Marsh community on Rossville Boulevard.

The White Marsh community opened in 1999 with 82 assisted living units and 26 Wellspring apartments.

“While we make capital improvements to our communities almost every year, we completed a significant renovation at White Marsh,” Masiello said.

Common areas received new carpeting and window treatments, fresh paint and new furniture, Masiello said. The project included a new resident fitness area, store and salon as well as improvements to individual apartments. The health and wellness suite was upgraded and wifi was added for the entire community.

Masiello said the White Marsh renovations cost about $1 million, and the cost of the Perry Hall expansion was not available at press time.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who attended the ribbon-cutting held Sept. 19, said in a statement that Perry Hall was one of the first projects he championed after being elected to represent the Fifth District in 2010.

“I am delighted with the outcome,” he said in the statement. “This is a beautiful community that keeps seniors close to their families and supports over 100 local jobs.”

While the official ribbon-cutting was held last month, the celebration of the two new and improved communities continues.

The Perry Hall community, 9657 Belair Road, will hold a Happy Hour from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5. All guests who attend will receive an entry in a raffle for a 50-inch flat-screen TV and a tablet. Visitors should RSVP to Debra at dhanley@bvsl.net or Linda at lreardon@bvsl.net.

Brightview White Marsh, 8100 Rossville Blvd., will celebrate its makeover with a grand reopening event from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. All guests who attend will receive an entry in a raffle for a 50-inch flat-screen TV. RSVP to Michelle at mmcquillan@bvsl.net.

Both events are free and open to the public, according to Masiello.

“It just feels good there,” Masiello said of the Brightview communities. “We welcome visitors to come and see what we’ve done.”

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Kiddie Health celebrates 10 years in Rosedale

Kiddie Health celebrates 10 years in Rosedale
Dr. Melanie Garcia (middle left) and her husband, Larry (middle right) pose with their team. Photo by Patrick Taylor.

(Updated 9/13/17)

- By Patrick Taylor -

This year Kiddie Health, located at 1232 Race Road in Rosedale, is turning 10. While this practice is still young enough to see it’s own pediatrician, Dr. Melanie Garcia has turned it from a fledgling operation into one of the best practices in the area.

Garcia, who opened the practice with her husband, Larry, earned her medical degree at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. She did her pediatric residency training at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and The Children’s Hospital at St. Joseph in Paterson, NJ.

“I come from a long line of doctors, a lot of my family are doctors,” said Garcia. “I was inspired by an aunt and uncle who worked in pediatrics.”

From there she started her own practice on the Eastern Shore before moving to join a practice in Essex. After four years there, it was time to go solo. And ever since that leap in 2007, her clientel has grown massively, so much so they had to acquire a bigger office in their building. They increased from two to four examining rooms (all of which are decorated to fit a Baltimore theme) and now own their spot as opposed to renting.

“The practice has come a long way,” said Dr. Garcia. “It really has grown significantly.”

The staff at Kiddie Health, which includes three medical assistants, is highly skilled. Those skills include speaking Spanish and Filipino, which works well for the area given the rise in the area’s Hispanic population and large Filipino population in the Rosedale area.

While they mostly cover patients in the Essex, Rosedale and White Marsh areas, Dr. Garcia noted that she still has patients from Bowie and other parts of Maryland.

“Those are long-time patients who are very comfortable here,” she said. “We also have generational patients, with some that I treated as children now bringing in their own children.”

Kiddie Health accepts all forms of insurance, except Kaiser. For a listing of operating hours, as well as a virtual tour, policies, forms and more, visit www.kiddiehealth.com. or call 410-687-0808 to schedule an appointment.

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New White Marsh restaurant invites you to eat, drink, dance

New White Marsh restaurant invites you to eat, drink, dance
Sizzle has both a diverse menu and several different dining atmosphere options. Photo by Marge Neal.

(Updated 9/13/17)

- By Marge Neal - 

There’s salsa on the menu at Sizzle.

But there’s also salsa on the dance floor of the new White Marsh restaurant that bills itself as a place to eat, drink and dance.

The new eatery at 11445 Pulaski Highway in White Marsh has been open about two weeks but held its official grand opening and ribbon cutting Friday, Sept. 8.

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins presented owners Raj and Jassi Singh with a proclamation before bringing out the large requisite ceremonial scissors with which to cut the ribbon.

“I’m very happy to welcome this new business to the Sixth District,” Bevins told the crowd. “The owners have worked very hard to open this business here.”

The restaurant has undergone extensive renovations since it was last open under another name. A large foyer with a hostess desk greets customers as they enter the business. Smaller interior doors give way to a large open dining, bar and performance area. Two large bars sit on opposite sides of the room, with a railed-off dining area on a third side. In the middle, bar-height tables with stools line the edges of a dance floor that leads to a small stage.

Sizzle also has outdoor seating and entertainment space and two rental rooms appropriate for private  gatherings and meetings.

Bartender Jovian Boreland said she was excited to be involved in the opening of a new restaurant.

“They have really done a lot of renovations and the space is beautiful,” she said. “And the idea was to become more family-oriented - to change from  being predominately a bar to more of a restaurant.”

The Rosedale resident has aspirations of opening her own restaurant and said she enjoyed the learning process of seeing Sizzle come to fruition.

The menu is ambitious and the bar offerings are plentiful. The bar has 18 taps, with draft beers ranging from Natty Boh to Brewer’s Art’s Resurrection. Bottled beer includes Heineken and Stella Artois on the imported side and the usual domestic suspects, including Budweiser, Coors Light and Miller Lite.

Sizzle hopes to make the mule its signature mixed drink, according to Boreland. The menu lists eight variations of the trendy drink, including the Kentucky Mule (bourbon, ginger beer and fresh lime juice), the Donkey Show Mule (tequila), and the Scotland Mule (made with 12-year-old Macallan scotch whiskey).

The menu runs the gamut as well, with “snack” offerings of poutine fries and truffle fries to appetizers ranging from wings to fried goat cheese curds. Diners can also choose from a variety of pizzas, build their own burger or choose from a list of entreés that include sirloin steak, Santa Fe chicken, grilled salmon and fettuccini Alfredo. Entreé prices range from $15 to $20, while appetizer and snack prices range from $6 to $16.

Sizzle offers happy hour food and drink specials each day from 3 to 6 p.m.

Salsa and tango dance lessons will be offered each weekend (tango at 7 p.m. and salsa at 8 p.m.), and diners who order an entreé receive a free lesson, according to Boreland.

For more information about Sizzle’s menu, entertainment schedule and specials, visit www.sizzlebaltimore.com.

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Cookie Cutters aims to take the stress out of haircuts for kids

Cookie Cutters aims to take the stress out of haircuts for kids
To find out more about Cookie Cutters, visit them online at www.haircutsarefun.com. Photo by Patrick Taylor.

(Updated 8/17/17)

- By Patrick Taylor -

Parents with young children know that simple tasks can turn into nightmares fast. Whether it’s running to the bank, grocery store or taking the children for a haircut, what should be even the most mundane of errands can go south. Luckily, at least for haircuts, Cookie Cutters can help alleviate that stress.

If you’re unaware of Cookie Cutters, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But if you have a small child, you may want to familiarize yourself, because they have a new hair cuttery in the Festival at Perry Hall Shopping Center.

Adorned with seats shaped like cars, a play place and a delightful mural that explains the process of getting a haircut and why it won’t hurt, Cookie Cutters is the perfect place to take your little ones to get their hair cut.

“What we liked about the Cookie Cutters franchise is we can identify with it,” said the business’ newest franchisee Mike Newton. “My son was kicked out of every Hair Cuttery up and down the York Road corridor. It was amazing, kicking and screaming. We wish this had been around in this area 15 years ago. It would have been great.”

According to Newton, Cookie Cutters is for infants up until whenever the child feels uncomfortable. He puts that age around nine or 10, but says that it’s really up to the child.

“A few days ago we had a woman come in with her two-year-old and nine-year-old, and we cut the younger child’s hair but the older one didn’t want it done here,” said Newton. “And that’s fine. But there are some kids who, even at that age, do want their hair cut at a place like this. As long as they can fit in the chairs, we’ll cut their hair.”

Newton added that they do have regular chairs, and that days earlier the stylists did their first full family cut when a woman brought in a trio of children, and all - including mom - were taken care of. He also noted that they handle special needs children, some of whom may be older.

“Really, it’s all about the child’s comfort,” he said.

One package offered by Cookie Cutters is “Baby’s First Cut,” which provides the parents with a lock of the child’s hair and a photo.

“Our girls do a great job cutting and styling their hair, and when it’s over we take the baby’s photo and give the parents that and a lock of hair. It’s really quite nice,” Newton said.

While Newton and his wife Patty don’t have experience in the industry, their team of stylists are skilled. And Newton and Patty know a thing or two about young children, considering they have three children of their own.

“Our kids are getting older,” Newton said. “One just graduated from Towson, and I've got another one that’s going to be a junior next year. Our youngest is heading into high school. We’re not thinking retirement because we’re not like that. We’re just going to work until we can’t work anymore.”

He said the business appealed to him for many reasons: it’s semi-absentee, he and his wife both love being around children and it helps take the stress off of other parents, and it provides a way for Newton and his wife to build something as a team.

“My wife and I had been looking for something to work on. We thought it would be nice if there was something the two of us could do together, that would take us into our next point in life,” Newton said.

While the Perry Hall location is just getting off the ground, the Newtons are already looking ahead to the future, planning to add a couple more locations over the next few years.

Cookie Cutters officially opened in Perry Hall on July 7, but a grand opening celebration is being held on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A Kona Ice truck will be handing out free ice cream throughout the celebration, and Z104.3 will be providing music from 11 a.m. to noon before another DJ takes over at noon. A face painter and balloon man will be around as well, and Councilman David Marks will be in attendance for a ribbon cutting. Discounted haircuts will also be provided, and neighbors of Cookie Cutters will also be getting in on the act. Edible Arrangements will provide samples, and Inner Sound, a music store, will offer deals on lessons. There will also be martial arts next door.

“We’re trying to make it a community-type event,” said Newton. “We really hope a lot of people can come out and see our establishment and have some fun.”

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Marco’s Pizza in Essex set for grand opening

Marco’s Pizza in Essex set for grand opening
Chris and Rabihah Fries, Marco’s newest franchisees. Photo by Patrick Taylor.

(Updated 6/28/17)

- By Patrick Taylor -

On July 9, Marco’s Pizza, located at 149 Orville Road in the Waterview Town Center, will hold a grand opening celebration. And for pizza lovers in the area, there’s certainly reason for celebration.

For those who don’t know, Marco’s is a Toledo, Ohio-based pizza chain that is taking the nation by storm. The pizza chain currently has more than 800 stores nationwide, but the location in Essex is only the second Maryland location to open.

“We were looking for an opportunity, started doing some research and obviously we looked at all the usuals - Dominoes, Papa John’s, Little Caesars - and there just wasn’t any growth there,” said Chris Fries, who opened the Essex location with his wife Rabihah. We started seeing Marco’s name pop up in magazines like Forbes and Entrepreneur, named as the fastest growing pizza company and third-best franchise.”

For the Fries, it was practically a no-brainer. The couple both have backgrounds in the restaurant business - as well as a host of other endeavors - and they knew they wanted to open up a restaurant focused on pizza. After getting in touch with corporate and learning about the company, Chris and Rabihah traveled to Norristown, Penn., a suburb of Philadelphia, to see what they had to offer.

“We bought just about everything on the menu and we were blown away. It was the best pizza we had in probably forever,” said Chris. “And it was worth it.”

The couple said that they were impressed with the corporate culture and the product being sold. Dough is freshly made in-store each morning, the vegetables and meats are high quality, the sauce is the same recipe that has been used since the company opened in 1978.

“It’s quality all the way through,” said Chris.

I stopped by the new Marco’s location last week to try out their pizza, and it certainly is worth the hype. The chicken fresco pie was served up with delicious, white-meat chicken, a nice helping of fresh, thinly sliced tomato, onions and a pile of crushed bacon. I can honestly say I haven’t had pizza that good in a long time.

With only one other Marco’s location in Maryland, Chris and Rabihah see plenty of opportunity to grow. Already they’re looking to the future, saying they’d like at least five locations in Baltimore County. They cited Dundalk, Perry Hall and Parkville, among other locations, as potential landing spots. But before they do that, they know they need to focus on getting the first store up and running.

“We’re all still learning,” said Chris. “I’m still learning, employees are still learning. We want to provide the best customer experience we can, providing a great product in a short amount of time. We want the customers to know they’re what’s most important.”

The Fries are extending an invitation to any who can make it to their grand opening celebration on July 9 from 1 - 4 p.m. There will be a bounce house for the kids, games and prizes - including free large pizzas for a year.

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Norris Ford celebrates 100 years in Dundalk

Norris Ford celebrates 100 years in Dundalk
Diane Craig gifted the Norris/Cook families with an honorary plaque. She noted that there are only 36 other Ford dealerships in the country who have hit the 100 year mark. Photo by Patrick Taylor.

(Updated 6/20/17)

- By Patrick Taylor -

This year, Norris Ford in Dundalk is celebrating their centennial anniversary, and on June 9 and 10 they hosted local politicians, members of the Ford team and the Dundalk community to join in the celebration.

With an array of classic cars on display, the Norris and Cook families discussed the history of the dealership, which stretches back to 1917.

George Norris was in the buggy business when things started, and when he heard about Henry Ford he traveled out to Michigan to meet with him. Just a couple weeks later, Norris and Ford had a dealership agreement, with the first dealership located on Dundalk Avenue where Pinland Lanes currently sits.

“Norris Ford is not only a pillar of our community, it’s part of the fabric of Dundalk,” said Councilman Todd Crandell (R-7). “We look forward to having you here for another 100 years.”

Over the years, Norris Ford has shown great ability to adapt. When economic downturn halted new car sales, they started selling used cars and parts. Eventually, they realized they had a golden opportunity with wholesale part sales and committed to that endeavour. Now, they sell approximately $2.5 million worth of wholesale parts monthly, which puts them in the top 10 wholesale parts dealers in the nation.

“It’s just an incredible accomplishment,” said Diane Craig of Ford. “What makes our company so special is family businesses which is what we have in Norris/Cook. Continuous ownership in a single community is just fantastic.”

Craig noted that Henry Ford’s mission wasn’t just to make money, but to give back to the community.

“You’ve done so much to give back to the community,” Craig continued. “It really is a role model store. This is the face of Ford in this community, and it’s the people who make it special.”

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