Category: Business Profiles

Silver Spring is home of one of area’s oldest businesses

Owner Amy Servais behind the counter at Velatis Caramels. Photo by Mike Diegel. One of Washington D.C.’s oldest continually operating businesses is in an unassuming location in downtown Silver Spring. Velatis Caramels opened in Washington at 620 Ninth St. N.W. in 1866, more than 150 years ago, serving handmade caramels and other treats. Many of displays in the current store tell some of the company’s history through old ads, different candy box designs and so forth. “The company first started in Richmond,” said owner Amy Servais. “And at the end of the Civil War, when Richmond burned, their shop...

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Silver Spring Gems: Koiner Farm

Koiner Farm, at the corner of Easley & Grove Streets in Downtown Silver Spring, is an Urban Farm hidden in plain sight. (David Lay/Source of the Spring) For 30-plus years, Charlie Koiner and his daughter, Lynn, have grown over 20 types of produce in a one-acre plot behind the house that the Koiner family has owned since the 1930s.  Called ‘the only working farm in Downtown Silver Spring’ on its Facebook page, it’s an urban farm hidden in plain sight at 737 Easley Street, just blocks from the Silver Spring Library. They offer tours of the gardens, especially for children. Groups are also welcome. In...

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Whipping up a better batch of beauty products

skincando’s latest product, Combat-Ready Shower Gel, will launch later this week. Photo by Mike Diegel. It started in a Silver Spring kitchen with a mixer and an idea for better-quality beauty products. Now founder Sara Damelio has grown skincando into a local company with a staff of 10 and two lines of products, Combat-Ready and skincando Luxe, with a new product set to launch later this week. Damelio came to the Washington area in 1998 as an intern for National Geographic. She also worked part time at beauty boutique called EFX, which became Blue Mercury. “I loved skin care...

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