Nestled in the rolling Allegheny Mountains, Frostburg’s rich cultural history and scenic beauty make it a perfect place to live. For those who love the outdoors, the Great Allegheny Passage provides a gateway to an internationally traveled trail, local beauty spots offer camping, hiking, and other outdoor recreation fun. Local history is diverse and steeped in the American experience, from the first national road to the unique coal-mining community, and so much more. But Frostburg is also known for its charming shops and restaurants, and the welcoming sense of community.

We reached out to some local business owners to find out what drives them to own a small business in Frostburg, and what keeps them going during challenging times.

For some, it’s the personal family history. For McFarland Candies owner Cindy, tradition means everything. “My grandfather began this business in 1948, which then belonged to my dad from 1997-2007 when I took ownership. I have been committed to keeping the Quality Gourmet Chocolates family tradition going.” For some, the love of small businesses starts in youth. “Running a business is in my blood! Growing up in Lorenzo’s Bakery, I was running the register standing on a milk crate. Being a part and supporting our community is important to me,” shares Jessica of The Vapor Room and Yellow K Records.

The supportive community and friendly atmosphere is key to downtown Frostburg’s success. Heather of Spectrum Designs, LLC says “the foot traffic from the community, the planned events, and the kindness from local business owners, clients, and friends makes it a wonderful spot for my design studio.” For Jeff of Pet Wants Mountain Maryland, it’s all about hometown pride! “Frostburg is our hometown, and we want to do our part to help our City be a success.” Barry, the longtime owner of General Art Store, focuses on the sense of community. “We want to do business in our hometown and provide a service to the community.” Frostburg’s history of supporting the small business movement encouraged Abby of Madison Paige Boutique to make a career change. “After teaching for 17 years, I wanted a change. It was a huge step to take but I am loving every minute of it.”

For others, Frostburg offers a unique population. The presence of Frostburg State University and the city’s focus on sustainability and preservation of natural beauty is a draw. The 200+ owners of Wholesome Harvest Co-op know that “Frostburg cares about its local food movement. Frostburg is also surrounded by farms & vendors that provide a quality product to the community, which makes it a perfect place to operate a co-op.” For The Nettle Patch Herb Shop & Apothecary owner Andrea, it’s the right environment for a niche business. “I enjoy interacting with students who attend Frostburg State University, in particular students in the Ethnobotany program. I enjoy working with herbs and sharing knowledge and experiences with others.”

There are so many reasons why Frostburg is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Jennifer of Ladybug Boutique sums it up perfectly. “Frostburg is the perfect example of small town America. It is a quaint little town with friendly residents. Who wouldn’t want to operate their business here?”