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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Birdie's Café  410-848.7931 Explore Carroll: Kevin Dayhoff: Birdie's Café: has Westminster MD's Main Street percolating once again


Birdie's Café website:

Birdie's Café e-mail address:

Birdie's Café phone number: 410-848.7931

Location: 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157

+++++++++++++++++  410-848.7931 Explore Carroll: Kevin Dayhoff: Birdie's Café: has Westminster MD's Main Street percolating once again  Birdie's Café website:  Birdie's Café e-mail address:  Birdie's Café phone number: 410-848.7931  Location: 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157

Coffee, Birdie's Café, Westminster, Maryland,, Dayhoff, restaurants,



Birdie’s is the hot new coffee café on East Main Street in Westminster

By Kevin Dayhoff

Sherri Hosfeld Joseph sat with a sigh and a big smile.  “Hi.  How are ya?  How’s the coffee?”

To the delight of many a Main Street Westminster caffeine addict, Joseph had opened a coffee shop - Birdie’s Café - on July 13th in an historic brick building at 233 East Main Street.

After a run of about seven years, the coffee shop, The Pour House, which once called the local coffee café and restaurant space in the old stately colonial portion of Westminster, had abruptly ceased operations on November 12, 2008.

Its absence was the source of caffeine-deprived headaches and a blow to the eastern artistic and cultural mercantile bookend in Westminster which included the newly renovated Cockey’s addition to the Historical Society of Carroll County campus across the street and the Carroll Arts Center on the western end of town.

After months of hard work, Joseph was more than relieved to not only be open, but to also have plenty of customers perched upon the more than 40 seats nested amidst the stylishly hip décor, warm colors and artwork that served to compliment the coffee and tasty treats on the menu.

Joseph, a professional artist, designer, and photographer, was able to utilize much of the fixtures and equipment left behind almost two-years ago, however, she has worked since last January meticulously cleaning, painting, and planning and researching every detail for the shop with co-workers Danes Menges and Emily White

As Joseph shared smiles and accepted well wishes from friends and local artists Susan Williamson and Becki Maurio seated at the table, she explained that the Costa Rican coffee “is our own signature blend.  You cannot buy this coffee anywhere but here.”

“Dane and I spent a day in Pittsburg at the Iron Star Roasting Company researching and selecting this particular blend of coffee,” explained Joseph.

“I’m so excited and happy about finally getting opened, but I am so exhausted,” Joseph confided quietly as she smiled from ear to ear.

Outside the temperature was hot - approaching 100 degrees, but it was cool inside of Birdie’s on the coffee shop’s second day of flight, when Explore Carroll decided to stop for a look at the new business in town. 

Maurio said Birdie’s “is a fantastic place to meet friends.  And it’s a great collection of art…” she continued as she gazed about the room with a professorial eye.

Williamson spoke for many when she exclaimed “I’m ecstatic that Birdie’s nested on Main Street.  It’s important to – we need a coffee shop on Main Street.  And besides, Dane’s hot,” she mused with a wry mischievous grin.

Several customers, who were not feeling as bold as Williamson was about being identified, agreed – that Dane is hot – and oh, they liked the coffee too.

Jennifer Padrick, a customer from Westminster, sat totally engrossed in her book, “The Maze Runner,” “a young-adult dystopian science fiction trilogy by James Dashner.”  As she looked up from her book for a friendly but fleeting moment, she explained that she was a “domestic goddess…  I had a turkey sandwich.  It was good.  I was hungry.”  At that, she returned to her book… without missing a beat.

Life lived like a Hallmark movie.

“It (the café) is a Hallmark (greeting) card – I’m a Hallmark movie,” shared Joseph.

After graduating from Westminster High School in 1989, Joseph, a native of Carroll County could not wait to move out of town.  After a number of years attending school at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Manhattan School of Visual Arts in New York City, and participating in the edgy arts and cultural scene in the Big Apple - Joseph could not wait to return home.

“I missed it…  I missed the traditions and values of Westminster,” said Joseph, as her son, Xavier, joined her at the table.

It’s a family business.

The café is named after her five-year-old daughter, Scarlett Tanager, explained Joseph, just as – as if on cue, Xavier, who was participating in theater camp that day, had stopped by the café for a break and to run errands with his Mom.  “I’m very proud of my Mother,” he said as he assessed his Mom being interviewed and encouraged his Mom to move on to the next task on her busy schedule.

No stranger to the Main Street business traditions in Westminster.

Upon her return to Westminster, Joseph worked as a professional fundraiser for fifteen years.  “One day I woke up and decided to shake up my life and start a business.”

At a time when longstanding venerable Main Street businesses are shuttering their shops and Westminster continues to recoil from an entrenched recession and suffer through a political period of widespread anti-business public policies; why on earth start a business at this time?

“I’ve thoroughly researched it.  I have a five-year business plan and I’ve got passion for the traditions of Main Street businesses…  My uncle owned The Flower Box for many years – I’m no stranger to business,” said Joseph confidently.

Customers Alex Stamm and Jenna Winegar, North Carroll High School graduates from Hampstead, were more than happy to take a break from their computer and answer a few questions.

Winegar, a dinner cruise ship photographer, explained that she had discovered on Facebook that Birdie’s was opening.  She immediately texted Alex, who works at Harley Davidson of Maryland as a technician and they could not wait to check it out.

“I love the atmosphere.  I love the layout,” said artist and photographer Winegar.  Alex added that they “came all the time when it was the Pour House.  I’m glad (Birdie’s) is open.”

At that point it was determined that interviewing the couple holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes in the window seat might not be such a good idea.

However, whether it is love that is in the air, or for the love of art and ambience, or the love of community and coffee, Birdie’s is open for business.  Checking out the hot barista behind the counter is optional.

That will be a large hot coffee with a shot of express.  Make that two cups – one for Sherri.  She could use it.  Thank you very much.

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