Birdie's Cafe, a regular stop for many lovers of art, coffee, food and conversation, opened on Main Street Westminster in July of 2010. Owner Sherri Hosfeld Joseph said that her main inspiration for opening a small business was her uncle, John Hosfeld, who owned and operated The Flower Box on Main Street since the 1960s.
According to Hosfeld Joseph, he purchased the business from a relative and ran it until he sold it and retired in October 2009.
"When he made the decision to leave his post on Main Street after so many years, it didn't feel right to me for my family not to have a presence on Main Street," Hosfeld Joseph said.
Hosfeld Joseph is also a professional photographer, contributing to Carroll Magazine and taking on freelance projects. Prior to opening her coffee shop, Hosfeld Joseph said she worked for 15 years as a professional fundraiser in Carroll County.
Want to learn more about this small business entrepreneur? Read on.
Patch: Why coffee?
Hosfeld Joseph: As for a coffee shop, it was an easy decision. I love coffee and Main Street needed a coffee shop again. Coffee Houses are traditionally places of great inspiration and the exchange of ideas- I wanted to be a part of that.
Patch: What was the hardest part of becoming a small business owner? The best part?
Hosfeld Joseph: Those two questions have the same answer: time. Owning a small business is all-encompassing. You never leave, never stop thinking about your business all day, every day. On the other side of that, I have much more time with my children who are still very young. I've made them a part of the business since the very beginning and my two oldest spend countless hours at Birdie's with me, washing dishes, delivering food to tables, sweeping and making the occasional experimental coffee beverage
Patch: What are the challenges of being a small business owner specifically in Westminster and/or Carroll County?
Hosfeld Joseph: The biggest challenge for me is being present. I spend upwards of 70 hours a week at the cafe and it still seems that customers are always looking for me when I can't be here. Being the face of the business is a challenge when you want to spend time at home with your family. I know the service and quality is still here when I'm not because I have such an amazing staff, but it still sometimes difficult to not be at Birdie's every moment it is open.
Patch: What's next for you/your business?
Hosfeld Joseph: We have live music every Friday and Saturday night, and monthly poetry series, belly dancing, open mic music night. There is always something going on. Our art gallery changes every two months and we have served as a location for a locally produced web series. We are all about the art, it's as big a part of who we are as our fine coffee and gourmet food. As for the future, look for another Birdie's location... some day.
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