North East Grocer coffee club grows
While I was out and about ... I got a message from Ed Taylor, of North East, last week that led me on an adventure to the Cecil County Christmas Parade on Saturday. I would have attended regardless, but Taylor piqued my curiosity about a new float entered this year.
It was the Retreads Coffee Club that meets daily at the North East Grocer at 6 a.m. Yes, that’s right 6 a.m. They are early risers. Partly because most of them are retired.
Indeed, Taylor tells me the group is all men, but they’ve had a female member in the past. “She moved,” Taylor said. Some of the guys are still working, like Rob Crouch, who runs Crouch Funeral Home, Dr. Joseph Gwiazdowski, a dentist in town, and Joe Gargiulo, owner of North East Grocer, where the guys meet. Others are retired engineers from DuPont, former teachers, forest rangers, builders, policemen and boat repair men.
Oh, yea, most of them are Republicans and staunch Trump supporters. The one or two Democrats have to sit in the corner, Taylor said with a laugh
What do they talk about? Politics mostly, but Taylor said they like to joke and insult one another.
“It pays to be thick-skinned to be in our group,” he said.
A simple sign hangs over the door way into the dining room at North East Grocer that says, “Old Guys Rule.” That likely tells more about the group than I could begin to reveal.
Even though they’ve been meeting for years with the size of the group constantly fluctuating, they’ve never done a big fundraiser like they did this year and of course, they never entered a float in the parade either.
“I don’t know how it got started, probably Joe,” Taylor said, talking about the grocer.
Anyway, the guys reached into their own pockets and donated enough money for Joe to buy about 180 turkeys they are donating to local churches to give away to needy families this Christmas.
They’ve talked about making a float for the parade before, but finally got it together this year. It was decorated in holiday greens, adorned with large dolls, but carried several members of the Retreads Coffee Club eating doughnuts and drinking coffee from North East Grocer, while waving at the hundreds of families along the parade route.
Can’t wait until next year! Great job guys!
*** I found out that Dee Marotta, of North East, is certainly in the holiday spirit.
This New Jersey transplant who loves animals, mostly cats, has organized a “Holiday Drive” in her community of Charlestown Crossing Apartments.
Marotta’s drive will benefit Cecil County Animal Services.
Her wish list includes: dry kitten chow, canned pâté cat food, dry cat food, canned dog food, pedigree dog food, busy bones, pet toys, small plastic carriers, foster families and “fur-ever” homes.
The campaign has already started, but it’s not too late to help. Just drop off a donation at the Charlestown Crossing Clubhouse by Jan. 15.
She tells me that anyone who donates will receive a coupon from VCA Elkton Animal Hospital for a free initial pet examination. For more information, contact Marotta at 609-915-9833.
Sounds like a win-win to me. Justsayin.
*** The Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships, which has a location on Route 40 in Elkton, recently opened Hertrich Buick GMC of Salisbury.
The new dealership operated previously as Price Buick GMC. It’s the Hertrich’s first business venture into the Salisbury community.
*** Cecil County Tourism is hosting an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at its new office at 124 W. Main St. in Elkton.
If you go, stick around town for Elkton’s 8th annual “Cookie Throw Down” from 5 to 8 p.m. where shoppers get to sample homemade cookies at all of the stores and cast a vote for the winning cookie. It’s a lot of fun.
If you have any tidbits to share with Cheryl Mattix for this column, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 443-907-8440.
Retreads Coffee Club, a long-running informal North East group, entered its first float in the Cecil County Christmas Parade this year.
Ed Taylor is a member of Retreads Coffee Club that meets daily at North East Grocer.
been anything like it before.