By Tyneisha Lewis
"I wonder what restaurants and shops are in Catonsville?"
This one thought led me to research the Catonsville area of Maryland. I don't too close to Catonsville, but I travel in the area to attend classes for the CCBC Catonsville campus. I always see the charming shops and stores along the Frederick Road area on my way to campus. So, I headed to one of mankind's greatest ways of research: Google, to search the food shops and stores around the Frederick Road area. I figured that if I'm interested in the area, students and other people would be as well.
One of the shops that came up in my search was Pat's Porch. Pat's Porch is a novelty and sweets shop on Frederick road owned by Beth Reymann. The shop is beloved by the Catonsville community, and was featured in a Baltimore Sun article as well.
I was eager to learn more about Pat's Porch, so I contacted Reymann to see if she would be willing to do an interview with me. She responded back and was happy to talk with me.
What inspired Pat's Porch?
BR: I had always wished that Catonsville had some type of gift shop in the heart of the village area - we have had so many great restaurants but if you needed a small gift of some type - you had to drive into Ellicott city or to a mall.
It was a thought I had for years, but I also knew that it would need some type of consumable to sell as well to keep people coming back, and we already had great coffee shops and ice cream.
I heard that the owner of Ken's Old Fashioned Candy Shop was going to retire so I reached out to her in the fall of 2016. She was planning on just closing her candy store that June.
So, I thought that candy might be the consumable we would need, and I loved the location of the building that I'm in because it is surrounded by a lot of great restaurants - and I also love the porch on the building.
In talking to my daughter about what I would name it if I did decide to go for it - we were coming up with ideas that included the porch since I loved that so much. She suggested I name it after my mom who had passed away from cancer before I was married - and Pat's Porch just clicked. She would have loved a store like I have. It all just kind of came together and I opened at the end of May in 2016.
Any favorite items and/or recommendations at Pat's?
BR: I am really glad that I have both fine chocolates and candy and gift items - they really do complement each other, and most customers can find something that they need when shopping. A close friend of mine, who travels a lot, suggested that I carry items that are made in the USA - and that has been a great way to narrow down companies and items that I am seeking. Most items are made in the US or part of the process is done in the US or they are affiliated with a nonprofit in the US. That has been great for me - especially since I have a pretty small space and the wholesale gift world is enormous.
I saw a lot of different candy and chocolates on your website. They look delicious! Does Pat's create them in store and what inspired the flavors?
BR: Since Ken's was an established candy store (as it was formerly the Candy Box located a mile or so down the road for over 20 years) - I kept all of the same vendors that they used to buy the candy from. The only chocolate that I make there at my store is the Chocolate Bay Babies - which are small, solid chocolate crabs. They are available in milk, dark, or white chocolate and the milk and dark chocolate ones are also available dusted with Old Bay. I also make a "legal" size solid chocolate crab in both milk and dark chocolate. They are really big sellers for me.
What would you like people to know about Pat's Porch?
BR: I have a great selection of fine chocolates and a great assortment of nostalgic candy which is often a trip down memory lane for people. I also carry a lot of Maryland made food items as two years ago I acquired MarylandBox.com - which is an online gift box company- customers can build their own gift box of Maryland food items by price point or a pre-designed one and I ship them in the US for free. So, all of the options in the Maryland gift box are also available in my store.
Where can people find out more and order from Pat's Porch?
BR: People can find out about Pat's Porch on Facebook and Instagram and thru my website, www.patsporch.com.
Because of Covid, I offer free delivery in the 21228 zip code and curbside pickup - but my store is also open 7 days a week.
My websites are linked but Marylandbox.com is also on FB and Instagram as well.
I like to say I carry a little bit of a lot of things - my goal was that if anyone needed a quick gift and a card - I'd be their one stop shop - and who doesn't need some chocolate?
It was a wonderful interview, and my thanks to Beth Reymann for taking the time for our interview. It goes to show, taking the time to check out local shops is like finding a pirate's treasure. There are hidden gems if you're willing to go on a treasure hunt. Check out Pat's Porch, a sweet and charming place in Catonsville.