Business: Thomason's Olde Thyme Herb Farm and Gift Shop Location: 170 Stoney Point Road, East Berlin Years in Business: 20 Owners: Beth Thomason Number of Employees: Full Time: 1 the Community: Shopping
Thomason’s Olde Thyme Herb Farm and Gift Shop, located right outside of the town of East Berlin, is a hidden gem in Adams County.
Inside the barn, visitors will find a variety of plants and garden items, when in season, and collection of fun home décor and repurposed items. Right outside, visitors can check out the serene gardens.
A short walk from the barn in the gift shop which features four different rooms of items- a kitchen with tea and teapots among other items, a bathroom with lotions, a backroom known as “Beth’s Boutique” which has clothes and handmade jewelry and the main room which features décor items, baskets, handmade crocks and seasonal items to name a few.
Beth has always had a knack for business. She said, “I’ve always had a business mindset. When I was young, you would buy these boxes of cards which had something like ten cards in them, then you would sell them. So as a kid I would go around selling these cards and I really liked it. I’m also a crafty person, so I combined the two things and created this store.”
Beth had been teaching adult evening classes on how to grow herbs and what you could do with them in the early 1990's. Beth moved to a 200-year old farm house in 1996 a opened up the shop a year later. The first of many festivals hosted at the property was held that same year. At the time the store was run out of Beth’s front porch and a side room off to the side of her house where she sold handmade items and dried herbs and produce.
Over the next 10 years the store expanded beyond the porch and into the barn, and eventually into the gift shop which would later be renovated around the 200-year old fireplace. In the last 4 years, Beth added boutique clothes to her store which has been a popular item for customers.
Thomason’s Olde Thyme Herb Farm hosts festivals throughout the year. In 1997, a year after opening, the first fall festival was held. In 2017, the relatively new Sweet Potato Festival celebrated its fourth year and is proving to be a popular annual event.
When she first opened, Beth said tourism accounted for “maybe one percent of the people who stopped in.”
She said, “We relied on word of mouth. Locals stopped by because they knew us or heard of us, but now we have many people who aren’t from around here come by because they saw us online or on Facebook. Tourism definitely helps, and it has really picked up here.”
As with a lot of business in Adams County, there’s a sense of community within the industry.
“It’s so easy to network [with businesses in Adams County]. A lot of people are open to working together and forming connections,” said Beth. “Currently, we work with the Redbud House, The Christmas Haus, New Oxford Body and Soul and local artisans.”
All of those people who stop in, Beth makes a point to talk with them. “I like talking with these people who visit, you learn something about everyone who comes in. I’ll ask where they’re from and questions like that, but then we will start talking and learn something about each other,” Beth said. “I have a lot of fun with that.”