Sabillasville Native is “Nursing” the “Best of” a Love of Olive Oil

Deb Spalding

Sharon (Stottlemyer) Streb’s life has been a balance of education, serving others, and culture. Sharon was raised in Sabillasville, and after graduating from Catoctin High School, started a trek through several educational institutions that culminated in a degree in nursing from Shepherd College. She secured her first nursing job in Hawaii, and decided to stay ​because she got married to a military man. The couple ended up returning east to Virginia Beach, where he was transferred.

After twenty-seven years of nursing, she went back to school to earn a degree in business, then a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design. Sharon secured a great job as a high-end interior designer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and moved there. Her husband had retired from the military​.

Unfortunately, in 2009, her husband passed away. This made Sharon take some time to decide what she wanted from life. She read the book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and moved back to Virginia Beach.

About to turn fifty years of age, she soon made some choices that took her to Florence, Italy, where she entered a top-notch interior design program. Her classmates joked that Sharon would fall in love with a debonair Italian fellow.

She did fall in love, but not with a man—with olive oil! About her new-found taste, Sharon said, “I spent all my afternoons eating olive oil. I would eat bread and olive oil. I would go to cafes in Tuscan towns and buy some of the many kinds of olive oils.”

She learned of an Olive Oil School—the oldest International school in Imperia, Italy, at O.N.A.O.O. (National Organization for Olive Oil Tasters)—and just before her visa expired in May, she got the lucky break to complete the course when someone dropped out.

People from all over the world go to this school to become an expert in olive oil. In Europe, before something can be labeled extra virgin olive oil, it goes through a sensory analysis (someone actually tastes it) and then a chemical analysis. Extra virgin olive oil has three positive attributes and lots of negative attributes. In Europe, if it has any negative attributes, it can’t be labeled Extra Virgin olive oil.

Back home in the United States, Sharon purchased a franchise called Oil & Vinegar. It’s an established franchise based out of Holland. Presently, there are ninety in the world, only twenty in the United States, and Sharon’s store is the only one in Maryland.

After the purchase, it took two years to find a location. Sharon opened her Oil & Vinegar Store in the Westview Promenade (between the movie theater and Champions Billiards) in Frederick in July of 2014.

She sells over fifty oils and vinegars. There is a tasting bar, where true and wannabe oil and vinegar connoisseurs may sample the products.

The store theme is Seven Worlds, with sections for herbs and spices, sweets, starters and sauces, pasta, and a newly added Mediterranean (Moraccan and Turkish) section with spices that are trending right now. Buyers will notice all kinds of rubs, pastas and pestos, rissotos, saffron, and papaya throughout the store, and thirteen different kinds of olives! The merchandise is nicely displayed in glass or tin containers that are colorfully arranged among cook books, and crockery from Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

Sharon’s store earned a Best of Frederick Award 2015 in the Artisan/Specialty Store section. Sharon’s sister Cindy Ecker, brother ​Robert Stottlemyer, mom Nancy Stottlemyer, and niece Jessica Stottlemyer, as well as a few part-time employees, help out at the store. Oil and Vinegar is open Mondays through Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-6:00 p.m. It is located at 5231 Buckeystown Pike in Frederick. Call 240-439-4447 for more information.

Photo by Deb Spalding

oil and vinegar

Oil & Vinegar owner, Sharon Streb (right), is shown with her sister, Cindy Ecker, in her store located in Westview Promenade in Frederick.


Thurmont Smiles Making Sure Thurmont is Smiling

James Rada, Jr.

Dr. Mansi Oza knew from the time that she was in kindergarten that she wanted to be a doctor. She just didn’t expect to be a dentist. “I like helping people smile,” she said.

Oza took over Dr. Dexter’s practice at 100 S. Center Street in Thurmont, and has since renamed it Thurmont Smiles.

Thurmont Smiles offers comprehensive dental care for the entire family, from a simple cleaning to a complicated root canal. Her practice has state-of-the-art equipment. For instance, x-rays are now done digitally to reduce the amount of radiation by ninety percent.

“It’s a fine line between what a specialist offers and what we can do,” Oza said.

From the moment patients walk in, they are greeted with a very warm, family atmosphere that helps put them at ease, even when they might be hesitant to visit a dentist.

“I spent hours picking out the colors on the walls and the paintings in order to help take the patients’ minds off their treatment,” Oza said.

Her staff is skilled at helping children not be afraid of getting a dental check-up.

Another way she helps put her patients at ease is by providing them information about their procedures and answering any questions they might have. She doesn’t want anything she does to come as a surprise to her patients.

Thurmont Smiles will work with most insurance companies and will submit claims for the patients. They have financial aid and discount plans for patients who qualify, and they are currently running a promotion where patients can pay as little as $20 for a visit, with the money going to charity.

For more information, patients should call 301-271-4400 or visit to schedule a visit. The hours change week to week in order to have time slots available to suit everyone’s needs.


Recycled Granite Solutions

Deb Spalding

What do outdoor fire pits, patio pavers, split stone walls, and cheese boards have in common? They can all be created with Recycled Granite Solutions. This business was the idea of a former Thurmont resident and 2005 graduate of Catoctin High School, Kayla Burkett Strong, and her husband Kenny Strong.

With backgrounds in the industrial industry and construction, Kenny and Kayla opened Recycled Granite Solutions in Boonsboro in January of 2015. The idea for the business took root when Kenny noticed dumpsters full of unwanted pieces of granite and thought there could be a new use for all the beautiful material, instead of it just being sent to the landfill. Now, the couple works with granite manufacturers from many sources and repurposes the material, creating a win/win/win situation for all involved: the business gets to help repurpose their waste; Recycled Granite Solutions has an economical product to use in different ways; and the customers have an affordable, yet elegant and beautiful, product.

Imagine your patio pavers, your flooring tile, your granite split stone as a back splash in your bathroom or kitchen—all created from solid one and a quarter inch recycled granite! And don’t forget to add the outdoor fire pits, which come in many different sizes, heights, and shapes, as well as flower planters and a cheese board!

Call Recycled Granite Solutions to schedule an appointment to visit their showroom or schedule a consultation for a large project. Mention this article in The Catoctin Banner to receive $100 off of your purchase of a project.

Recycled Granite Solutions is located at 210 Maple Avenue, Unit B, Boonsboro, Maryland. Call 888-966-0809 or visit for more information.

Photo by Deb Spalding


Kayla and Kenny Strong are shown with daughter, Kylee, in the showroom of their business, Recycled Granite Solutions in Boonsboro. Not pictured are sons, Matthew and Trenton.


Diane Miller of Dee’s Hair Stylist Retires After Forty Years

Deb Spalding

Diane (Spalding) Miller recently closed the doors of her shop, Dee’s Hair Stylist, located on North Center Street in Thurmont, to retire after forty years of cutting and styling hair. Diane said she’s been cutting and styling hair for some of her customers for the entire forty years.

She remembers hanging around her mother’s shop—in the same location—when she was a youngster. Diane was seven or eight years of age when her mom, Kelly Spalding, closed Spalding’s Beauty Salon.

Diane was a shampoo girl at age sixteen. Later, she attended the College of Beauty Culture in Martinsburg, West Virginia. She worked two years at Marie’s Beauty Salon and Jodi Lawyer’s salon, both in Thurmont. After a managers test and barber school, she opened Dee’s Hair Stylist on February 7, 1978.

Diane has seen children grow into parents, and even grandparents, and has shared all of their special occasions along the way. Diane said the best part has been, “…seeing people feel good about themselves after a good cut and style.”

She extends heartfelt thanks to all of her customers. She said, “They have all been a part of my family.” She sends a special thanks to her father, Charles “Jake” Spalding, and her sister, Victoria Mathias. Her father has been her bookkeeper and handy man for all of these years; her sister has been on hand to help whenever needed.

Photo by Victoria Mathias

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Pictured are Diane Spalding Miller and her father, Charles “Jake” Spalding.

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