Meeting of the Minds
Adrienne Prentice was a successful corporate executive when she suddenly found herself in trouble after the birth of her first child in 2016. “I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, and I felt like I was failing, frankly, for the first time—at work and now at home. It also felt really isolating,” says Prentice, 40, of Bethesda.
So she shifted gears and became a leadership coach at a law firm, where she discovered that the attorneys who were parents and caregivers also felt isolated, had little time for self-care and found it difficult to ask for help.
In April 2022, Prentice joined with Claudia Naím-Burt, 37, of Kensington, another parent and former corporate executive, to found Keep Company. The Bethesda firm helps employers combat burnout and attrition by providing groups of employees with shared experiences through “engaging, interactive sessions that live between therapy and happy hour,” according to the company. Guided by coaches and a 12-week curriculum, the virtual sessions focus on the “power of the group” to help employees, Prentice says.
Keep Company recently received a $200,000 investment from the Maryland Technology Development Corp., established by the General Assembly in 1998, for the hiring of employees tasked with scaling up its technology. Meanwhile, 95% of the 300 employees who have completed the program report feeling less alone, the company says.
Paychecks on the Rise
Local hourly workers may be seeing a bump in their paychecks after Montgomery County’s minimum wage rates increased on July 1.
Tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index, the new rates outpace the state and federal minimums of $13.25 an hour and $7.25 an hour, respectively.
The county rates are:
$16.70 per hour for companies with 51 or more employees
$15 per hour for those with 11 to 50 employees
$14.50 per hour for those with 10 or fewer workers
Still Baking in Bethesda
Local fans of Georgetown Cupcake may be wondering about the fate of the bakery’s downtown Bethesda shop after the closure of its Boston location in May, which followed closures in New York City and Los Angeles late in 2022.
Not to worry. In an email, the company says it “looks forward to maintaining a long-term retail store presence in Bethesda,” explaining that it didn’t renew its 10-year Boston lease so it could focus more on shipping its gourmet sweet treats nationwide.
That means locals won’t have to drive to Georgetown, home of the company’s first location, which opened in 2008, to get their fix of the $3.95 gourmet cupcakes.
Popular from the start, the cupcakery became a sensation after DC Cupcakes, a TLC reality show starring sisters and owners Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, debuted in 2010 and ran for three seasons.
ABS by the Numbers
MoCo is the only county in Maryland that acts as the sole wholesale distributor of alcoholic beverages. In addition to selling to stores and restaurants, the Department of Alcohol Beverage Services also has exclusive authority to sell liquor in retail stores. The county owns and operates 27 locations.
- Total Overall Sales in 2022: $317,986,604 (up 4.6% from 2021)
- Same-Store Sales Year Over Year: $139,955,596 (up 1.7%)
- Gross Profit: $99,972,839 (up 7.3%)
- Amount Transferred to County’s General Fund: $35,501,037 (up 27%)
- Number of Items Shipped to Licensed Customers: 3,997,126 (down 4.7%)
- Number of Licensed Business Inspections: 3,645 (down 1.7%)
- Number of Valid Licensed Business Registered with ABS: 1,036 (up .3%
- Percentage of Items Shipped on Time and Intact: 95% (down 1.1%)
Source: Montgomery County government. Some percentages have been rounded.
This story appears in the September/October issue of Bethesda Magazine.