Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Day on Walnut Street

Please join us for Design Day on Walnut Street
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Historic Architect, Margaret Westfield, will be touring downtown Milford and providing recommendations for improvements to existing properties and facilitating a public presentation on Main Street Design principles.

Design Day is presented by

Downtown Milford, Inc. and Downtown Delaware

2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.: Guided by the Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI) program manager, Margaret Westfield shall provide an architectural tour of the Main Street designated area with members of the DMI program, city representatives and interested members of the general public. If you are interested in taking the tour, please meet at the Community Kiosk on S. Walnut Street.

The purpose of the tour is to look at the architectural features and overall characteristics of numerous existing properties and consider what types of physical improvements can be made (with reference to paint, signage, color, material, lighting, etc.) to better market the business and better compliment existing downtown architecture. Margaret Westfield shall provide verbal recommendations to describe improvements wherever desired.

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.: Public presentation, with slides/visuals, on Main Street Design principles. Architect & Preservation Specialist Margaret Westfield will mention local examples wherever possible. If you are interested in attending the public presentation, it will be held in the Art Gallery of the newly renovated Riverwalk Center for the Arts building - 4 Park Avenue entrance.

About Margaret Westfield

Margaret Westfield, R.A. joined the Historic Preservation Office as the State Historic Architect in September 26th, 1998 and served in that capacity through April, 2000 where she provided technical advice for projects involving major architectural issues and regulatory reviews for the Investment Tax Credit Program.

Margaret Westfield, R.A. is a founding partner and historic architect with Westfield Architects & Preservation Consultants located in Haddon Heights, NJ. Since 1988, her firm has offered traditional full-scope architectural services paired with specialized historic preservation consulting. Emphasis is given to restoration, rehabilitation and preservation planning projects.

She also provides design services for Main Street New Jersey and has worked as a consultant on behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Main Street Center.

About Downtown Milford, Inc.
Downtown Milford, Inc. is a volunteer driven 501 (c)(3) non-profit community organization that promotes quality development of the traditional central business district of Milford, Delaware in order to preserve the area's rich historic heritage and bring new life and purpose to the downtown area. Downtown Milford, Inc. is an accredited National Main Street program. For more information on Downtown Milford, Inc., please visit or call (302) 839-1180. For more information on the National Main Street program, please visit

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank you for your support!

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Downtown Milford, Incorporated (DMI), I would like to thank everyone that voted for our “This Place Matters” community photo. Our organization was presented with a chance to compete for a $25,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Everyone’s hard work and support helped keep DMI as a front runner for most of the challenge. Out of 119 organizations competing nationwide in this challenge DMI finished as number 22.

Although, DMI did not take first place for this challenge we still feel honored that our community of neighbors came together to show that they believe Milford is a kind of place where a children’s class inspires leaders, a landscape inspires artists, and a history inspires vision.

With the help of our local media, DMI’s Facebook, Twitter, and our dedicated community members sharing the news about the challenge, DMI received over 600 votes in a period of 3.5 weeks. Again, on behalf of the DMI Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, I sincerely appreciate your votes, time and effort in showing that “This Place Matters.”

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, DMI relies on financial support from our community, the City of Milford, the State of Delaware, and corporate sponsors. By placing your vote for our "This Place Matters" challenge you have already shown that Milford Matters to you. Please consider placing a donation to DMI to help our organization keep the strong momentum in revitalizing downtown Milford. To donate visit:

Lorraine J. Dion
Executive Director, Downtown Milford , Incorporated

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Meet a Downtown Milford Business Owner

It is 3:00 a.m. and the workday for the owners of Dolce Coffee & Bakery, George Caroll and Chuck Stanko is just beginning. The oven is warming up and their customer’s favorite baked goods are being prepared. By 7:00 a.m. the Dolce awning is up and the open flag is flying. Within moments, a steady stream of “regulars” begin coming in for their favorite coffee, newspaper, and pastry to start the morning off just right. Although, for customers, Dolce isn’t just about coffee it is about having an experience.

The experience involves being immersed into a world where for a few moments you are in a warm, comfortable surrounding and a place where “where everybody knows your name.” Before a customer is even half way through the front door, they are welcomed into Dolce with a genuine smile from owners Chuck and George or one of their staff members Nick and Jocelyn. If you are a new customer, you then have the challenge of choosing which drink and pastry you’d like to try. If you are a “regular”, chances are that the staff or owners already know your favorite items and can begin making your drink before you are even up to the counter.

Chuck and George opened Dolce in January of 2005. “We drove up and down the East Coast looking for a small town with a homey feel that needed a small coffee and bakery shop,” Chuck stated, “Milford just stood out to us.” Soon, Dolce became a leader among downtown businesses by offering a WiFi spot for customers, creating a website, keeping resources local, developing innovative retailing, and giving back to the Milford community.

Over the years, Chuck and George have created scholarships for local arts organizations, contributed to the local community theater, donates all leftover baked goods on week nights to the Milford Senior Center, and even holds fundraising events for local residents in need.

To assist in promoting their fellow downtown merchants and downtown organizations, Dolce created a display sign featuring merchant information that is utilized during the Farmers’ Market and also features a downtown business directory and events section in their monthly e-mail newsletter.

Chuck and George’s passion for keeping resources local is shown through using a local florist and local artist prints for decorating their counters along with using a Delaware based coffee vendor. Dolce’s coffee is roasted fresh every week by Delaware City Coffee Company and shipped overnight for their customer’s enjoyment. Of course, the only thing that can truly compliment a freshly roasted cup of coffee is George’s baking.

“George loves experimenting. Baking is truly an art form for him,” Chuck stated, “He has a passion and creativity that is shown everyday. Dolce’s Gooey Chocolate cookie recently won second place at Rehoboth’s Chocolate Festival. But, the most popular pastry would have to be the Philadelphia Butter Cake or the breakfast cookie.”

If it isn’t the freshly roasted coffee, large amount of latte flavor concoctions, or the delicious pastries that bring customer’s into Dolce every morning then, it has to be the wonderful customer service that is provided. Chuck stated, “We are so lucky to have Nick and Jocelyn working with us.” Between the early morning city council gatherings outside or the family and friends who come once a week to spend an hour of drinking coffee and playing cards, there is never a dull moment in this home town coffee and bakery shop. Dolce’s awning, outdoor customer seating, and colorful flag showing they are open for business has become a welcoming sight to their patrons driving down Walnut Street. Especially, those who travel all the way from D.C. or across the state once a week just for the Dolce experience.

So what’s the scoop on Dolce? Chuck says they are preparing for the Fall season. Look out for George’s famous pumpkin rolls and the addition of pumpkin spice to their drink line up. Also, don’t forget if you have a favorite speciality from the bakery, Dolce is able to accommodate special orders. Just give them a call!

Dolce is located at 35 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford. For more information you can visit or call (302) 422-5760.

“Meet a Downtown Business Owner” will be a monthly newsletter feature, highlighting a different downtown business every month. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meet a Downtown Milford Business Owner

The EcoChic Boutique experience begins on the street. You are drawn in by a visually stimulating awning and window display, and once you step through the door you are immersed into a world of earth friendly living. Everything from the aroma of the products, to the merchandise displays and even the color of the paint on the walls is pleasing for the customer. “It’s not just recycling, it’s up cycling,” stated EcoChic Owner, Teri Carter.

As a wife and mother, Carter began using earth friendly practices and products at home but, noticed most of the products had to be ordered online. One night, Carter was struck with an idea to open a retail business which would give customers a chance to have a real experience with earth friendly products. Carter expressed, “I wanted customers to be able to feel and touch the products rather than just order everything online.”

“I love a challenge and was ready to just go with the idea,” Carter remarked, with that, a search for a retail space began. Being Milford residents, she and her husband knew they wanted to make Milford the home base for the store. “We came across a building in downtown Milford and I just loved the look of it. I knew immediately. It was as if the building spoke to me and four months later the store was open,” she stated.

Carter believes that a great benefit of being in downtown Milford is not just the foot traffic but, the other complimentary businesses within walking distance of her store. “A lot of my customers also tend to be individuals who enjoy coming downtown. For example, they spend their time at the Art League, Dolce, or the Georgia House,” Carter stated.

It has been less than a year since EcoChic opened its doors and Carter’s customers are just as excited as she is about the products. While in the store, one couldn’t help but to overhear a comment from a customer stating, “I can’t even get past this one corner in the store, everything is catching my eye. I only had 15 minutes to come in and shop. But, that is just not enough time!”

Once a EcoChic product photo is uploaded to Facebook, it is almost guaranteed to be bought up the next day. EcoChic sells everything from handbags, jewelry, children’s products, to skin creams and even make up. “I really wanted to take organic personal care to another level, I have an on-site Licensed Esthetician, Hillary Reid of Skin by Hillary, to show customers how they can use EcoChic’s products in their daily lives,” Carter remarked.

So what is next for EcoChic Boutique? Carter gave DMI the inside scoop EcoChic will soon be offering eco-clothing and shoes as well as launching an e-commerce section to their website!

EcoChic Boutique is located at 28 Walnut Street in downtown Milford. For more information, you can visit or call (302) 422-4580. For more information on “Skin by Hillary” you can click here or call (302) 228-7208.

“Meet a Downtown Business Owner” will be a monthly newsletter feature, highlighting a different downtown business every month. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Be Part of the Largest State of Delaware “This Place Matters” Photo

Come gather with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers at the

Mispillion River Pedestrian Bridge by Bicentennial Park

August 12, 2010

8:00 a.m.

Local photographers, Leafo Photo, to take a community photo in Milford for a chance to win the National “This Place Matters” challenge.

Join us in showing that our community believes “Milford Matters.” We are the kind of place where a children’s class inspires leaders, a landscape inspires artists, and a history inspires vision. We are Milford, Delaware. River Town. Art Town. Home Town.

Downtown Milford, Inc.’s “This Place Matters” is part of an initiative by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help raise awareness about the special places that help to define our national heritage. For more information, please call (302) 839-1180.

*NEW* 3D Modeling Volunteer Opportunity

Looking for professionals for a breakthrough opportunity

Downtown Milford, Incorporated (DMI) is seeking volunteers for a “Main Streets in 3D” project. Volunteers will be receiving training from GOOGLE and IGLOO STUDIOS experts on how to use 3D modeling programs such as; Google Earth and Google Sketchup to assist in our downtown revitalization projects. DMI is flexible with work/ school schedules. Volunteers are required to attend a daylong training in Milford, Delaware.

Job responsibilities: Working with the project team to create 3D models of the Downtown Milford area buildings; creating fly through 3D models of Downtown Milford; Assisting DMI staff with recruiting and training new volunteers for the project; additional duties may include taking photos of downtown buildings and working on additional projects using 3D modeling technology

Qualifications: Strong computer skills; Experience with Google Earth, Google Sketchup, or other 3D modeling technology is preferred but not required; Willingness to learn new computer technologies; Good organizational, leadership, time management and problem solving skills; Ability to work independently as well as part of a team; Strong communication skills and able to organize and facilitate group or one-on-one trainings

If interested please contact DMI or email your resume:

Elizabeth Purcell

Phone: (302) 839-1180


About Downtown Milford, Inc.:

Downtown Milford, Inc. is a volunteer driven 501 (c)(3) non-profit community organization that promotes quality development of the traditional central business district of Milford, Delaware in order to preserve the area’s rich historic heritage and bring new life and purpose to the downtown area. Downtown Milford, Inc. is an accredited National Main Street program. For more information on Downtown Milford, Inc., please visit For more information on the National Main Street program, please visit http://

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Downtown Milford, Inc. Selected as a 2010 "Main Streets in 3D" Community

Volunteers and Staff to Receive Free Training
By Google Sketchup and Earth Experts

Milford, Delaware, July 21, 2010 - The National Trust Main Street Center in collaboration with Google and Igloo Studios has chosen Downtown Milford, Incorporated (DMI) as one of five Main Street Programs nationwide to receive free training in the use of 3D technology to empower the organization's revitalization efforts in the downtown historic commercial district of Milford, Delaware.

More than 1,200 accredited Main Street programs nationwide were given the opportunity to compete for the “Main Streets in 3D" Project. The National Trust Main Street Center and representatives from Google and Igloo Studios, creators of Google Earth and Sketchup, chose the top five Main Street programs with the most innovative and creative ideas for using the Google Sketchup and Google Earth 3D technology in their communities. These communities will receive a free "all day", on-site training session and modeling from the Google and Igloo Studios experts.

“Downtown Milford, Inc. is honored to be chosen as one of the five "Main Streets in 3D" communities and plans to use this training and 3D technology to show business owners facade enhancement options, improve our planning process for our streetscape projects, develop a historic 3D timeline of the downtown area, and to create interactive fly through 3D videos of our downtown area to promote cultural and heritage tourism," stated DMI Executive Director Lorraine J. Dion. “By recruiting recent graduates and high school students to work on this project we hope to engage more youth in our historic downtown.”

Within the next few months, experts from Google and Igloo Studios will come to Milford to train our volunteers and staff members on the use of Google Earth and Sketchup as well as the use of photography to enhance the 3D models. While the Google and Igloo Studios representatives are in Milford, they will also be modeling some of the most complicated historic buildings in downtown Milford. The National Trust Main Street Center commended DMI for its strong community partnerships, engaging the area youth and incorporating Milford's heritage and historic architecture in its proposed projects.

DMI 3D modeling project community partners, to date, include: City of Milford, Delaware Architects, Wagamon Technology Group, LLC, Leafo Photo, Dave Kenton, and photographer Bob Connelly. DMI is actively recruiting volunteers for the project from Delaware Technical & Community College and the University of Delaware.

If you are interested in volunteering for the 3D Modeling project, please contact the DMI office at (302) 839-1180.