LAYTONSVILLE, Md.– While many consumers flock to shopping malls to take part in the Black Friday craze, local business owners and mother and daughter duo Kim and Corinne Glab play host to those who opt for a more tranquil setting– spending time with family at the appropriately named “The Family Room.”
Whether it’s to enjoy a cup of coffee, shop for locally furnished goods or even solve a puzzle, The Family Room– which opened its doors last February– provides a space with a homey vibe for members of the Laytonsville community.
“We wanted to create a space where people could enjoy that same feeling that you would enjoy in your own family room, but somewhere different,” said Corinne. “Being in a separate location in a fun way brings families together that you might not necessarily experience in your own home.”
On the window at the front entrance, a sign reads, “There are no strangers in here, just friends you haven’t met.”
With the intent of providing an amicable space for their customers to follow through with that motto, The Family Room steers away from having any electronic devices present in order to not take away from the bonding experience that presents itself for customers.
“The atmosphere we want to create in this store is an analog store for a digital age,” said Corinne. “Our goal is to really create a place that people can just be with people, sit down and talk over a cup of coffee, work on a puzzle together as a family or just look around and shop– not be connected to devices and TV, but really be interacting with people face to face, and getting to spend time together.”
The Family Room not only serves as a social gathering locale, but also sells a variety of goods locally produced in Maryland.
The Family Room works with local businesses like South Mountain Creamery in Middletown for milk and ice cream and Quartermine Coffee, who roast their beans in Rockville. Along with locally-produced food, The Family Room sells a wide range of products like books, furniture and knitwear, all produced in the area.
Kim sees the relationship with these vendors as an opportunity to support them, as well as their community.
“The idea of the local vendors is to give them an outlet to partner up with other small businesses and people who are startups and give them the chance to have an idea of what business is for them as well,” said Kim. “Within our vendors, we have a single mom of three, we have a young couple with a new baby. We just really want to keep supporting those startups that are trying to support their families locally, as well as giving them that great push towards starting your business to make it fun.”
Just as Kim and Corinne look to support fellow local businesses in and around Laytonsville, they, too, have received support for their work from Laytonsville mayor Jim Ruspi.
Ruspi is always in attendance at the outdoor markets The Family Room hosts to showcase the products various local businesses have to offer.
“We want [customers] to leave our store feeling like they’re a part of something,” said Corinne. “A little bit more cared for, a little bit more connected to people who genuinely care about them, genuinely care about the community. Really, just a little bit more loved, which everybody needs that in the world.”
The Glab duo wants The Family Room to serve as the go-to gathering place for their customers, making them feel they truly are a part of the community.
“We have a lot of signs that say, ‘This is our happy place’, and it really is,” said Kim. “We want other people to come here and feel like it’s their happy place as well.”