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I've been writing this Maryland state legislative preview article each year at this time for nearly a decade now. The annual feature is usually a look ahead to the next General Assembly Session. But there's no way to move ahead with 2021 without acknowledging 2020, quite possibly the toughest, most challenging year on record for all facets of the beverage business.

The Year of the Pandemic worked its way into each of the three interviews I did for this feature. The COVID-19 crisis was a part of many answers to the questions I posed. Ultimately, though, all concerned expressed hope for the year ahead -- hope that business can return to something resembling normal. Just as important, they are hoping that state government will work with them rather than against them in 2021.

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From Greece to Glen Burnie, It's Been a Family Affair

Christos Discount Liquors has been a pillar of the Glen Burnie/Ferndale community since 1962, and the Christopoulos family has operated the business since that time of JFK, Johnny Unitas, and Ed Sullivan.

Today, three of the family's five siblings -- John Christopoulos, brother Nick Christopoulos, and sister Madia Toll -- are the proprietors. The trio bought the business from their parents in 1991.

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Photograph by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Photograph by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Drinks professionals share their big goals, and how they plan to achieve them

By Rachel Tepper Paley

The year 2020 didn’t play out like any of us imagined. From the devastating physical and economic tolls of the pandemic to an overdue reckoning with diversity and inclusion in our industry, leaders across the drinks space are grappling with new realities and difficult choices. But from great adversity comes possibility. We spoke to 10 forward-thinking drinks professionals to learn their New Year’s resolutions for 2021 and how they plan to forge a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future.

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Posted by on in January 2021 Editions


Farewell and adieu 2020 … may 2021 bring fair-weather.  Well, at least a more fair business climate.  The age of Covid-19 has demonstrated that not all businesses are created equal ... in the mind of our elected and appointed leaders.  Large box stores are immune to the virus while on-premise establishments have been deemed the virus’ favorite haunt (especially after 10:00 pm).  

It is true that while local and state governments deemed some businesses essential and some not, the off-premise side of the beverage alcohol industry has dodged the bullet.  Will that always be the case?  Would the local neighborhood liquor/package store have been deemed essential if grocery stores, box stores and/or chain stores sold beer, wine and liquor?  

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