Elizabeth M. Piazza
(7/3) Remember the days when little bits of
heaven came in small packages with names like
Mary Janes, Bit-O-Honey and Tootsie Roll Pops?
Remember how running down to the corner store
to buy ice cream and penny candy was the best
part of the day?
Fortunately for the residents of Thurmont,
Gateway Market and Candyland is the corner
store that still sells these little bits of
heaven. Celebrating its 25th anniversary,
Gateway Market is a general store, liquor
store and candy haven all in one. Tucked
alongside Rt. 15 in Thurmont, visitors are
first greeted by the red-and-white striped
awnings along the storefront. Once inside,
visitors are greeted by at least one member of
the Bollinger/Doll family who have been
running the market since its beginning.
In 1983, Sterling and Linda Bollinger built
the market as a means to sell the produce that
was grown on their orchard on Kelbaugh Road.
Inspired by the family’s annual vacation to
West Virginia, where they would stop at
Hilltop Fruit Market and buy bagged candy,
Sterling decided to sell candy as well.
Gateway Market quickly transformed into
Gateway Market and Candyland.
The market continues to sell produce in
addition to many other items. Jams and jellies
line the shelves and custom gift baskets are
available. The market sells dried fruits, nuts
and mixes for soups and bread.
Gateway Market and Candyland exemplifies a
family run business. The Bollingers worked as
a family on the orchard and that tradition
carried over to the market. Each of the
Bollinger’s nine children and now 13
grandchildren has, at some point, all worked
at the market. The newest addition,
three-and-half-year -old Jameson (named after
the whiskey) is next in line for a job.
“Everyone sort of moves on and through the
years, everyone has come to work here,” said
Maggie Doll, Bollinger’s second-eldest child.
“Need a job? Call Aunt Maggie.”
Maggie and her husband John purchased the
market from Sterling Bollinger in 1996,
although she has been managing it since 1985.
Doll admits that it can be hard to work to
live together and work together. Each family
member makes a pact not to bring work home or
bring home to work.
The market has undergone some additions
since its inception. The liquor store was
added in 1992 after the space opened up and a
liquor license became available. Doll also
decided to add ice cream, an idea that
Sterling wasn’t keen on.
“I like to let Dad think he’s in charge,”
said Doll. “I do talk to him about everything
that is going on here.” Sterling makes a habit
of coming to the market every morning and
afternoon. Doll, herself, often works seven
days a week and averages 10-12 hour days.
“I love it,” Doll said. “It’s the only
thing I’ve done for 22 years. Everyday is
something different. I love people.” Maggie
and John do take at least one vacation each
year to get away.
“I tell her she can call but she can’t go
back to fix it,” said John Doll.
For the past 25 years, Gateway Market has
been a regular pit stop for tourists traveling
along Rt. 15 as well as for local residents.
The Harne family of Thurmont often comes to
the market for their ice cream fix.
“It’s awesome,” said Noah Harne, 9. “They
have the best snow cones ever.”
This is the Harne’s second visit of the
week. “We love to come here almost everyday
after school to get a snow cone,” said Jen
Harne, Noah’s mother. “Maggie and John are
both so friendly.”
Maggie remembers when Christie Brinkley and
her husband, Billy Joel, stopped in.
“Being the country bumpkin that I am, I
didn’t even know who it was. I just remember
thinking, ‘Why is that beautiful woman with
him?’” A delivery man told Maggie who the
As a Thurmont native, Doll makes sure the
market stays active in the community. The
market hosted its third annual ice cream
dipping for charity event this past May, which
raised $876 for a local food bank. The same
event raised $1700 during its first year for
the American Heart Association and $1000 for a
local boy suffering from leukemia the second
year. Each Christmas, the market buys
Christmas trees for the Rocky Ridge 4-H club,
which then sells them. The 4-H club keeps the
profits, which range from $1500 to $1800.
Although candy is no longer a penny,
Gateway Market continues to be a place where
friends and family gather and enjoy the
sweeter things in life. The market will be
celebrating its 25th anniversary on July 13
from 1 – 5 p.m. with 25-cent hot dogs, sodas,
ice cream and snow cones. There will be
balloon art, face painting and a magician.
From 5 – 6 p.m., a Blue Grass Gospel Band will
entertain customers. Gateway Market is located
at Rt. 15 and Franklinville Rd, Thurmont. Call
(301) 271-2322 for more information.