Shop Talk

Tattoo Alchemy Creates Art for the Body and Home

Original art of many media cover the walls of the revitalized and renamed tattoo and art studio, Tattoo Alchemy, in Urbana. Owner Robert Vendemmia has worked diligently with his new artist, Adam Whetzel, to create a clean, comfortable experience for everyone. The new name was inspired by a mythological horror film Whetzel saw in 2014, “As Above, So Below,” about an alchemist’s journey. Of many definitions, alchemy is considered a magical creation or transformation. So Tattoo Alchemy was born.

Originally from Ijamsville, Vendemmia graduated from Urbana High School in 2002 and received an associate’s degree in business administration from Frederick Community College. He chose business so he could pursue his real love of art. “I started as a tattoo apprentice eight years ago and was amazed at what could be created,” said Vendemmia. He and Whetzel, both active fathers with four children each, create personalized tattoos of all styles and complexities, and take commissions for oil and watercolor paintings, plus charcoal and colored pencil work. “We will work with each customer,” Vendemmia said. “Everyone walks out happy.”

Tattoo Alchemy is located at 3518 Worthington Blvd. It is open from noon to 8 p.m. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are also welcome. Call 301.874.2453, visit or go to the Tattoo Alchemy Facebook page.

A Guide to Urbana’s Locally Grown Produce

If you haven’t planted your own garden in your backyard or joined the community garden with the YMCA near Urbana Middle School, but you still want fresh produce for your family, there are still options. The Urbana Library Farmers Market opens Sunday, May 3 offering fresh produce from local farms and orchards. The Farmers Market will be open every Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through mid-October. It offers a large variety of fresh flowers and crafts from the Urbana Regional Library’s parking lot.

Some local farms also offer Community Supported Agriculture programs, or CSAs, where customers can often choose different kinds and amounts of produce to pick up at the farm, farmer’s market or another nearby market.

Some of the vendors participating in CSAs and/or markets this year include:

  • Twin Hills Farm, Urbana;
  • Full Cellar Farm, Jefferson;
  • Rights of Man Farm, Ijamsville;
  • Thanksgiving Farms, Adamstown;
  • Over the Mountain Farm, Boonsboro;
  • Blue Faerie Farm, Middletown;
  • Allen’s Apiary, Frederick;
  • Nick’s Organic Farm, Adamstown; www.nicksorganicfarm
  • Faerie Springs Farm, Boonsboro;
  • Mayne’s Tree Farm, Buckeystown;
  • Hedgeapple Farm, Buckeystown,;

Additional information on local farmers markets and the virtual market is available at

Shop Notes:

Sadly, longtime Frederick gift shop, Flights of Fancy, has recently closed. The shop, which specialized in gifts and children’s educational toys, originally opened 30 years ago, then was sold to the current owner Ann and Michael Goodwin a decade ago. The Goodwins plan to spend much of their time now helping their daughter, Jenn Goodwin, with her nearby boutique, A Girl’s Best Friend, which specializes in jewelry and women’s accessories.

The Dash-In convenience store, car wash and Shell gas station will open this summer, as will the Royal Farms gas station and convenience store, famous for its chicken. The two quick stops are close to the intersection of Route 80, near Route 355.

Charming Charlie boutique, specializing in women’s apparel, shoes and accessories, will open soon in June at the Westview Promenade, near Mom’s Organic Market and Plow and Hearth. It replaces Leisure Fitness. For more information go to or


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