Top 50x2: Mountain Gate Family Restaurant and Octavo Designs

In this year’s special edition of Frederick Top 50x2, we are recognizing Frederick County’s most resilient businesses that have been serving our community for 20 years or more.  Each week we will be highlighting businesses and organizations that were selected for the publication.  These are the companies that prove that Frederick County is a great place to do business. 

Mountain Gate Family Restaurant
133 Frederick Rd | Thurmont
Established: 1979

Founder: Mearle McCleaf

We are a family restaurant, featuring a country style buffet, with a tradition of providing homestyle classic food, in a warm, friendly environment at a reasonable price.  We are also one of the largest catering services in the region, specializing in fully customized packages for any event, from back yard BBQ to formal wedding receptions.

Why is Frederick County a great place to do business?

The part of Frederick County where we are located has such a great atmosphere and is the perfect location for this type of business.  We are blessed to be nestled here in the Gateway to the Mountains.  We draw local families and tourists.  I can't imagine us being anywhere else.

What is your advice to a young company?

Be flexible.  Expectations change and you must be ready to change with them, while maintaining your core values.  As Kenneth Blanchard said in Raving Fans, “Decide who you are, figure out who your customer is, find out what they want and deliver plus one!”

Octavo Designs
50 Citizen's Way Suite 403-1A | Frederick
Established: 2000

Octavo Designs, an award winning graphic/web design firm, has been in operation since spring 2000. Octavo specializes in small, niche pieces that are fun, dynamic and unique, and offer a broad range of creativity from corporate to specialty looks.

What is your advice to a young company?

Belive in yourself and what you are doing. Go for it. Be smart and watch your spending on the onset.  Work hard and enjoy what you are doing.

Frederick County is very fortunate to have an amazing business community, especially those that have been in business for over 20 years.  We understand that there are more than 100 legacy businesses in Frederick County, but unfortunately, we were not able to include all these businesses in the Top 50x2.  The businesses included were selected from responses submitted to a business survey.  OED staff verified the responses and then selected the businesses on a first come first serve basis.  If your business would like to be included in future opportunities, please email

Some photographs included in the publication were taken pre-COVID.  OED encourages everyone to follow precautionary guidelines set forth by the Frederick County Health Department.