Dollars & Sense
For more than two decades, Grout Fix Services has been providing customers from Lewes to Ocean City, Md., and the surrounding area with solutions to their tile and grout needs.
“We’re on time all the time, and we take a proactive approach to what we do and pay attention to detail,” said owner Wayne Kratzer of the business’ success. “That kind of sticks out with people, that we follow through. It’s the little touches that make the difference.”
After moving to the area around more than 20 years ago from Pennsylvania, it was by coincidence that Kratzer got into the business.
“I moved to the area 22 years ago and wanted a change and decided to come down here,” he explained. “I actually got involved with this by accident, by working with chemicals, and came up with this process of grout sealing.”
Body & Soul has been offering Pilates and yoga since they opened in January of 2013; however, it wasn’t until recently that the Selbyville-based studio became the first in the area to offer barre workout classes — which is a growing exercise trend based on ballet.
“It’s a very non-impact, yet still aerobic workout. Their heart rates are elevated but at a maintained level,” said Body & Soul barre instructor Erin Dunworth. “It’s a proven exercise that we just haven’t had around here. Every week we get a couple new clients.”
“[We’re] following the curve,” added Body & Soul owner Di Hill. “[It’s] a group fitness exercise, and then adding in the fundamentals of Pilates, which is strengthening and a lot of core work, and yoga, which is the stretching part — so it’s a compressive program.”
While Hill has only owned the studio for going on two years, she brings 35 years of experience in various exercise and health practices, including Pilates, personal training, reformer training and yoga, and is certified in them all.
Pizza Palace III has come to Selbyville, and with a delivery service, it’s bringing the party all over Sussex County. Located in the Strawberry Center on Route 113, it takes the place of the former Pizzelli’s restaurant.
In the kitchen, freshly made dough rises on the counter, and the sauce is a secret recipe. Hand-rolled into each pan, pizza headlines a long Italian-style menu. Any combination is available, building on top of golden melted mozzarella cheese: Mexican pizza with hot sauce, tomato, onion, jalapeno and chicken; meat lovers; vegetarian; Hawaiian; classic white pizza with garlic butter and mozzarella; cheesesteak pizza; and more.
Or, diners can try a variation, with the Stromboli, steak-o-boli or calzone.
“They love the pizza here — dinner specials at a decent price,” said Salvatore “Sal” Barbagallo, partner and pizza master.
Calling all witches and ghouls: Goodwill of Delaware’s annual Halloween Costume Competition is under way.
After nearly six months of renovations, Millsboro’s Blue Water Grill will officially reopen its doors for business on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11:30 a.m.
The restaurant closed in March following an electrical fire that caused damage to the restaurants kitchen and ceiling.
“We did okay. Thank goodness we had insurance. We had coverage while we were closed. It was certainly not the same as sales, but it was a huge blessing,” said Jessica Wiggins, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Josh. “Six months was a long time to be closed.”
While the dog days of summer may be dwindling, the hot dog days are just getting under way in Fenwick Island, as Twilley’s Hot Dog Hut opened its doors last week, just in time for Labor Day. Owned by Fenwick local Mark Twilley, who brings extensive restaurant-industry experience, the venture has been a long time in the making.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. To actually be in the town I grew up in — it’s awesome, it makes it even better,” he said of being able to launch a business in his home town. “A lot of friends and family have come in to help support me, and I’m greatly appreciative of that and, hopefully, the word of mouth spreads and [we] just keep picking up the business.”
Twilley said he got the idea for the business when he and his girlfriend, Tara Sansone, were brainstorming ideas for things that the area was missing.
Michael Loftus, owner of Loftus Wealth Strategies in Millville was recently named a Five Star Wealth Manager for 2014 by Five Star Professional, a company that researches and recognizes outstanding service professionals.
ResortQuest Real Estate announced recently that Shelby Smith has joined the West Fenwick office on Route 54 in real estate sales as part of the Windrow Team.
Smith graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in business management and worked as a financial analyst before moving to the resort area and obtaining her Delaware real estate license.
Many teachers have reached into their own pockets for the benefit of students, whether for school supplies or another need. Restaurateur Matt Haley wanted to ease that pressure and did so recently with a $500 grant for each of his 15 employees who teach during the year.
Haley, who was killed as the result of a motorcycle crash while on a humanitarian mission in India on Monday, Aug. 18, had recently announced the Matt Haley Companies’ (MHC’s) Teacher Fund, designed to support all teachers who work part- or full-time for MHC.
“Any student of a teacher that works with us is a student of ours. No underprivileged student will ever not be prepared with school supplies again. We commit to supporting our students with supplies so the teachers will not have to,” Haley said in announcing the effort earlier this summer.
“The aim of the fund is to ensure children in the classrooms of our teachers are fully funded and have the supplies and resources to be successful,” explained MHC President Scott Kammerer. “If somebody needs a pair of shoes, backpack, pencils, crayons…”
This is the first Teacher Fund, but it likely won’t be the last for MHC’s teachers. Asked if such a program would entice more teachers to take jobs within the Haley companies, Kammerer said, “I hope so!”
“I think companies that are successful should look within their own families to support [them]. Our family was supported by someone giving Matt Haley a chance. It’s in the DNA of our company to pay it forward.”
Those who have missed the signs for Jakarta’s Indonesian Grill along Route 26 in Clarksville have also been missing out on one of the area’s most unique spots to eat.
Husband-and-wife owners Dave Olson and Tri “Kiky” Sari have introduced an authentic taste of Indonesia to Sussex County — one that, for the most part, can’t be found anywhere else.
“We’ve had a lot of people come up and say, ‘You’re the only curry place in town,’ and they come here just for the curry,” said Olson of some of the Jakarta’s regulars.
“They always come back to me and say, ‘There’s something different about your food,’” added Sari.
From their food truck located next to the colorful shop Liddy Loves Clothes, Sari has been serving up a variety of traditional Indonesian cuisine, including beef and chicken curry, Javanese fried rice, Javanese fried noodles and, on the weekends, chicken satay.
Bank of America has agreed to pay $45 million to Delaware and provide significant financial benefits to Delaware homeowners to settle allegations that it misled investors about the riskiness of mortgage-backed securities, Attorney General Beau Biden announced this week.
ResortQuest Real Estate recently announced the July 2014 top producing sales associates for its southeast Sussex County offices.
Colleen Windrow of the Marketplace at Sea Colony office won top honors for listings for the month.
G&E Inc. and Hocker’s Super Center in Ocean View and Millville support the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter each year by selling paper forget-me-nots for $1 each in memory of or in honor of someone who has or had any type of dementia. The campaign ran from July 1 through Aug. 3 this year.
Dan Lewis and Robin Rankin, former owners of Coastal Living Market, have been perfecting their pizza recipe for years but are finally sharing it with Bethany Beach, with the grand opening of their latest venture, Pie — a gourmet pizza restaurant and wine bar.
Also joining Lewis and Rankin in the venture is long-time friend Kelley Martin, who has been overseeing the bar while her business partners run the kitchen. The result so far has been overwhelming success with a concept that has become increasingly popular in various cities throughout the nation.
“This whole concept of more gourmet pizza is popping up everywhere. We literally had no idea,” said Martin of customer feedback so far. “We have gotten nothing but rave reviews about everything. Everybody loves it.”
“I think, in general, simpler concepts in restaurants overall are becoming more popular,” added Rankin of the idea. “We wanted it to be casual. We’re at the beach. We don’t want people to feel like they have to get dressed up to come to dinner.”
To go along with Pie’s casual yet inviting atmosphere, the menu also avoids overcomplication, featuring nine specialty pizzas, a few salads, and a variety of meat and cheese charcuterie plates. Customers are also free to build their own custom pizzas, incorporating any of the house ingredients available, all on Pie’s signature hand-rolled, grilled dough.
The Ocean View Beach Club (OVBC), a master-planned residential community located just west of Bethany Beach, has opened sales. Designed by Convergence Communities, OVBC will offer an array of natural and planned wellness-based amenities and programs to its future residents, representatives said.
Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) 2014 President Brad Riedle recently completed a comprehensive multi-day training program conducted in Chicago by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
After the crowds leave the ballpark and ESPN sends the lights and cameras back up to Bristol; after the celebration dwindles and the teams head back home; and after the popcorn is swept up from the Lower Sussex “Walk of Fame,” Delaware District III Director Martin Donovan starts taking a look at the numbers.
“Economic development for the county and the state was huge,” Donovan noted, after estimating that District III spent more than $200,000 locally just in food, housing and transportation for the teams alone as host of the Big League and Senior League Softball World Series, held in Roxana during the first week of August. “I think that one of the things that people don’t realize is it’s a county-wide event, as far as people spending money.”
This year’s Big League Softball World Series featured two teams from Delaware playing in the championship game, with Milford representing USA East and Laurel getting a bid as the District III host team.
The Bethany Beach office of Long & Foster Real Estate has been named the Best Real Estate Office in Sussex County by Coastal Style magazine. This is the second year that the local publication has invited its readers to vote for their favorite businesses and services in the Best Of competition, and the first time that Long & Foster has received the real estate award.
Claddagh Pub owner Mike Clarke is not Irish. He doesn’t serve Irish food. He doesn’t really even like Irish food. However, when he went to open up his first bar/restaurant in 1995, he could think of no better concept than an Irish pub.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage announced this week that Christine Macysyn has become a sales associate with the company’s Bethany Beach office.
Millville By the Sea this week success with new home sales this summer. Since the grand opening of the new Model Home Court in June 2014, the growing beach resort community in Millville has seen more 440 potential buyers and sold 10 coastal-style homes from builders Miller & Smith and the Christopher Companies.
A decade ago, Lisa Daisey launched EcoBay Kayaking Adventures as an enthusiastic 26-year-old. Now in business a decade, Daisey still doesn’t need any added reasons to get excited about going to work every day — but after adding stand-up paddleboarding instructor May Harmon to the team to help run their first ever SUP camp, she’s got one anyway.
“It’s hard to do it. It’s consistently challenging,” said Daisey, who also owns Juice Box on Route 26 in Ocean View, of being an entrepreneur. “To make it 10 years — especially starting when I was 26 — I was like, ‘I just wanna take some people out kayaking,’ and now I have people calling every year, so it feels good. I would not be able to do what I do without all the amazing help I get to work with every day.”
As always, EcoBay offers its two-day kayak camps at James Farm, in addition to the its various other kayaking and SUP ventures, but now it also offers a daylong day-camp for stand-up paddleboarding, as well.
“They’re just thrilled. This is their dream, their bucket-list item for the summer,” said Harmon, who joined EcoBay as a Paddlefit-certified instructor. “I love teaching SUP to these kids. I love sharing my passion for fitness through the most empowering sport I have ever done in my life.”
Bethany Beach Books is offering locals and visitors the chance to find the ever-elusive Waldo in downtown Bethany Beach. Those who wish to participate in the free family-friendly activity can stop by any of the 25 participating Bethany Beach shops and pick up a “passport” before starting their search.
For years, Bethany Cycles, located on Route 26, was a destination for cyclists in the Bethany Beach area. Last December, the shop was bought by Bicycle Connection, which has another location in Maryland, and as a result it can now offer customers a wider variety of bicycle- and kayak- related products.
“We just have a lot more available than we had before,” said Manager Tommy Riebel. “We switched the line. We’re going back to Trek and the Electro line of bikes. They also have the Townies, which are very popular.”
The shop carries Trek road bikes and hybrids for all skill levels of riders and carries Electro as their beach cruisers, for those looking for a bike to use in the bike lane on Coastal Highway or on local boardwalks.
Not only does Bicycle Connection carry a variety of bikes, it also carries a variety of bike accessories, including bicycle shoes, seats, pumps, locks, storage bags, racks, trailers and baby seats.
“Not everybody’s got shoes,” explained Riebel. “We have some cycling shoes — shoes that also work for spin class, which is popular around here with a couple gyms.”
The new Royal Farms location on Route 26 in Ocean View will open for business next week. The 24-hour gas and convenience store will have its soft opening at midnight on Tuesday, July 14, with an official ribbon-cutting on July 17 at 10 a.m.
The store will have 24-hour gas pumps and a Redbox kiosk located outside of the store, as well as various food items inside, including the chain’s fried chicken.
Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran said the store is unique in that they minimize the cost of ribbon-cuttings and instead donate money to area charities.
“They have named eight of them, starting with Mariner’s Bethel Church. The top charity gets $1,000 and the others receive $500 each,” explained Curren. “They’re already a very good neighbor.”
The new Royal Farms is located at 58 Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View.
As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden warned Delawareans to be on the lookout for travel-related frauds and scams.
Long & Foster Real Estate announced this week that the Leslie Kopp Group, based in Bethany Beach, ranked 201st out of real estate teams nationwide, based on transaction volume in 2013, as ranked by REAL Trends Inc.
Lauren Nuttle, doctor of physical therapy at Aquacare Physical Therapy, has completed the first portion of the Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP), “Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation,” Aquacare announced this week.
“Southern Delaware’s incredible growth as a culinary destination has led to the area becoming known throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond as the Culinary Coast,” noted representatives of Southern Delaware Tourism.