Dollars & Sense
Operation SEAs the Day supporter Armand’s Pizzeria celebrates 15 years
The Drosdzal family at Armand’s Pizzeria & Grille is in the service industry. That much is obvious. Celebrating a major anniversary this summer, they’ve been in the service industry now for going on 15 years.
Much of that service has been in the form of delivering the goods — specialty pizzas in their signature deep-dish style, signature pastas, such as Riley’s homemade ravioli stuffed with Valentino’s ricotta cheese, or an array of fresh salads, subs, seafood entrees and other traditional Italian fare. But not-so-obviously, the Drosdzals have also been doing their best to deliver on serving those who serve the country as well.
“We’ve been blessed here, and we wanted to give back, to all of the community,” said Ron Drosdzal, owner, operator and family patriarch.
Fenwick Wine Cellars held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, June 2, in celebration of the winery’s expanded facility construction and its new 26-acre property in Frankford, just north of its former location on Route 54 near Selbyville.
The homegrown winery business, owned by fourth-generation farmer Adrian Mobilia, first opened in 2010, with a goal to provide the community with the relaxing experience of an actual vineyard while learning about the wine and the importance of agriculture.
“We leased a building as a test, with the long-term plan always being our own land and building,” explained Mobilia. The hard part was finding the right piece of property. “We had been looking for land for three years,” he said. “Last year, we finally found the right space and purchased it.”
Su Casa holds ribbon-cutting for new Bethany furnishings store
Su Casa held its grand opening weekend, complete with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce, on Saturday, June 4. The new store offers home furnishings, décor and small accessories, featuring modern and classic furniture.
Su Casa is focused on providing a source for locally made pieces with stories. Each piece of furniture Su Casa sells is available in a variety of different fabric options or finishes, allowing the buyer to create a unique piece that is exactly what they want. As well as its furniture selections, Su casa also offers a selection of rugs in many sizes.
There was much to do when Bill and Linda Guckin took over the restaurant space formally known as Charlie’s Bayside in Fenwick Island. There were renovations to get under way, color schemes to choose, a brand new menu to create and literal walls to come down, to optimize the space’s scenic waterfront views.
Oh, yeah — and they also had to move their collective allotment of worldly possessions and basically their entire lives from the next state over, from Philadelphia, Pa.
But after a complete redesign of both the restaurant’s atmosphere and its offerings, as well as an eagerly-endorsed one-way U-Haul rental receipt, Fin Alley finally made its debut, just in time for Memorial Day weekend of 2016.
“The one word that I kept on hearing was: ‘Excellent,’” said Linda Guckin of the opening weekend reception. “Not ‘good,’ ‘very good’ or ‘OK,’ but ‘excellent.’ There’s people that have returned three times already. That’s what we want.”
As husband-and-wife entrepreneurs, the Guckins had already embarked on no small number of successful entrepreneurial endeavors in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. But despite that success, city life had begun to take its toll.
That’s when the long-time visitors to the area’s beaches, with a vacation home in Bishopville, Md., began to find it more and more difficult to leave the beach and head back home.
“We were looking around for a business for quite a while, and then this opportunity came about,” explained Bill Guckin. “It’s a good location and great view. We thought, with a good remodel and fixing the place up — maybe improve the menu a bit — we thought people would really enjoy coming here. So we decided to jump on it.”
After a winter storm wrecked a local chicken shack, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 members didn’t imagine they’d be able to reopen for summer, without paying a dime. But, the fundraising barbecue shack reopened on May 21, in time for the summer season.
The secret Fenwick Crab House crabcake recipe is locked away in a safe at an undisclosed location.
The dish has been named “The Perfect Crab Cake” by the New York Times, voted Delaware Today’s Reader’s Choice “Best Crab Cakes” three years running and “Best Crab Cake in Delaware” by state-wide publications, among other awards.
But while that recipe hasn’t changed since 1988, only two people know just exactly how it reads.
With owners Scott and Cathy Fornwalt now ready to pass the torch, new owners Pat McArdle and Todd Hays are ready to take on protecting that secret recipe and the Fornwalt legacy at the state’s most historic crab house (est. 1962).
“The traditions of this place were incredible,” said McArdle. “We’re going to continue Scott and Cathy’s, but we also want to add to ours. We want to look out for their reputation and create our own. Our big thing is satisfy the customer, no matter what it takes.”
In 1865, the Civil War was coming to an end. Motorized cars wouldn’t be common in Sussex County for nearly a century. And the Magee family legacy was just beginning, with the purchase of 38 acres in Williamsville.
Today, the family-owned Magee Farms covers 1,300 tillable acres across Selbyville, Lewes and Ocean Pines, Md.
Standing at the June 4 celebration with his wife, Ellen, two sisters, and his sons and their wives, Danny Magee thanked the community in which he’s farmed his whole life. He learned to drive a tractor the day his feet could reach the pedals, he said.
Some things haven’t changed. (“My grandfather grew strawberries. My father grew strawberries,” he said.) But technology has made a huge impact on this fifth-generation farm.
Kim and Justin Cavagnaro recently announced the opening of Ocean Vayu Yoga at 29P Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View, opposite the UPS Store and Northeast Seafood Kitchen. The community is being invited to the opening party and ribbon-cutting on Friday, June 17, at 4 p.m. Classes start Saturday, June 18.
The Cavagnaro name might be familiar to Coastal Point readers, because they have both been active members of the local art community since moving to the area in 2002. And, from 2006 until last year, Kim Cavagnaro was the owner of The Artful Bean, located near the post office in Bethany Beach.
“I was working at Japanesque when the space became available, and I thought it would be an incredible place for Justin and me to display and sell artwork, while we sold a few cups of coffee on the side. But, as time progressed, the coffee and food section of the business really took on a life of its own,” said Cavagnaro.
Several “Culinary Coast” restaurants received nods in National Geographic’s recently released, “Great American Eating Experiences: Local Specialties, Favorite Restaurants, Food Festivals, Diners, Roadside Stands and More.”
Delmarva Power is aiming to make it easier for customers to install solar panels on their rooftops and connect them to the electric distribution system. One recent change will allow customers who are interested in installing solar panels to bypass the paper process and instead complete an online application.
The year is 1985. A young Rebecca Mais has just found out that she didn’t get the job after interviewing for a position at the University of Maryland. The next day, she’ll find out that she’s pregnant.
Mais and her husband, Richard, had already left their posts at the University of South Carolina and were set to relocate in Washington D.C. They were ready for something new. But little did they know then that they’d get more than they’d bargained for when things turned 1986.
Not only was that the year that their first-son, Brandt, was born, in January, but that spring, so was McCabe’s Gourmet Market.
“Rebecca and I laugh — Brandt was born in January, we built an ocean front townhouse that we moved into April 1st, we both left our jobs and then we started the business,” said Richard Mais. “Ten years later, we read a list of the Top 10 reasons people get a divorce, and we had done like seven of them in one year.”
Speculation has run rampant over what would happen with the Harris Teeter building near Salt Pond since that company announced they were closing their doors there in February 2015.
Beebe Healthcare recently congratulated its Nursing Excellence Award recipients and recognized May 6-12 as National Nurses Week.
“Beebe Healthcare is proud to celebrate the role our nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality and patient experience for patients,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, president and CEO, Beebe Healthcare.
It might seem like a long way from pursuing a music career in Nashville, but Tyler Hundley hopes his Millsboro power-washing business will be music to his customers’ ears.
Hundley, 26, is the president of Looks New Powerwashing and the proud owner of a new rig for the business, which he says is state-of-the-art and “the Ferrari of power-washers.”
A 2008 graduate of Sussex Technical High School in Georgetown, Hundley headed to Nashville, a young man with a dream of making it in the music business. While that didn’t pan out the way he had planned, a friendship with a fellow musician led to a business relationship with that same friend, in power-washing. He spent about four years learning the trade alongside his friend, soaking up the tricks of the trade and realizing that it was something he enjoyed — and that he was good at it.
Meghan Kelly has joined the Law Office of McDonnell & Associates P.A. and recently celebrated with a ribbon-cutting with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. Located in the Bennett Realty building, she will focus her practice on real estate settlements, as managing attorney for the Delaware office.
The story of Atlantic Shoals Surf Shop is much like that of its owner, Fletcher Birch.
Like Birch, the shop was born on Chincoteague Island, Va., soon after that making the trek north to the Ocean City, Md., and Delaware beach area, on the search for contests and sustainable surf culture.
After a storied competitive career, that search settled down in 2010, when Birch launched Atlantic Shoals in Fenwick Island with business partner Mark Keisewetter, just one year after the doors to the Chincoteague shop opened in 2009.
Now, in 2016, he’s bringing his signature blend of style, surf community and friendly service north once again — this time setting up shop in Bethany Beach.
“The vibe’s gonna be the same. I’m still gonna be doing all the A-to-Z stuff so, it’s really gonna have the same feel,” Birch said. “We’re just looking to bring that shop and that vibe to a new town.”
Small-to-medium sized businesses face a challenge: how to generate more revenue while still keeping costs as low as possible.
The Dayna Feher Real Estate Team of ResortQuest Real Estate recently received recognition as the company’s overall Top Producing Team for 2015 and was ranked No. 1 in sales for the year, with more than $20 million in sales.
Long & Foster Real Estate recently welcomed Mike Holoka as a sales associate in its Bethany office at 33298 S. Coastal Highway.
Bruce Mears Designer Builder was selected as the “People’s Choice” winner in Integrity’s 2015 Red Diamond Achiever (RDA) Program, which awards architects, builders and remodelers for cutting-edge design and sustainability through the use of Integrity Windows & Doors.
Delmarva Power electric and gas customers this month and into May will see a $122.64 and $49.95 credit, respectively, on their monthly bill, the first of the benefits they will receive as part of the merger completed last month between Exelon and Pepco Holdings Inc., the parent company of Delmarva Power.
Buoyed by a stronger-than-forecasted first quarter, the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) announced this week a revised outlook for 2016 that would continue what they described as a years-long period of modest and steady growth in southern Delaware’s real estate markets.
New Ocean View residents set to appear on ‘The Chew’
Not long ago, Tony Lanuza and Chris Poeschl of Ocean View were living the stereotypical “struggling artist” life in New York City. But on April 15, the two men — partners in life, as well as entrepreneurship — will appear beside world-renowned chef Mario Batali on the ABC TV show “The Chew.”
Their baked goods company, “The Brooklyn Baking Barons,” produces a Honey Whiskey Cake that has made its way onto People magazine’s holiday gift guide and into homes of celebrities including Batali, who apparently now buys the cakes for celebrations with his family.
The golden palm-sized mini-cakes may be their ticket to stardom, but they actually had the humblest of beginnings. It was Poeschl’s birthday, and, according to Lanuza, finances were too tight to buy him a gift, so he offered to bake him something. Poeschl asked for “a Caribbean rum cake, but not a rum cake,” he said.
The resulting cake has been the pair’s ticket to success. That success is due in no small part to a previous visit to “The Chew” — not as guests, but as audience members, with free tickets. Wanting to take full advantage of the opportunity, the two decided to bake up some honey cakes for the hosts, as well as the crew.
Water Lili brings bohemian style to Bethany boardwalk
It just kind of worked out.
The space for her store of 10 years in Rehoboth Beach was being renovated. There was a divorce that was winding down. And an oceanfront spot right on the Bethany Beach boardwalk had just opened up.
Factor in that her partner — a Bethany legend who goes by the handle “Bodji” — knew the landlord, and that she padded by the spot on her stand-up paddleboard (SUP) every morning anyway, and Lili Oller didn’t have to think twice about opening up her new store, Water Lili, as everything else seemed to fall into place.
“This is the rebirth. This is the new beginning,” said Oller, who had previously owned Tiger Lili in Rehoboth. “I was like, ‘Alright, I’m just gonna dive into this, because I so believe in this.’ This is not work. This is my life.”
An avid SUP-er and ocean advocate, with a worldly travel résumé and off-the-wall passion for fashion, Oller opened up shop last week, aiming to introduce Bethany Beach to her signature — yet always changing — bohemian beach style.
An array of versatile clothing options, ranging from beachwear to casual and evening wear, as well as jewelry, eyewear, handbags, footwear, accessories and vintage T-shirts, flannels and even a few garments without universal classifications, are just a slice of the lifestyle that can be typically found at the newest hotspot on the boards. And, according to some of the locals turned already-loyal Water Lili customers, it’s exactly what the area has been waiting for.
The number embossed on the door of Doyle’s restaurant in Selbyville reads “5092.” It is a number that tells the very beginning of a story that now spans 65 years and is firmly planted in the area’s history — a history that includes agriculture, as well as tourism.
Originally called Woody’s Diner, after owner Woody Sturgis, the restaurant has been verified to be the oldest “Silk City Diner” still operating in Delaware — which is part of the story told by that 5092 on the door. It signifies, according to Brandon Doyle, that the diner was built in 1950 and it was the 92nd “dining car” — which is what the Silk City Diners actually were — built by the Paterson Vehicle Co. that year.
Doyle, whose family has operated the restaurant since 1983, takes pride in the fact that the diner appears today just about the same as it did in 1951, when Woody’s Diner opened. Coverings on stools and booths have been replaced over the years, and somewhere along the way the original blue coverings were replaced with red ones. But otherwise, the diner is very much unchanged — thanks in part to the Doyle’s efforts to find authentic replacement parts when they are needed.
Schreiber breaks the mold with Custom Fit 360 in Millville
Accept the challenge.
That’s what Erik Schreiber told himself he had to do when, after making a career out of fitness, he finally decided to open his own gym last month. And at Custom Fit 360 in Millville, that’s what he asks his clients to do, too.
What he doesn’t ask those clients to do, however, is work out the way that he works out, or the way that anyone else works out, for that matter, because, as the name suggests, Custom Fit 360 is all about one thing: customizing the fitness experience for each individual client.
“Everybody has different things that they need to work on,” Schreiber explained. “You’re not gonna get P90X in here. You’re not gonna get Jillian Michaels — because that’s not customized; everybody does the same thing. You’re gonna get your own workout based on what your goals are, and we’re gonna accomplish those goals by working together.”
Individualizing everything from the exercises to the way he puts his clients through them, and even down the music selection, Schreiber is able to put the focus on specific, and typically very different, needs.
One of those clients has been local restauranteur Steve Hagen of the Off the Hook Restaurant Group, who has lost more than 30 pounds since signing up with Schreiber around three months ago.
The Bethany Beach Town Council has formally made known its opposition to a development of six four-unit multi-family structures proposed to be built off Garfield Parkway on property that contains forested wetlands — 1.9 acres of which would be filled in by owners Stanley and Delores Walcek if permits from federal, state and local officials were granted.
Bishop-Hastings Funeral Home rang in the new year early, with a rebranding ribbon-cutting ceremony held on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, to commemorate its new name. Family and friends joined new owner W. Bryan Bishop Jr., along with Selbyville Mayor Clifton C. Murray, and State Rep. Ron Gray in celebrating the rebranding.
For the fifth consecutive year, data compiled and released by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) earlier this month indicates a period of modest growth in the region’s real estate markets.
Again led by the coastal market, the numbers indicate nearly $1.52 billion in southern Delaware real estate changed hands in 2015, which is a 1 percent increase over the previous year.