Dollars & Sense

Taxpayers should see if they qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit

Working people have saved millions of dollars on their tax returns by filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit. That’s why U.S. Sen. Tom Carper swung by Georgetown’s First State Community Action Agency last week to share the importance of filing for the credit.

Harris Teeter to close Salt Pond store

The Harris Teeter grocery store company announced on Tuesday that it would be closing its Salt Pond location near Bethany Beach in two weeks. The store is the area’s newest Harris Teeter store, open at Salt Pond Plaza since March 31, 2010, on the heels of its first local store opening in West Fenwick.

Business owners voice frustration with project

After just one month with two localized Route 26 road closures, business owners are really feeling the pressure. As their small businesses suffer from being located on temporary dead-ends, they voiced their concerns at a Feb. 10 Construction Advisory Group meeting, saying they feel the contractor doesn’t feel their sense of urgency.

Coastal Athlete joins area fitness scene

Those looking to make good of their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and fit will find a unique opportunity at Bethany Beach’s new Coastal Athlete, a personal training studio.

West Fenwick locals getting hooked on Yellowfin’s

There are many bars and restaurants in the area, but it’s a little harder for a local resident find a place where “everybody knows your name,” especially along the Route 54 corridor east of Selbyville. However, there’s a new spot for the locals to gather now that Yellowfin’s Bar & Grill has opened its doors in the Williamsville Shopping Center.

Food donations earn discount at Blooming Boutique

Doing the right thing has its perks.

Blooming Boutique is hosting a food drive to benefit Food Bank of Delaware. All shoppers who donate will receive a discount coupon, from now until Feb. 17.

Discounts are applied to that day’s, purchase, or a future one, at all four locations in Bethany Beach, Rehoboth, Lewes and Milford.

Sophia’s offers fine jewelry and more

People passing through Fenwick Island may have noticed more shimmer and sparkle since Sophia’s Fine Jewelry opened its doors Dec. 4, 2014, offering one-of-a-kind jewelry, service, and most importantly, a chance to make precious memories.

Planet Maze kicks off a year-long 20th anniversary celebration

Planet Maze in Ocean City, Md., this week announced the kick off to a year-long celebration commemorating its 20th anniversary, featuring contests, specials and a birthday party.

SoDel Concepts’ Ruley to cook at James Beard House in NYC

Doug Ruley, corporate chef for Rehoboth Beach-based SoDel Concepts, has been invited to cook at the James Beard House on Friday, March 15.

Record night for Winter Founderland event

A record number of women joined the Fund for Women as new founders at the annual Fund for Women Sussex County fundraiser, “Winter Founderland.” Women shopped, had cocktails and appetizers, and participated in the event for the cause of supporting women and girls in Delaware.

Fun Fit Vibe makes some good vibrations in Millville

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Greg Mervine stands atop a Power Plate at his store, Fun Fit Vibe in MIllville, while using a paddle.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Greg Mervine stands atop a Power Plate at his store, Fun Fit Vibe in MIllville, while using a paddle.Greg Mervine believes that being proactive with his health is the least expensive form of health care. That’s why he brought his business, Fun Fit Vibe, to the corner of Central Avenue in Millville.

Fun Fit Vibe is not a gym, but pairs clients with coaches to work one-on-one, using the Power Plate.

The Power Plate is a small, round platform that vibrates at 25 to 50 times per second. Like most exercise machines, it has a handle and computer monitor attached.

People can stretch or exercise while the platform vibrates, stimulates muscles and encourages blood flow.

That stimulates muscles “down to a cellular level,” Mervine said. As the muscles expand and contract around the bone, the bone strengthens, and density increases. “It’s not overbearing. It’s low impact, high results.”

The vibration “naturally increases gravity by accelerating the platform you stand … on,” reads the Fun Fit Vibe website.

Although it can be used while people are stationary, Power Plate is even more effective during exercise.

Matt’s Fish Camp beer dinners in full swing

Matt’s Fish Camp in North Bethany on Dec. 17 hosted a four-course beer dinner featuring Oskar Blues Brewery that aimed to prove that beer, like wine, does pair well with food. The restaurant is holding beer dinners in the off-season on the third Wednesday of each month. The next event is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Grab the golden shovel: Bethany eatery breaks ground

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: People of all ages got Bethany Boathouse T-shirts as Brent Poffenberger, center, and Tom Neville broke ground on their new restaurant.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: People of all ages got Bethany Boathouse T-shirts as Brent Poffenberger, center, and Tom Neville broke ground on their new restaurant.Construction has begun on the Bethany Boathouse, the newest restaurant venture from Cottage Café business partners Tom Neville and Brent Poffenberger.

The building will be located just off Route 1, south of Bethany Beach, between Walgreens and CVS, sharing a parking lot with the latter. The casual design is reminiscent of the historical Indian River Life-Saving Station, and the gazebo that is part of the restaurant is being built partly over the existing stormwater retention pond, compensating for the small amount of land available for the structure and offering a waterfront view, despite the lack of waterway and dock space.

“Probably people are wondering where the Boathouse is gonna go! Now you know,” Poffenberger said of the site located across Route 1 from the Cottage Café.

“When anybody sees the first boat pull up to this spot, please take a picture,” joked State Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. at the Dec. 4 ribbon-cutting for the eatery.

Delaware business licenses expire Dec. 31

With 2014 State of Delaware business licenses expiring at the end of December, the Delaware Division of Revenue is reminding businesses that they must renew their Delaware business license by Dec. 31, noting that it is easiest to renew licenses online at www.delaware.gov.

CVS opens its doors at Bayside Marketplace

The Carl M. Freeman Companies this week announced the official opening of CVS/pharmacy at Bayside Marketplace, located at the southwest corner of Route 54 and Americana Parkway, across from Bayside Marketplace. The 13,281-square-foot store opened Oct. 26 and offers pharmacy service, health, beauty and personal-care offerings, general merchandise, food and digital photo services.

Millsboro Chamber installs new board members

Coastal Point • Maria Counts : The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce held its volunteer appreciation dinner and installed its new board memebers on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Pictured from left are: John Thoroughgood, Mary Ann Leager, Crystal Hudson, Bob Cardaneo, Kevin Turner, Kathie Robinette and Kris Adams.Coastal Point • Maria Counts : The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce held its volunteer appreciation dinner and installed its new board memebers on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Pictured from left are: John Thoroughgood, Mary Ann Leager, Crystal Hudson, Bob Cardaneo, Kevin Turner, Kathie Robinette and Kris Adams.The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce this week held its volunteer appreciation dinner and installed its new board members. At the Dec. 2 dinner, Chamber Executive Director Amy Simmons thanked those in attendance for their help and support.

“In some way or another, you have supported the Chamber, you have volunteered for the Chamber and without you all, we could not do what we do.”

Simmons added that the Chamber had had another successful year, with such events as the Millsboro Country Festival, Central Sussex Bridal Show and the Easter Egg Hunt in Cupola Park.

During the evening, awards were also presented to Chamber members and volunteers for their service.

Crystal Hudson was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award, for the number of volunteer hours clocked at events, as well as the quality of the time put in.

“It was hands-down, without a doubt, above and beyond the others,” said outgoing Chamber President Kris Adams, who joined Simmons to present the award to Hudson.

Burkle promoted to SoDel Concepts corporate chef

Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, announced this week the promotion of Ronnie Burkle, a SoDel Concepts employee since 2011, to the position of corporate chef. SoDel Concepts owns and operates eight restaurants along the Delaware coast, as well as Plate Catering and Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, a food and catering truck.

Mind, Body & Sole expands in Bethany Beach

Mind, Body & Sole, in collaboration with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 24, celebrating the expansion of the current spa in Bethany Beach. Members of the business community and patrons joined them for the expansion party and ribbon-cutting.

SeaScape Property Management opens office in Millville

SeaScape Property Management Inc. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 7, in collaboration with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the opening of its new office location in the Millville Town Center.

Millville Verizon retailer participating in food-drive program

Verizon Wireless retailer recently announced that 300 of its stores will be donating and volunteering at local food banks through its “Stop the Hunger” initiative this holiday, season in a joint effort with its customers. The local participating store is in Millville, at 224 Atlantic Avenue.

Groundbreaking set for Bethany Boathouse restaurant

The Bethany Boathouse, the latest venture for Cottage Café owners Brent Poffenberger and Tom Neville, will hold a public groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m., with a reception immediately following at the Cottage Café.

Delaware Electric Cooperative to give $3.4M back to members

Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors has voted to return $3.4 million in capital credits to the cooperative’s member-owners in December. Capital credits are also known as the co-op’s profits or margins. Because DEC is a non-profit utility, margins are returned to the people the cooperative serves.

Kammerer discusses the power of selling at annual conference

For the past 21 years, Sussex County community leaders, business people and citizens have been coming together at the Today and Tomorrow Conference to promote economics, partnership and collaboration in the county.

The conference, which was held last week at Delaware Tech in Georgetown, was a “SELLebration.”

PRMC’s Delmarva Health Pavilion opens in Millsboro

Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) officially cut the ribbon on its new Delmarva Health Pavilion in Millsboro on Oct. 22.

“What a privilege it is to stand here during this grand opening of our magnificent grand opening,” said Dr. Peggy Naleppa, president and CEO.

SoundFX named magazine’s 2014 Retailer of the Year

SoundFX in Lewes, Del., is the recipient of the 2014 Retailer of the Year — Single Store Award presented by Mobile Electronics magazine. Co-owner Brian Layton received the award at a special ceremony in August during the annual KnowledgeFest tradeshow in Dallas.

Grout Fix celebrates 20 years in business

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Grout Fix Services owner Wayne Kratzer poses with patner Scott Ireland.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Grout Fix Services owner Wayne Kratzer poses with patner Scott Ireland.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 ‘raising the barre’ in Selbyville

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : A yoga class at Body & Soul.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : A yoga class at Body & Soul.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 delivering the goods in Selbyville

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : A pizza comes rolling out of the oven at Pizza Palace III in Selbyville. The pizza parlor offers delivery service across much of the area.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : A pizza comes rolling out of the oven at Pizza Palace III in Selbyville. The pizza parlor offers delivery service across much of the area.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.

Goodwill: It’s more than a thrift store

Calling all witches and ghouls: Goodwill of Delaware’s annual Halloween Costume Competition is under way.

Millsboro’s Blue Water Grill reopens for business

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.”

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