Downtown Rehoboth staple to close its doors, family legacy remains alive

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – “It’s definitely going to be sad to close this chapter,” Schmer said.

If you’re coming down Rehoboth Avenue, you can’t help but to spot the bold and bright Sea Shell Shop.

It’s called downtown Rehoboth Beach home for 43 years. “As I get older, my son is running the store now. He’s the third generation and I’m the second. My parents started the Sea Shell Shops back in Fort Laurderale in 1956” Derrick said.

Come February, the doors of the shop will close permanently. “We’re just downsizing because it’s easier on me. It’s better to plan to downsize then have an emergency to make you downsize,” Derrick said.

“People come in the store every day now crying and saying they’re going to miss us. They were here when they were little children, now they’re all grown up and had children that are now grown.”

It’s not just customers having to adjust to the news, staff members also say it’s going to be a tough goodbye. “I’m glad to even be a part of just a year of it. It was very special to be down here on the avenue and near the beach, near the grandstand, and all the fun,” Shop Manager April Schmer said.

Owner Patty Derrick says the free time will allow the opportunity to dive back into some of her passions like art. “The artwork started by accident after my husband passed away. I started doing watercolors and my son encouraged me to put out a few prints and see if they sell. They sold so well,” Derrick said.

Derrick tells us although the doors of Rehoboth Avenue are closing, her heart remains open. “It’s really not a sad thing for me. It’s a good thing for me,” Derrick said.  “Hard work! If you open a store and work really hard you become the heart of the community if you just stay with it.”

The shop is now holding a 1/2 off the entire store sale until closing day, February 5th.

Tideline Gallery will be moving into the space in early March.

It’s not a complete goodbye, as the Sea Shell Shop’s last remaining location will stay open.

That address is 19366 Coastal Highway.

Categories: Business, Delaware, Local News