A couple of Bay Village’s best-loved shops opened for production during Presidents Day weekend, for the first time since Superstorm Sandy flooded the waterfront villa on Long Beach Island. Country Kettle Fudge and Country Kettle Chowda, owned and operated by the family of John Maschal, who designed and built the marketplace in downtown Beach Haven in 1965, are the first two of the area’s nearly 20 different shops to re-open since the storm. Both suffered damage from 4½ feet of floodwater.
But “business is as usual,” said son John Bell Maschal, manager of the two shops and a co-owner of Bay Village.
Country Kettle Fudge in Beach Haven received the all clear from the health department seven days before opening. Country Kettle Chowda passed the health inspection on Friday, Feb. 15, just one day before the Presidents Day festivities commenced.
|Photo by Jack Reynolds|
Country Kettle Fudge, located in the Bay
Village section of Beach Haven on LBI,
re-opened for business in February, after
suffering damage from Superstorm Sandy.
Country Kettle Fudge and Country Kettle Chowda, open only on weekends for now, have been busy serving up sweet treats and hot soup to customers, old and new. Many local homeowners who traveled to the area to check on their houses and partake in the local events that were held in observance of the holiday, stopped in for a quick bite. A turkey dinner hosted every year by the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company and the re-opening of the arcade at Fantasy Island helped draw patrons to the shops.
“It was a very busy weekend, and people were very excited we were open,” said Maschal.
A few plaques made by Maschal’s wife, Missy, have been hung on the walls to indicate how high the floodwater rose in the buildings. The signs have received a lot of attention from the public.
“Everyone wanted to know where the waterline was at. There are still a lot of places that we haven’t scrubbed it off yet,” Maschal said.
After the storm hit, the shops’ holiday orders were processed at Country Kettle Fudge’s shop in Surf City, which is not usually open for business during the off-season. Fortunately, the store did not see any damage from Sandy and was able to help keep business afloat.
|Photo by Jack Reynolds|
Country Kettle Chowda on LBI
re-opened just 24 hours before
the President's Day Weekend
“It was nip-and-tuck there. We were cutting up things while the health department was walking through,” Maschal said with a laugh. “It was a tough week,” he emphasized.
Maschal and the rest of his family also helped Bay Village’s other tenants make repairs to their stores. Indian Summer and Song of the Sea should open next, Maschal claimed. Breezin’ Up is also on its way. Two vacant shops are being considered for rent.
“We got all the (electrical) outlets changed and Sheetrock repaired, and now the tenants are taking over and starting to paint,” he said.
Although Maschal said he could not predict what this summer’s business would look like, he said Bay Village has received tons of support via email and Facebook.
“The best way to help us is to patronize us,” he said.
Country Kettle Fudge and Country Kettle Chowda will include Friday and Monday hours in mid-March. The shops will open daily in May.
This article was published in The SandPaper.