Customers are like family to local business owners

May 24, 2020

We are all discovering the activities we miss the most now that our lives are governed by this virus. I miss the local restaurants and boutique shops very much.

So on Mother’s Day weekend, my husband suggested we attend a Teller Wines tasting via Zoom. Hubby purchased four bottles of wines earlier in the week and lined them up on the counter on Saturday evening. 

“You do realize there are only two of us?” I said.

“We don’t have to open all four bottles,” he said.

The cheese platter from Heirloom came on a Noritake May Garden china plate. Owner Meghan had dutifully labeled the cheeses and included their sourdough loaf rolled in caraway, fennel, pepita seeds, oats and sesame with whipped butter. “Shouldn’t we just have a cheese and bread party?” I asked.

My husband joined the chat where we were greeted by total Zoom strangers. But then lovely host Molly Finnegan, the market manager for Olé Imports, introduced us to the first tasting, Nortico Alvarinho. She showed us a map of Portugal, explained the region and shared information about the families who produced the wine.

Everyone took a sip but us. We didn’t open that bottle because my husband wanted to taste the Cortijo Rioja. I stared at the wine expert. “Open the second one, please.” (A garnacha with a pretty pink label.)

My husband loves to attend wine tastings at Teller. Owner Kevin says that Ray represents their typical customer – one who is curious, educated and passionate about wine. Teller owners taste every wine before they buy it to make sure it fits into their flavor profile. Kevin says his customers are like family.

Molly asks for our feedback as people swirl the wine in their glasses.

“It’s delicious!” I say.

Better to wait for warmer weather and gather outside at a distance with friends so we can open all four bottles. BYOGLC - Bring your own glass and lawn chair.

To support local businesses, we frequent Totem Farms and purchase fresh greens, mushrooms and an occasional entrée by Chef Kevin of Abbott’s Grill fame. We gorged on real turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing this week, and another week we devoured Carne Asada, a grilled beef dish with cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and cumin.  

We miss Striper Bites in Lewes, but when we found out that Half Full was open and serving up its craft pizzas, it was a marriage meant to happen. Ray could order the meat lovers, while I prefer a pie with Fifer Orchards asparagus, roasted garlic and arugula.  

This week I happened to see an ad on Facebook featuring clothes from Deanna’s and Piccolino on Second Street in downtown Lewes. 

“Look, honey,” I said. “Shouldn’t we be fair and also support the local clothing stores?”

He sighed while I sent an inquiry about a pink floral top which was later delivered to my front door at no charge. I was told to try it on first and see if it fit or if I I liked it before payment was due.

The owners included a note: “Your support in these difficult tomes is so appreciated. Knowing you are by our side means so much. All the best and stay safe. - Darica and Jenny.”

Darica and other business owners are busy planning to reopen Lewes in a safe, orderly fashion. For more information about Deanna’s, go to

Many people are worried about how to feed and clothe their families. I am one of the truly fortunate. It’s an honor to support small businesses, because they support all of us. It’s what makes this town so special. It’s the reason I live here. 

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