A store with the name Sock Avenue better sell a lot of socks, and Rehoboth Beach’s only sock-themed store does just that.
Open for roughly a month, Sock Avenue is owned and operated by Delmar and Dena Smith. During an interview June 24, Delmar estimated the store has at least 2,000 styles of socks, from at least 20 different brands.
This is the second sock-themed store for the Smiths - the couple opened OC Socks last year in Ocean City, Md. There was a good response, so they decided to expand to Rehoboth Beach, said Delmar.
“What better place to be than on Rehoboth Avenue,” he said, of the store located in what was the longtime home of Loungin’ Lizzard. “This place is much bigger.”
Delmar is a retired Maryland State Police Trooper, while Dena operated Bears by the Bay on Solomon’s Island, Md. When Delmar retired in 2005, he said the couple decided to move to Ocean City. Soon afterward, he said, the couple opened Doggy Style K-9 Cafe in a small shop located a stone’s throw from the Ocean City Inlet.
Delmar said the idea of opening a sock-themed store came because the dog breed-specific socks they sold at the cafe were always a good hit.
“We decided to take a chance,” he said.
Delmar credits Dena with being the brains behind the operation. She’s the who does all the research and all the ordering, said Delmar.
Sock Avenue has given the Smiths a chance to expand offerings up from the Ocean City store’s 1,500 styles. Delmar said he and Dena travel the country seeking out sock vendors at trade shows.
“We’ve done a lot of research,” he said, adding that as far as he and Dena know, they’re the largest sock-themed store in the country. “There’s a lot more styles and brands.”
Delmar said there are socks for all ages - toddlers, teenagers and adults; socks that’ll make a person laugh, socks showing support for causes, and adult-themed socks too. Prices range from less than a few dollars to collectable socks for $35.
“We’ve had people walk through the store and laugh out loud,” said Delmar, recognizing some of the socks might be a little too bold for children. “But we don’t carry anything overly offensive.”
Sock Avenue, 138 Rehoboth Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. For more information call 443-624-0564 or go to www.ocsocks.com.