Hammer & Stain’s new owner bringing music into the mix

Marissa Lerer opens The Listening Booth for local singer/songwriters
January 18, 2023

Looking to provide opportunities for people to be creative in as many ways as possible, Cape Region newcomer Marissa Lerer has opened The Listening Booth and partnered with Rachael Richardson to buy Hammer & Stain.

Hammer & Stain was opened in the summer of 2020 by Kelly Kiser. Lerer said she befriended Kiser when she was trying to find safe things for her and her children to do when options were still limited by the pandemic.

“I just fell in love with the concept,” said Lerer, who moved to the area from Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and kids in the early stages of the pandemic.

A couple of years later, Kiser was selling the business and Lerer was interested. She met Richardson, who already had her own crafting business, through Richardson’s boyfriend, and the two of them purchased Hammer & Stain in November.

Things have been going well so far, Lerer said. The previous owner was able to sustain a pretty good business with limited hours, so the plan is to add to what is being offered, she said.

Beginning with regular business hours, Hammer & Stain is expanding the types of projects that can be done. It will also host guest artists.

“The goal is to tap into the artists of this community,” said Lerer.

“We want to give people more options,” added Richardson.

As for the music, that’s coming in the form of The Listening Booth, a live music concept created by Lerer, who spent two decades in Brooklyn as a singer/songwriter.

Lerer began The Listening Booth months ago. She was anticipating opening a permanent venue off Route 9 near Five Points at the beginning of the year, but that didn’t happen.

Undeterred, Lerer has held half a dozen shows under The Listening Booth name at the Cinema Art Theater outside Lewes. It’s worked so far, she said.

In addition to live shows, Lerer has been offering songwriting classes in the Hammer & Stain studio. 

The Listening Booth is trying to re-create that coffeehouse vibe where someone can come in and do a 45-minute set of original music, said Lerer.

“There’s a lot of talented people in the area and we’re looking to build a community of singer/songwriters,” said Lerer.

Looking to the future, Lerer said the plan is to find a permanent location for The Listening Booth somewhere in Lewes.

“There’s been a lot of energy from the community,” said Lerer. “The interest is out there. People are knocking our door down to play. We just need to provide the place.”

For more information on Hammer & Stain Lower Delaware, 18388 Coastal Highway, go to, call 302-858-2686 or email

For more information on The Listening Booth, including a full listing of live shows and events, call 302-313-1718 or email


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