After 38 seasons, Ken and Kay Miller have closed The Little Store in Dewey Beach to enjoy their grandchildren and relax on the beach.
“We’re getting up there in age,” Ken said, noting he and his wife made the decision to close the grocery and convenience store before the COVID-19 pandemic.
For now, Ken said, they will hold on to the ocean block property at the corner of Coastal Highway and Read Avenue, which includes the first-floor store as well as an upstairs apartment.
“We may lease the bottom part next year,” he said by phone June 23. “But it’s nice having the apartment. We come to the beach during the week, and go home to Milton when it gets crazy here on the weekends. Right now I’m sitting on the beach, which is something I’ve never been able to do before.”
Ken said he was in his 30s when he opened the store. He thought one of his daughters might want to take over the business, but their own careers and families have kept them too busy.
“I had to get up at 5:15 in the morning every day,” Ken said. “It’s not hard work, but we finally decided it was time.”
One thing he’ll miss, Ken said, are the many friends he made throughout nearly 40 years in business.
“We developed lots of friendships with people from all over the country who came back every year,” he said. “I will miss that part because we really had a lot of nice people who came in year after year.”