Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet celebrate 30 years in Lewes

Already 1% for the Planet, owners becoming Certified B Corporation
May 26, 2023

Who would have thought a British store would last decades in Lewes? Compounding the irony is that the store sits across from 1812 Park and is more or less an English celebration of Lewes.

Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet celebrated 30 years of business May 10. Gavin and Lou Braithwaite opened the first side, Puzzles, in 1992 and its conjoined neighbor, Lewes Gourmet (known as Union Jack then) in 1993. 

About seven years ago, Tim Southerst and Andrea Spuck purchased the stores from the Braithwaites. After living around the world, the couple felt a strong connection to Lewes and decided to take on the venture and continue raising their family in the First Town. The Southerst children all worked in the stores at one point in time, and the tradition of family-run businesses embedded in the community continued.

Alyssa Gentile baked the two cakes for the 30th anniversary. The nascent baker served up a white cake with lemon curd and a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. The store owners also gave away three $100 gift cards in a raffle and donated 30% of the day’s sales to Lewes nonprofits.

Year-round, all profits from the sale of Lewes design dish towels, aprons, mugs and posters is given to local nonprofits, in addition to special commemorative puzzle sales. Children’s Beach House, Coastal Concerts, Epworth’s Good Samaritan Food Pantry, First State Community Action Agency, Fort Miles Historical Association, Friends of the Lewes Public Library, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes in Bloom, Overfalls Foundation, Village Volunteers, Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute and more receive philanthropic support from the store.

Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet prides itself on purchasing and selling as many local products as possible. While there is certainly a fair share of international treats, the stores are also well stocked with items from Backyard Jams & Jellies, Hopkins Henlopen Homestead Honey, Henlopen Sea Salt, Delaware Sauce Company Hot Sauces, Double Spiral Chocolate, Devil Daves Bloody Mary Seasonings, Fisher’s Popcorn, Food Huggers and Henlopen Candle Works. One of the newest puzzles is Lewes By The Sea by Carol Dyer. The 30-by-24-inch puzzle is 100 pieces and suitable for framing. It’s exclusive to Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet.

Spuck and Southerst said they are the first entity to make the 1% for the Planet pledge in Sussex County. The store is also in the process of becoming a Certified B Corporation, which involves a 360 review of how they operate and care for stakeholders. Sussex County Councilman Mark Schaefer presented a tribute to Spuck and Southerst during the celebration.

Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet is located at 108-110 Front St. in downtown Lewes. More information about the stores can be found at and


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