Every summer, thousands of families flock to the beach to spend their days baking in the sun and their nights cooling down with ice cream and candy as they stroll along the beach streets.
Coastal Point • MARY ROBBINS
Chris Berry, owner of Berry Good Treats and manager of Fishers Popcorn in downtown Bethany Beach, knows this scene all too well.
Having worked in the beach food business since high school, Berry has devoted his life to satisfying hungry beachgoers. After 12 years as a manager at Fishers, Berry is now able to watch eager children stare excitedly through the window of his own store.
Three years ago, Berry decided he wanted to have a place he could call his own; a place where people could find the beach food that everyone craves and a place where people would know his name.
And so Berry Good Treats on Garfield Parkway was created.
“I just thought it would be a really good opportunity to go out on my own and learn something more about the business,” Berry said.
Berry sought the help from boss and long-time friend Bill Hall, who is the current owner of Fishers and provided the financial assistance to buy the shop.
Berry started working full-time for Hall at the Fenwick Island location of Fishers Popcorn while he was in high school. Hall has provided personal guidance throughout his career.
“We certainly have a relationship outside of the stores. It’s kind of unavoidable,” Hall said.
In a town where ice cream and candy stores are a common sight and expectations are high, it takes more than good ice cream to bring people in.
Berry has embraced this challenge by making his store unique and different from the others. The overhead train that runs throughout the store brings people in, while the homemade waffle-cones keep them coming back for more.
“In a store like this, you have to always be looking for a different product from what other people have,” Hall said.
Hall credits Berry for making the store the attraction it has become.
“[Berry] really does the sweating over the store. I just helped make it financially possible,” Hall said. “Chris does a great job there. He’s got experience in small businesses like that, so he was prepared for the job.”
Three years later, Berry Good Treats is still going strong. Berry now has two children, ages 4 and 7, who don’t hesitate to take advantage of their good fortune.
“We get free ice cream and candy. That doesn’t hurt,” Berry said.