Friday, July 30–Berlin Businesses Pleased With Summer Sales

BERLIN – People are
coming to Berlin this summer despite the heat and the economy, a random
sampling of business owners reported this week.

“We’re having a great
summer. We’re very happy with the way things are going,” said Robin Tomaselli,
co-owner of the new Baked Dessert Café.

Tomaselli credited the
café’s business model, which stresses all natural ingredients, and the town’s
promotions, for bringing people into the bakery.

The communal business
atmosphere in Berlin also makes a difference, Tomaselli believes, with
businesses referring customers to other town businesses.

“There’s a real sense of
camaraderie,” Tomaselli said.

Veteran storeowner Toni
Stuart, proprietor of Stuart’s Antiques, said she is noticing more customers
and old customers coming back after a few years.

“It’s been real good
since May…so far it’s much better than the last two summers,” Stuart said.

More people are coming
to the beach, she said, but the weather has been too hot for sunbathing by the

“The heat has brought a
lot of people in,” Stuart said.

The town’s look brings
attracts people, she said, with old buildings kept clean and in good repair.

Michael Day, Berlin’s
economic development director, said that people are attracted to Berlin by
things they do not even notice, such as the buried phone and electric wires.

“It’s a feel that’s just
there,” Day said. “You don’t think about it but it makes the charm of the town
come across.”

Blair Parsons, who
operates TaDa with her mother, Patty Falck, said the first summer in TaDa’s new
Main St. location has been a positive one.

“We’re having a
fantastic summer,” Parsons said. “We’re seeing a lot of new customers.”

A lot of people seem to
be exploring the town, according to Parsons.

“It’s been pretty busy
every day, cloudy days, sunny days, it doesn’t seem to make much of a
difference,” Parsons said.

Customers seem a mix of
new and repeat visitors, she said.

“I think people just
love the small town charm of Berlin,” Parsons said. “It’s so different from
Ocean City. It’s a fun place to come for the day.”

Day observed that there
has been a high amount of foot traffic in Berlin this summer.

“We’re a unique shopping
destination,” said Day. “I think Lewes is the closest thing to compare to us.”

The town has gotten a
lot of value from the Berlin Chamber of Commerce’s new office on Main St.

Berlin Council member
Lisa Hall spent some time recently helping out at the chamber office.

“It’s amazing the people
that come in. It’s being very well used. It’s being very helpful to the
downtown area and the rest of Berlin,” said Hall.

Some people moving to
the area have even come into the Berlin chamber office for information, Hall

In just four hours on a
recent Monday, Day said, he counted 20 people coming into the chamber office
for tourist information, from as far away as Pittsburgh and as close as Lewes
and Kent Island.

At least 40 people
stopped in front of the office to read the event posters in the window during
the same time.

“I sent a bunch of
people up to the museum. They just stumbled in looking for things,” Day said.
“All of them said they were going to come back. It’s working our really well.”

Hall added, “A lot of
good things are coming out of that office.”

Advertising and event
hosting is also showing results because they show that there is life in the
town, Day said.

“I think Berlin does a
really good job of trying to bring tourists into Berlin with the Farmer’s
Market and other events,” Tomaselli said.

“I think a lot of our
promotion is paying off,” Day said.

Just this month Berlin
brought out an updated “Runaway Bride” walking tour brochure.

“I think that’s going to
bring in more bus traffic, which we’ve always been after,” Day said.

The new color “Runaway
brochure has new locations and an improved map, showing shooting and
production locations from the film. 

“There’s been quite a
bit of interest in this, this spring and summer,” said Day.

The companies that run
bus tours from Ocean City are particularly interested in Berlin’s “Runaway
experience, Day said. He has also been contacted by a bus company
from the Bronx that wants to bring 130 people to the area.

“Now they want to come
over and take the “Runaway Bride” tour,” Day said.