The Sea Shell Shop in Rehoboth Beach to close shop near boardwalk

For more than 40 years, beachgoers have flocked to the Sea Shell Shop just off the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach for Delaware-themed souvenirs, fudge and other beach trinkets.

The second-generation family business, which once had five Delaware locations, has decided to close the bright turquoise shop at 119 Rehoboth Ave. and consolidate with its last remaining Delaware store on Route 1.

Tideline Galleries, another longtime Rehoboth small business, will take over the Rehoboth Avenue location, aiming for a mid-February move-in date.

Patty Derrick has carried on her family’s legacy of the Sea Shell Shop since she was a young girl in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her parents, referred to as “Mama and Papa Seashell,” opened the original store in Florida in 1956 before expanding to Ocean City, Maryland.

At one point, the Sea Shell Shop business operated three Delaware stores — in Rehoboth, Dewey and Bethany.

Patty Derrick, owner of Rehoboth's Sea Shell Shop

Derrick split her time among the beach towns before getting her degree from Florida State University, meeting her husband Thomas Derrick and settling down. The two opened their Sea Shell Shop in Delaware in 1979 when the business landscape was much different than it is today, as Derrick recalls virtually no business after Labor Day.

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