Coastal Style's Faces of the Shore 2017
During his many years surfing at Assateague Island, Denny Riordon couldn’t help but notice the frequently vacant building adjacent to Buck’s Place on Route 611 in Berlin. Businesses occasionally came and quickly left, and the property seemed destined to remain desolate and deteriorating.
“Every time we passed that building, Denny knew it would make a great surf shop,” said Nancy Sweeney, Riordon’s “partner of 1,000 years,” as she affectionately states. “I spent the month of October [in 2015] in Costa Rica, and when I came back, the plans were in motion: We were going to open a surf shop there.”
Months tirelessly working their day jobs were followed by long nights and weekends, as the newly acquired building needed a complete overhaul. Denny and his brother, John, worked overtime to bring life back to the old Shockley Grocery store that catered to the locals and tourists for 31 years. In mid-June, The Assateague Island Surf Shop opened its doors, and the customers can clearly see the owners’ personalities on display.
Assateague Island Surf Shop carries all the popular surf brands, including Billabong, Rip Curl, RVCA and O’Neill. But the most popular items are the Assataeague Island Surf Shop private-label T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and boardshorts. Denny describes the shop as, “Southern California meets Cape Hatteras. We are trying to create a different kind of retail experience that allows people to enjoy shopping.” A former professional skateboarder, Denny plans to add a skate section and more surfing hard goods to the store soon.
There’s also a “boutique” vibe here (Nancy hinted that the word could be incorporated into the name soon) with bathing suits, lots of locally made jewelry, perfumes, organic soaps, soy candles and so much more. A visit is sure to become an experience.
The couple also incorporated a hip coffee-and-smoothie component into the surf shop. Born to Move Coffee & Smoothie Shop features organic coffees, smoothies and superfoods by surf legend Laird Hamilton, as well as a great selection of healthy options for a day at the beautiful beaches of Assateague. Specialty sandwiches and salads, gourmet cheeses, acai bowls and cold-press juices are just some of the menu items available at Born to Move, which has quickly evolved into a true café, thanks to its cozy seating and complimentary WiFi.
Denny Riordon and Nancy Sweeney
ASSATEAGUE ISLAND SURF SHOP
AssateagueIslandSurfShop.com | 410-973-2632
8315 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin
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