Andrea Spuck and Tim Southerst are the owners of both Lewes Gourmet and PUZZLES, which are next door to each other.
Well…who doesn’t like to eat?!! What we eat and who we break bread with is really at the center of living isn’t it?
We want Lewes Gourmet to be the type of place where you feel welcome while finding that special something that connects you with your life experience both near and far. I enjoy being able to sample foods that are ubiquitous with local life like Krista’s Jams & Jellies but also find comfort that our kids, who grew up in Europe, can also remanence over their favorite British and Dutch sweets. I also like that I get to try new things and experience new ways of cooking and creating food for family and friends.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, living most of my adult life in Europe and then making Lewes my home, I feel blessed that Lewes Gourmet and my taste buds take me back to so many places I have lived and visited, and also let me experience the places I have yet to see.
Welcoming both our regular and first-time customers reminds us of the importance of family, community and the natural world around us with which we have been entrusted. Becoming plastic bag free and stocking products in packaging that is recyclable and plastic free is a continuing aspiration.
Eating Healthy and Eating Extraordinary is always the goal—surrounded by family and friends.
Great food has been an ongoing passion for me through the years! With a British father and a mother from Finland (I sometimes joke that the latter is to be found on the periphery not only of Europe, but of civilization itself!), I was fortunate to have traveled abroad regularly throughout my youth. This exposed me to a huge variety of tastes and flavors, which in turn activated my culinary curiosity at a young age, and I like to think I am gastronomically adventurous to this day, never averse to a new challenge!
I am therefore proud that Lewes Gourmet fulfills not only my British Expat hankerings for goodies from across the Pond, but also offers the opportunity to sample fine foods from our backyard in DelMarVa and from across the world too. These are largely inspired by personal experience as well as by recommendations and requests from our clientele, who originate from, or have been exposed to food from all corners of our world! Every day brings new experiences through our customers, new suggestions, and new tales from afar, and so Andrea, the team and I are continuously inspired and our taste buds aroused. It is our hope that you too will take delight in the fine foods and offerings that Lewes Gourmet proposes. We look forward to your visit!
THE SOUTHERST FAMILY
Lewes Gourmet is a family affair…
Alex, when she is not studying French and Public Policy at UD, can be found talking to customers about hers (Paris) and their favorite tea (?) and jigsaw themes.
John, a student at Cape Henlopen, is a customer favorite and our default store manager of sorts. A wiz at math, we had to convince him to use the cash register and not make change in his head. Not sure what John loves more– British candy, Orangina, secret box puzzles or fishing off the pier in front of the store!
Liz, who is studying elementary education at UD, loves helping our youngest shoppers. She’s a little scared of the cash registers so is more likely to be seen driving the family carpool to and from the shops, or popping in as she heads off to the beach or to lifeguard at Lewes Yacht Club.
Judy has been a faithful employee longer than anyone! She started working part time at Lewes Gourmet/PUZZLES in 2004 for the previous owners, the Braithwaites. She luckily stayed on to help train and keep Andrea & Tim in line when they took over the stores in 2015. Judy says the two stores have a “special something” that delights customers and also keeps bringing them back.
“The stores have a great following!” She adds, “I have made many new friendships with customers from the surrounding towns and states, who come to Lewes for vacations, shopping, dining and also with those living here. Lewes truly has it all. And you will always be greeted with a “Smile and a Welcome” when you come in to shop.”
That is certainly the case if you are lucky enough to visit on one of Judy’s regular days!
Who in Lewes doesn’t Arleen know? Arleen began her adventure in retailing working at Lewes Gourmet and PUZZLES after retiring from Beebe Healthcare as an Executive Assistant. Her prior experience in customer service and patient satisfaction has made for a smooth and delightful transition back into the working world. Arleen has said that she thrives on the exciting conversations she has with customers who are visiting Lewes’ but more so, she loves seeing the many locals who frequent the stores. She cherishes their friendships which have developed over the 20 years she and her husband, Rusty, have resided in Lewes. Often times, you’ll see Arleen walking her Golden Retriever, Sunny, early in the morning along the Lewes’ canal or on the streets of quaint downtown Lewes. Insider Tip: Make sure to check out LG’s windows whenever you’re in town to see Arleen’s creative talent in action!
Kenny says he loves working at Lewes Gourmet/PUZZLES because of the amazing family environment. It’s not like any other job he’s had before. Tim and Andrea always ask for our input and ideas we might have to make for a better customer experience. The selection of British foods/candy is exceptional. Kenny adds, being gluten-free myself I’m especially happy with the large selection of foods available, especially the gluten free pumpkin/cranberry scones…they’re delicious and very easy to make!
Kenny’s favorite part of working at LG is the CUSTOMERS! We really do get the most interesting, wonderful, friendly people in the stores. We all agree that we are very lucky to have such a fantastic customer base. I love chatting and finding out if they are local, visiting or newly transplanted like myself. People come from all over the globe which is so cool, especially when I get to hear Tim, who is multi-lingual, speak to them in their native language. I came to Lewes by pure chance and absolutely love it! It is such a wonderful, magical place with such a rich history. Being able to shop at small businesses in town and eat at local restaurants is becoming a rare experience. Stop by Lewes Gourmet/PUZZLES for a one stop shop, pick out a puzzle, get some gourmet treats and a drink or just say “hello”! I have to say I work with the most friendly, cool people you can imagine. We always greet you with a smile and are happy to assist you with shopping or telling you about all the things to see and do in Lewes, other places to shop or restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
Jolisa C Osborn-Polakoff
Now in college, Jolisa grew up visiting and shopping at the stores and definitely knows her gourmet treats and puzzles! She shares, that she loves working at the stores because it’s interesting to see all the friendly faces that pass-through Lewes. It’s really fun to see what connections you share with people from all over the place. I learn so much about puzzles and food through the people that travel through the stores. I also love working at the store because my co-workers make sure it’s never a boring day! My favorite Lewes Gourmet related thing would hands down have to be the gluten-free options since I am allergic to gluten. Lewes Gourmet has some really awesome alternatives. I Love Lewes because it’s one of those areas where I can smile and say “hello” to someone on the street and they’ll do the same back. Of course, the beaches are a plus too!