Bay Village

Gift Shop Plus Fall 2021
It’s a Shore Thing By Debbie Eisele

For over 50 years, Bay Village has offered a diverse retail experience on Long Beach Island

The Maschal family opened Bay Village in 1966 in Beach Haven, New Jersey — located on Long Beach Island (LBI). This popular destination has remained a must-visit place for generations of families who visit LBI, as it provides a place where families create memories and revisit old ones. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors to the island welcome its retail offerings and family-friendly atmosphere.

Aerial view of Bay Village
Photo by Ryan Morrill/The SandPaper

Bay Village’s website offers a statement that truly represents the destination itself: “Come spend the day at 9th and Bay — it’s a shore thing!” With 23 shops, including eateries and retail, for visitors to enjoy, it’s no wonder customers visit repeatedly. Another draw for visitors is a water park, an amusement park, miniature golf courses and Schooner’s Wharf, another retail center, all within a block of Bay Village. All these attractions create a symbiotic flow that helps increase traffic to Bay Village’s retail “mecca” as well as the other neighboring businesses.

Bay Village retail center
Bay Village is situated between a water park and Schooner’s Wharf, another retail center, which creates excellent foot traffic. Photo by Debbie Eisele.

Today, the Maschal family still owns and operates some businesses housed inside Bay Village, including Country Kettle Chowda and the famous Country Kettle Fudge Shop. The family even owns and operates a candy store that is located in Schooner’s Wharf, across the street from Bay Village.

Although the summer didn’t provide the typical high sales volume as in past years, it still had visitors, and the steady flow during the spring and fall provided revenue for retailers. Bay Village even adjusted its hours of operation during the spring and fall. “The pandemic persuaded a lot of tourists to give up their ‘home-home’ and move to their second, summer home as their primary residence,” Melissa Maschal, co-owner, detailed. “If the people are here, we want to serve them,” she explained.

According to Maschal, vendors are always prepared for the summer influx and that keeping up with inventory is vital to all the merchants. Best-sellers are everything LBI related. “Everybody wants a ‘little something’ to bring home, whether it’s jewelry, a shirt, or salt water taffy or fudge,” shared Maschal.

Other Retail Options

Other businesses of interest at Bay Village include Zinnia, Just Love, Chick’s LBI and all its eateries and, of course, Ship Bottom Brewery, and more!

Zinnia is a family owned business with over 30 years of experience that offers a wide-range of jewelry for any occasion. It also specializes in providing affordable accessories.

Just Love is one of Bay Village’s oldest jewelry boutique known for its selections that shoppers will “Just Love!” 

Chick’s LBI Shop is known for its island-style apparel, LBI gear for adults and children, and accessories. Popular brand this store carries include: Guy Harvey, Hook&Tackle, Pura Vida Bracelets, Michael Stars, Camp David, Raya Sun, Austins, Ouray Sportswear, Weekender, and more. Chick’s LBI also offerscustom screen printing and embroidery. 

In the Off Season

Bay Village welcomes and encourages visitors all year, but every October it hosts Chowderfest Long Beach Island. Although the pandemic had Bay Village pivoting last year to a virtual contest, it was a huge success. LBI Chowderfest this year offered ChowderMonth, with events that help participants “soup up & support local.”

This year, voting for favorite chowders began Labor Day Weekend and ran through Oct. 2. From Oct.2-3, visitors came out to enjoy the chowder at the cook-off and the free-to-attend Bayfront Festival, which support local businesses that are exhibiting and selling merchandise. 

Retailers Gift Shop Plus Visited

Read on to learn more about a few of the shops that were interviewed while Gift Shop Plus was at Bay Village.

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea
Photo by Debbie Eisele

Breezin’ Up

Breezin' Up, a retailer located in Bay Village
Photo by Debbie Eisele

Indian Summer

Indian Summer, a boutique on Long Beach Island, NJ
Photo by Debbie Eisele

 

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications: The Guide, Holiday Shop. Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.




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