Sara Besche
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Local’s Corner: Executive Lawns

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

I blame all of the people I meet in my model for my current approach to cutting grass…or lack thereof. Everybody I meet wants to get away from cutting their grass, and it must have worn off on me because my mindset is the same.  There are a number of landscaping companies out there in Sussex County, and while I’m sure most of them are good, I know for a fact that Executive Lawns is one of the best.

I know Jay Huss and his team; in fact, I first started my relationship with Executive Lawns in the first community I ever managed for Schell Brothers, The Villages at Herring Creek.  That was about 5 or 6 years ago…wowzer!  A family-run business that started with Jay’s dad in 2006 and has grown and grown ever since, I’m a fan of the local, family-style business they run. But what I really like about Jay is that he is very hands-on. In addition to being on-site frequently, Jay continues to go out of his way for his customers, advising them in every aspect of landscaping from irrigation, to fertilization to seasonal factors and planning.

I guess the best story I have is when I created a Nerf party for my son and was incidentally a little over-aggressive when creating one of the obstacles. My over-enthusiasm caused an issue with my irrigation and, well, long story short, I hit one of the lines.  I called Jay and he came over right away, and rather than just identifying the problem and scheduling someone to come over and fix it,  he fixed it there and then. Problem solved and crisis averted. You can’t get better than that!

Executive Lawns has cut my grass now for longer than I can remember. Having the knowledge that they’re taking care of an important asset of mine is very re-assuring.  Plus, knowing I can ring up Jay and pester him with silly questions seven days a week is comforting to me;)

I’m sure you want a local company to look after your yard work.  I’m sure you don’t want to have to worry about who you employ to do this.  Well, I’m making it easy for you – Executive Lawns.



You can contact them at :

(302) 664-1439

Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!

Cheers, Adam

Local’s Corner: RSC Landscaping

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

How many times have you left our model homes and thought, ‘I want my house to look just like that!’  Or, how many times have you stepped out to one of our amazing courtyard spaces and said “this is exactly what I want.”  I know I have!  Our courtyard is one of my favorite spaces in our model home at Coastal Club, which you wouldn’t expect considering it’s ‘outside’ of the home, but believe it or not, living beyond four walls has its perks! Our courtyard series allows people to create their own oasis with outdoor spaces that are superb for dining, recreation, and taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Here lies my problem: My wife and I are not green fingered or thumbed…or even good at keeping plants alive for that matter. I reckon we could kill a plastic plant, we’re that bad.  We were looking for a local company to help us ‘finish off’ our courtyard. Living in a model five days a week I knew first-hand the type of magic RSC Landscaping can create. I’ve been in enough models to know that Chris Cordrey and his staff know their stuff.  One call later and we were scheduled. Chris and his crew came by, and within no time my courtyard was complete.  The blossoming aspect of the plantings have made us really love this space.  With plants growing over the edge of the plantar sections and behind our grill and fireplace, it feels like our landscaping has always been there.

I guess the real question is, if you have invested wisely in your outdoor living space, why wouldn’t you want to finish it off correctly?  Why wouldn’t you want your courtyard to look like the model?  Why would you use anybody else other than who Schell Brothers would use?  I wouldn’t…and I didn’t, but there is more to it than that.  With the plantar areas having irrigation lines in them, the RSC team also made sure that the lines have sufficient water running to them.  They have two seasonal plantings for your courtyard and always give you advanced notice of when the changes occur.  It’s that constant care and personal touch that allows me to whole-heartedly refer them for your landscaping needs.




• 30366 Cordrey Rd | Millsboro, DE 19966

• phone: 302-945-5853 | fax: 302-945-7536


Local’s Corner: Bethany Bike Shop

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

When you live at the beach and have access to downtown Lewes, the Breakwater Trail and Gordon’s Pond trail (or if you’re lucky enough, a trail right in your community!) you will inevitably need new toys in your life. One of the essentials for cruising around your neighborhood, Lewes, or the nearby trails is a beach cruiser. Let me tell you, you need a beach cruiser! And since this is Delaware and there’s no need for high speeds or anything too slick, it’s bound to be the cruiser life for you! 

There are lots of bike stores in the area and all specialize in different brands and bikes with their own specialities, but for me there’s one tried and true local shop I go to time and time again.  For me, it’s all about the Bethany Bike Shop, as these guys have great bikes and they specialize in beach cruisers.  Why would I go anywhere else? Well I wouldn’t!  

As a supporter of our local businesses, the fact that Bethany Bike Shop is a local family-owned business with the two brothers running the show is a major selling point for me.  George Cole is my guy for anything bike-related. Admittedly, I’m no expert so when the family went to see him I knew we were in good hands.  I also love that this shop has accessories.  You want bright yellow wheels for your cruiser? No problem!  You have a favorite color(s), football team colors, college team colors or really anything for that matter that you want to sport on your bike? Well, these guys can make it happen.

What I also like about this local business is the personal touch.  I went to see George recently about a hybrid bike for trail and road.  Full disclosure, I am trying to give myself some extra tools to help me regain some fitness.  I was torn between two Jamis bikes, the Allegro and Citizen.  We discussed it and George gave his opinion and told me to take the Citizen home with me and give it a go! I know the Citizen is the cheaper of the two bikes and he easily could have pushed the pricier option on me, but hey, just George gets me! I don’t want to hunker over my bike, I prefer the upright position.  Anyway, I’m going to try the Citizen for a few days and then make a decision.  It’s that personal touch and experienced opinion that I value and hold dear.

I’ve no doubt I’ll be buying a bike from George in the next couple of weeks and I know he’ll steer me in the right direction (pun intended).  A customer for life, I don’t think you can say anything more to validate a local business!




Bethany Bike shop contact details:


Address: 900 N Pennsylvania Ave, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!

Cheers, Adam

Local’s Corner: Dynasty Jewelry

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

In my opinion, every man needs to have a good jeweler behind them if they are going to succeed in life. I can freely admit that I’m a terrible shopper when it comes to the wife.  She doesn’t make it easy…but even so I’m still terrible. For those of you in the same boat as me, fear not, I have a steadfast solution and I guarantee you that it’s a winner every time.  What’s my secret? I buy jewelry. But not just from any jeweler, I have a local secret weapon…

I have in my arsenal a jeweler who is simply amazing.  She gives incredible advice, particularly as she gets to know you and your style. Or in my case, my wife’s style.  I recently made another purchase at Christmas just to make sure I did good by the wife. We looked at a few pieces, but after looking at the pieces and knowing my wife for a few years now, she was able to adeptly narrow my search down to two options. The wife was surprised and I was in the good books…for about a day anyway.

My expert for you is Esther, the manager of the super-charming jewelry store called Dynasty Jewelers, located right at the start of Penny Lane in Rehoboth on Rehoboth Avenue, or 42 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach to be more precise.

The truth of the matter is, Esther knows her stuff inside and out.  She always has a great range of pieces to chose from, but what I really admire is her honesty.  She just gets it! She understands what I’m looking for, what would work, and the price range I like to stay in.  If I see something that just isn’t Brandi (that’s the wife), then she tells me.  She doesn’t ‘sell’ me something (and it would be easy to do) that wouldn’t suit the wife. I just like that.  I like working with her, and knowing that she’s going to look after me.  I get all the care I need, from a local gal, in a local store.  That’s a winner in my book.  Esther is a winner in my book.  I whole-heartedly recommend her to you.

Interested? You should be! You can contact the store at 302-227-1016.




Remember happy wife = happy life. Oh yeah and…always remember:

Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!

Cheers, Adam

Local’s Corner: Spencer for Hire

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

Another common question I get asked from homeowners is whom do I recommend to help them move from their home/storage to their amazing, new, Schell Brothers home.  Well, we’ve hopefully used him for the last time BUT we’ve done a few moves in the local area and can honestly say that Spencer For Hire have been amazing to work with.

Spencer Brittingham and his team are a great bunch with all the resources you need in a good mover.  Great communication, well equipped, amazing teamwork especially when they twice had to move maybe one of the heaviest pieces I’ve laid my eyes on with regards to my wife’s ornate bar piece.  I think they’re glad knowing they will never have to move that piece again. Coming from a military background though I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less. They truly are a solid bunch of guys who have great banter between them during the job.  I’m always laughing at who gets picked to move the heavy pieces. Spencer is a local through and through – family man whose children have all gone to Cape Henlopen school district and he himself served on the school board for 10 years!

Anyway, I have absolutely no problem in referring these guys to you. Very reasonable, dependable and LOCAL!




Spencer E Brittingham
PO Box 294
Milton, DE 19968

Local’s Corner – Clean Energy USA

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

We’re very lucky that we were able to purchase solar panels with our new home purchase.  Not a luxury everybody can afford or can they?  The math behind solar is pretty amazing.  Yes it helps that Schell Brothers has a sister-company, Clean Energy USA, to make the math even more encouraging.  With an incentive off the price of the home, the tax rebate, state rebate, the energy you create off-setting the electric you use and the fact that my children have a true hatred of turning off lights, it was a no brainer for us. I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs and the whole number scenario as every home is different depending on the system size etc. But, I love that we made the decision to add solar panels.

In many of my communities I’ve had the pleasure of building, my home owners have added solar panels to their new homes and have loved them.  I remember Arch constantly telling me about his negative power bills.  If you travel around Coastal Club you will see that enthusiasm of even lower energy bills is abundant.  Basically, after the Eco Home discount, the return on investment for solar is between 15-20% . . . so, it’s basically like putting your money in a risk free bond that pays out 15-20% which is an incredible return for something risk-free . . . not to mention, it’s an investment that is good for the environment, increases the resale value of the home, and shows your friends/neighbors that you are doing your part to take care of the environment. It’s always good to  remember that your Schell home, with the amazing energy efficiency it already has, doesn’t need as large of a system to offset energy costs compared to other national builders.

In the survey that every homeowner gets at the end of their build with Schell Brothers, I had to compliment Clean Energy USA. The whole process from John Sertich, to Lynn Mox, to the installation crew (too many to all list :)) and the completion with Andrew Abel was seamless.  Communication was great from the start until the end.  From paperwork to informing me about the form I need to use for my solar credit, the customer care was top notch!

What I love best is the app/website you can use to track the energy you’re producing.  It just makes me smile to know my house is making money :). Probably, at the same time, my kids are spending it but in my head it keeps me sane 🙂

I whole-heartedly recommend Clean Energy USA and if you’re interested in solar panels for your new home or existing home, you should contact John Sertich at 302-542-4516 or at


Think local. Buy local. Be local.

Local’s Corner is a series where Adam Pettengell recommends a local or independent business.



Local’s Corner: Salvaged and Haute

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

Buying a new home is a massive moment in your life and a huge investment.  As my wife aptly phrased it: you can’t have an amazing home without then decorating it amazingly!  Tis true.  We were very lucky and used the Schell paint option so the house was already painted when we moved in.  With the kiddos, we certainly didn’t want to move into our new amazing home and then try to paint.  We loved the idea of having that phase done before settlement.  This allowed us to focus on furnishing our new home, which is no easy task.

We also had the good fortune to work with Jaime Senard to gain an early start on a few items from Echelon Interiors.

We looked at Johnny Janosik and other stores, we looked online and we looked at brochures but we couldn’t find the additional items we needed for the house until we stumbled across Salvaged and Haute.  Unfortunately, Haute is located right next to Surf Bagel and so extremely close to Coastal Club.  This has proved to be an expensive location for me :).  Haute is unique in that it’s only open for one weekend per month, usually the last Thursday to Sunday of the month to be precise.  Imagine that, a store selling furniture just open 4 days a month! It immediately caught my eye.  So before we moved into our home, I stopped by.  I knew immediately I was in for trouble.  Unique items with a restoration hardware feel about them ranging from beds, bar furniture, light fixtures, bedside tables and everything else in between.

Next door is Salvaged. They sell unique pieces along with the ability to sell chalk paint so you can re-paint your own furniture. We actually had Brynn paint a piece of furniture for us so that it would match the new bedroom furniture we purchased from Haute.  We really loved the finished product and they stored the dresser until the house was ready.  We also picked up some old school lockers! I was dubious but the wife loved them.  Turned out to be a great piece in our loft and it allowed us to store all the childrens’ books! We love it. You can see I came around quickly.

Without telling you about all the pieces we purchased, we really love both stores.  Great quality and with reasonable prices, it has been a savior for us and allowed us to purchase pieces in our home that we could actually see in person and feel we’ve kept to the style we wanted.  Not only that but Travor and his team have been awesome.  They allowed us to store the items we purchased until our house was built and then they delivered to us once we moved in.  The service was amazing and certainly reduced all the stress, especially knowing they were only coming from Lewes.

I can without doubt recommend them to you even though they have burned a hole in my pocket 🙂

Check them out and you will not be disappointed.

Haute Interiors
17370 Coastal Hwy
Lewes, Delaware
(302) 270-9411
17370 Coastal Hwy, Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 233-1858

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Think local. Buy local. Be local.

Local’s Corner is a series where Adam Pettengell recommends a local or independent business.

Meet the Construction Team, aka the Muscle, at Coastal Club

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities


In the sales office, Jordan, Donna and myself are obviously the face of Coastal Club. Always good to have such pretty faces 🙂 but in reality, it’s the construction team that have built, pardon the pun, the platform for which Coastal Club sits on today as the fastest selling community at the beach.

We’ve just started construction in our new phase, North Tisbury, and I thought it would be a great idea, I know, I’m full of them, to interview the two Construction Managers who will be building all these amazing homes in this phase.

I’ll start with a little intro for both.

Mark Moore, pictured on the left, started Coastal Club. He built the model and all the homes in phase 1, Provincetown. Mark has been with the company five years and is considered a Senior Construction manager. He has been the construction manager in our most successful communities including Love Creek and Breakwater which have both since SOLD OUT! Mark is about as OCD as you can get about construction and building homes and happiness. A freak of nature some would say. So very dedicated and yet, manages to be a pretty awesome father to his one son, Mason.

John Di Stefano, pictured on the right, has lived life to the fullest. A retired State policeman, John came to the beach four years ago to marry a local gal and start a family.  John is one of those super nice guys! He has worked for Schell for four years and has gained experience in a number of our communities including Bayfront, Senators, Herring Creek and The Peninsula. His two daughters and wife keep him pretty busy, but John keeps a tight ship when he builds a house and his communication is second to none.

I obviously joke around with these boys a lot. Mark is renowned for his Under Armour apparel. That boy has more Under Armour clothing with the Schell logo then I think Kevin Plank does. I always tell people he has a contract with them and models for them. John, aka JD, is a softly spoken big chap. His biggest issue at Coastal Club is to resist going to the amazing Surf Bagel everyday! I have the same problem as breakfast bagels and the lunch wraps are amazing.

Anyway, let’s get to know them better with some real questions that will give us proper insight into these two characters:

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be, and why?

Mark: Martin Luther King Jr… just to talk about life and humanity.

JD: My Grandfather – I was a young child when he passed away and I have great memories of him as a grandparent. It would be awesome to sit and have an adult conversation with him. He was a WWII vet and I have a lot of respect for all of the men and women considered to be “The greatest generation”.

Q: What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

Mark: Professional beach lifeguard.

JD: I always wanted to be a police officer.

Q: What would I find in your refrigerator?

Mark: Lots of condiments, bacon, hard boiled eggs.

JD: Baby bottles and ketchup.

Q: List 3 words that describe your character.

Mark: Listener, forgiving, organized.

JD: Honest, loyal, determined.

Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Mark: Matt Damon

JD: George Clooney

Q: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Mark: The ability to fly!

JD: The ability to eat anything and everything I wanted all the while maintaining a shredded physique such as our other Construction Manager Mark Moore…

I’m confident after reading the answers to these questions you will be that much more comfortable with your construction manager. 🙂 

Cheers Adam

Local’s Corner: Home Insurance with Eric Blondin

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner

I get asked by a lot of my homeowners about home insurance in Delaware.  Obviously, home insurance needs to be in place before you go to settlement as you pre-pay your insurance.  A lot of ‘my people’ are from out-of-state and their insurance agents will not insure their home at the beach.  Crazy but true.  Even at Coastal Club with basement home sites and higher elevation home sites with a lower water table, people have trouble.  THIS IS NOT A CONCERN.  Down at the beach we have multiple agents with national companies who can and will insure you for your primary or secondary home.

Back across the pond I never had an actual person whom I knew as my insurance agent.  It was kind of weird when I came across the pond and needed to get car insurance.  Back home, I would have just gone on the internet and shopped around. AND, although I went with a national company, I went with a local agent.  In my thinking, I’m still using local in that sense.  Does that make sense?

We’ve used Eric Blondin from State Farm for a number of years now.  Eric and his team are top notch.  Located on Route 1, Eric’s office is easy to find and his staff are top notch.  What I like about having a person I know is that Eric is always on the end of the phone when I need him.  He knows me.  I don’t have to give any background information or my last four digits of my social security.  I have his cell number and have called it a few times for his advice on matters regarding insurance.  On top of that, I know that I can count on Eric to come out and visit me if I needed a face-to-face or again just to chat about my options.  It’s that personal touch that allows me to very openly recommend Eric as a top insurance agent at the beach.

So true story. We just went on a short journey to Camelback in PA for a weekend.  I handle all the insurance, bills etc.  I’m much better at that stuff and the wife is better with homework and getting clothes out for the kids for the next day.  Got to work to your strengths 🙂 So I digress.  Anyway, we’re on the road, happy as clams, to be giving our children a skiing opportunity.  Not much skiing in England 🙂 Anyway, I digress again.  I’m checking the car details and ask where the insurance card is.  Obviously, the wife looks at me and says that’s your job! I was going to turn around and delay the trip but had trust in Eric and his team.  SO, even though it was a Saturday morning at 6am I emailed Eric and asked if he could email over a copy of the insurance just as a precaution.  Within the hour I had an email copy.  I didn’t need it during the journey BUT having it available certainly made the journey for me less stressful.  It’s great knowing I can trust Eric and his team, whatever the circumstances, to make my life easier.  You can’t put a price on that level of trust.  

So make this part of joining us at the beach easy, and get in touch with Eric and his team:
18958 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone: 302-227-4663

Always remember:

Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!

Local’s Corner is a series where Adam Pettengell recommends a local or independent business.

Cheers Adam

Local’s Corner: The Factory

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner: The Factory

Exercise. We all need it, and I’m often asked if there are activities close by that are good for getting back into shape with a ‘games approach’ to exercise.  Well, we’re very lucky to have a facility right in Lewes that offers an amazing range of activities and exercise, and its called The Factory.

Located on the grounds off of Route 9 in Nassau Commons, about 5 minutes away from Coastal Club, it’s practically on our doorstep! No need to travel to Salisbury or Dover.

The Factory is amazing. A fairly new location that has a playing area of 120ft x 50ft hardwood from a previously used professional basketball court. I’m pretty sure the floor was once used by the New Jersey Nets, now called the Brooklyn Nets. Not a bad ‘claim to fame’ if I do say so myself. But the court isn’t just for basketball, it’s used for indoor soccer,volleyball, and pickleball during the winter months as well.

My son Oliver has had dodgeball themed birthday parties there, and attended summer and one-day camps when school is out and the wife still has to work. For Oliver’s birthday parties there,  it was so simple for us parents.  The coaches looked after the kiddos and we watched.  Perfect! I love that there are adult and youth leagues for basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball and pickleball (which is growing bigger and bigger down here at the beach).

Make sure you check The Factory out, it could be your way of getting back into sports and exercise, or just another great avenue to get our youth away from those screens!

Think local. Buy local. Be local.

Local’s Corner is a series where Adam Pettengell recommends a local or independent business.

Local’s Corner: Eastern Shore Porch and Patio

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner: Eastern Shore Porch and Patio

The Delaware Beaches are extremely dog-friendly and the most frequently asked question I get, post settlement is, who installs fences in the area.

Dewey holds an annual Greyhound Reach the Beach weekend, during the Sea Witch festival there is a dog-costume Parade, and you can’t walk down 2nd street in downtown Lewes without noticing the amazingly cute store PUPS. In fact, Lewes will soon have a dog park and there will also be a dog park at Coastal Club, an amazing amenity in our exclusive resort community in Lewes. So it stands to reason that a lot of homeowners are going to look at getting a fence for their furry friends. I certainly did with our Golden Doddle, Griffin Elizabeth.

I had the pleasure of working with Bob Douglas from Eastern Shore Porch & Patio. These guys do all types of fencing, railing, decks and porch enclosures. We decided to go with the black aluminum fence for Griffin. From the moment we began this project, these guys have been great. The crew who came out did a fantastic job and Karen in the front office was fantastic! In fact, we had such a great experience that we asked them to come back and enclose the trash cans outside our home.

Remember to always check your HOA docs to make sure what type of fencing material and height you are allowed in your community. Many of our communities have different guidelines relating to fences. For example, at Coastal Club, you can have both black aluminum or white PVC, so we got you covered! If you ever need to see some examples, you can drive down Exeter Way and see both types of fencing that are available.

I can not speak high enough about the service I received from Bob and his team. If you are ever looking for top quality service and an amazing product, you’re not going to go wrong with Eastern Shore Porch and Patio.

Think local. Buy local. Be local.

Local’s Corner is a series where Adam Pettengell recommends a local or independent business.


Local’s Corner: Mountain Fresh Cleaning Services

By Adam Pettengell, in All Communities

Local's Corner: Mountain Fresh Cleaning Services

To start off my Local’s Corner series, I wanted to recommend a local businessman that gets rave reviews from everyone who has used him. On multiple occasions, I have called on Paul from Mountain Fresh Cleaning Services to look after my floors, and every time, they delivered impeccable services.

Most recently, when our dog was sick on our new ‘white’ carpet (I can’t make this stuff up), he came around and made our carpet just like new again.  My daughter Minnie and I were getting ready for work & school respectively, and I was just making sure Griffin Elizabeth had water, food and a quick walk. That’s when I noticed her dog bed was soiled on one corner and that the mess had spilled over onto our bedroom carpet.

Obviously, the beads of sweat started to pour from my forehead. I rushed to the kitchen to get paper towels to soak up as much as I could. I knew right away that I needed a professional and that I was going to be late for Minnie’s school.  I had a plan though!  Before I started to drive, I rang Paul and shared with him my emergency. He told me not to worry and that he would handle it. With that, I wiped my brow, relaxed, and started my day. Within the hour Paul had called me and told me the carpet was back to rights and that all was right with the world.  Can you get better service than that?

Paul Smith from Mountain Fresh Cleaning Services is one top fella. He’s a local, well, like me, a transplant, but originally from New jersey (a much different accent than my own). He’s a great person and I have the utmost respect for him as someone who has grown his business in the local area through local recommendations. He has performed miracles on our carpets, tile, wood and even on our outdoor screened porch flooring! Paul has no limits, thankfully. He works tremendously hard and if you ever needed someone to clean your floors in a pinch, I certainly vouch for him and his services.

Think local. Buy local. Be local.

Local’s Corner is a series where Adam Pettengell recommends a local or independent business.