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About

Tim Southerst and Andrea Spuck are the owners of both PUZZLES and Lewes Gourmet, which are next door to each other. Following are their brief introductions:

Tim, Owner

Plain and simple, I’m just passionate about puzzles, and I’d love to share that passion with you! Like many, I fondly remember doing puzzles of all kinds, especially with my grandmother in England when I was very young, and with my parents and sister especially when traveling or on vacation. Such great times!

My passion has more recently truly been re-kindled when Andrea and I became owners of PUZZLES and Lewes Gourmet at the end of June 2015, after many years working in large companies. I never cease to be amazed at how important puzzles are, in so many different ways, and to so many very different kinds of people, ranging all the way from the very young to our seniors too.

I look forward to welcoming you to PUZZLES, and to doing what I can to igniting and fostering that same passion and joy for puzzling within you. Above all, I want to see you and your family and friends just having fun together in the store. I look forward to welcoming you!

Andrea, Owner

I love word puzzles and puzzle games like Bananagrams, the Three Little Pigs & Trucky. They go everywhere with us as a family and no holiday or time together is complete without a few rounds to see who is King or Queen of the moment. 

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I also have fond memories of completing jigsaw puzzles with my mom as a kid and still enjoy seeing her progress on the latest puzzle we have sent her. Puzzling of all kinds provides continuity and allows us to slow down, decompress and reconnect in our fast-based, ever-changing world. 

Lewes too reminds us of the importance of family, community and the natural world around us with which we have been entrusted.

The Southerst Family

PUZZLES is a family affair…

Alex when she is not studying French and Public Policy at UD can be found talking to customers about hers and their favorite tea and jigsaw themes.

John an 8th grader at Beacon 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 box puzzles, British candy 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.  

Judy Doyle

Judy has been a faithful employee longer than anyone after she started working part-time at PUZZLES/Lewes Gourmet in 2004 for the previous owners, the Braithwaites. She stayed on to help train and keep the new owners, 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 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!

Arleen Laporte

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. 

Kenny Sardaro

Kenny loves working at PUZZLES because of the amazing family environment, unlike any other job he’s had before! 

He relishes the customer contact and doing everything possible to delight them, as well as being able to suggest and enact his own ideas for an even better customer experience. We’ll always greet you with a smile and are happy to assist you or tell you about all the things to see and do in Lewes and others places to shop or grab a bite to eat. 

Undoubtedly, it’s the variety of fascinating customers, each with a story to tell, who are the highlight for Kenny. He loves that we have such a vast selection of puzzles that customers so often comment upon.

At PUZZLES, a mom or dad can shop for a puzzle while their kids can entertain themselves at our fantastic table of brain challenging puzzles and brain teasers (you must try the Log Stacker or 7 Nail Puzzle). His personal favorites are the New Yorker puzzles, which have wonderful images. 

Joë

I love 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. Side note, I also love working at the store because my coworkers make sure it’s never a boring day. My favorite puzzle-related thing would have to be the 3d Crystal Puzzles. They are super fun to do and I am obsessed with them and have a really awesome collection of figurines. 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, also the beaches are a plus.