Recipe for Success
A chance meeting and great determination propelled Scott Kammerer’s rise in the restaurant business
Scott Kammerer and Matt Haley first met on the steps of Epworth United Methodist Church, which at the time was in Rehoboth Beach. Both men were heading to a meeting there of the local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Matt had just come to town,” Kammerer says. “I had never met him. But he looked at me and he said, ‘I’m going to start a restaurant empire. You want to join me?’”
Kammerer, then in his late 20s, told Haley he was already the general manager of a restaurant, Jake’s Seafood House in Rehoboth Beach. “OK,” Haley replied. “Then I’m going to come watch you.”
True to his word, Haley showed up soon after their conversation. “It was in the middle of July and we were really busy,”
Kammerer recalls. “We probably served 800 dinners that day. But he came and he hung out with me, and everywhere I went, he was there checking me out. He kept asking me questions and at the end of the day, he said that he thought that we should work together. ‘We could do really great things,’ he said.”
A Late-Blooming Family Tree
Barb Fishel knew she was adopted, but was shocked to learn she’d been abandoned at birth. What she discovered next was even more of a jolt.
Barb Fishel grew up having no idea of the circumstances of her birth or adoption. “You were given to us by the court,” her loving adoptive parents, Vernon and Geneva Fishel, had said. Barb’s heritage and ethnicity were a complete mystery.
“I always thought I might be Swedish — you know, blond hair, blue eyes and all,” says Barb, a full-time Rehoboth-area resident since 2006. “The first photo of me that exists is at 18 months old.”
She grew up in Oxford, Pa., the only child of her carpenter father and her mom, who worked as a clerk. When she was 10, the small family moved, to Newark, Del. At age 19, while Barb was getting her degree in education at the University of Delaware, her mother passed away; her father died only three years later.
Let There Be Lights
Winter WonderFest, which lit up the Lewes area last year, promises to be bigger and brighter this holiday season, with more lights, more carnival rides and even a real ice-skating rink instead of the one that used synthetic “ice” in 2016. The festival, which raises money for local nonprofits, will run from Nov. 17 to Jan. 1.
“We look at this as a cultural event for Delaware, providing locals and visitors something to do during the holidays,” says Peter Briccotto, executive producer of the festival. “This is such a community-oriented area, and people just want to connect and get out of the house. You just have to give them a reason. We were thrilled with the turnout last year, and we hope to build on that this year.”