CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - It may have been 45 degrees outside Friday, but Carolina Beach was buzzing with people and the line at Britt’s Donuts was a sure sign that spring had sprung.
Carolina Beach unofficially welcomes the season with the opening of Britt’s, a local institution since 1939. Many people—locals and visitors—waited in line, eager to get their first doughnut of the season.
New Yorker Nicole Dassler, was in town for a quick get-a-away.
“We are trying to find good scenery, places, restaurants, shopping...”
With an approaching tourist season, businesses old and new were brushing off the pandemic cobwebs and opening their doors for customers.
The owner of Malama Cafe LeeAnn Tiuchowski is full of praise for Carolina Beach and Britt’s and said she would love to compliment the doughnuts for the next 80 years.
“It’s a great town; it’s a great town to raise your family, for tourists; it’s a great time to visit,” said Tiuchowski.
Carolina Beach, like all beach towns up and down the coast, is rolling out the welcome mat on the backside of the pandemic.
Steve Stefanovich, VP of the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, is hoping much of that is in the rear-view mirror.
“We’ve pulled through this together,” said Stefanovich. “People are starting to feel better about what they’re seeing. I think it’s all about confidence.”
More than half a dozen shops may seem new to people who haven’t stopped by for a while.
Topher Davis of Carolina Surf Brand said he opened early in 2020 and recently had an uneventful anniversary.
“We picked the perfect time to open — March 13th — and the Governor shut everything down four days later,” said Davis.
They rode the COVID wave with surprising success and were grateful for Carolina Beach loyalty.
“The local community really stepped up and supported us like you wouldn’t believe,” said Davis. “Lots of people came into town but it was the locals — Carolina Beach, Wrightsville, Surf City — that were here everyday.
What’s ahead is still anyone’s guess, but Dassler now knows Carolina Beach is definitely in her family’s future vacation plans.
Click here for Britt’s Donuts open hours.