Sweets at the Beach

Every beach town needs a candy store filled to the brim with sweets to spoil both visitors and residents alike. Luckily for the residents and visitors of New Smyrna, Beachside Candy Co. answers the call- or should we say craving.


As a vision of teal, pink and white, it’s hard to miss Beachside Candy Co. the moment you arrive on Flagler Ave. But as inviting and alluring as it may look on the outside, inside Beachside Candy Co. is where the real magic happens.

With bright, beachy décor and homemade chocolate, ice cream, old-fashioned candy, retro candy, novelties, gifts and bikes rentals, stepping inside Beachside Candy Co. is like taking a trip to Willy Wonka’s cooler surfer twin’s candy shop. It’s easy to see why Beachside Candy Co. has been a tradition for families and individuals alike since they opened their doors in 2008.

Julie, the owner of the store, has used her creative genius to make the store come to life with little details that kids and adults alike enjoy.

“We do all chocolate in different types of shapes like alligators, chocolate covered pretzels and Twinkies,” said Julie.

Shelves are filled with chocolate starfish, turtles, palm trees and sand dollars and mesmerize the youngest of guests while salt-water taffy and old-fashioned candy bring a smile to the older guests.

Its apparent that Julie and her team love making Beachside Candy Co. a kids dream. From the imagination-inspiring chocolates to the kid drawings covering the counter, kids are clearly the central focus of Beachside Candy Co.


“Its an ongoing thing- if the kids draw a picture I display it and they get ice cream- I call it Arts and Ice Cream because that way they get to draw and have fun with it and they get a treat at the end. And they always come in looking for their picture,” said Julie.

This type of small-town charm and hospitality is part of what makes New Smyrna so special, and is something Julie is well aware of.

“I love the small town feel and the people who make it unique. Everyone is kind, generous and open minded,” said Julie.

Julie tries to keep Beachside Candy Co. consistent with the small-town charm and strives to support other local businesses.


“Most of the chocolates we make here, and with the gifts, we try to sell things locally made, like our sugar scrub and soy candles- we like to keep things local,” said Julie.

Next time you are on Flagler Ave, make sure to stop by Beachside Candy Co. and grab a sweet treat before renting one of their bikes for a ride down the beach.

5 Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is a big deal when you are selling your home because it’s the first impression buyers will see, and often times it can either make or break their impression of your home. Here are five easy ways to spruce up your curb appeal on a budget:


  • Add shutters

Shutters are an easy way to add character to your home without breaking the bank. Shutters provide that extra touch of character and help frame big windows by giving the eye something to focus on. When it comes to shutter options, wooden shutters give an extra homey-feel, but in humid climates, such as Florida, wood shutters will deteriorate over time. A nice alternative to wooden shutters are plastic shutters, which are ideal for humid climates because of their durability. Plastic shutters are also a little friendlier on the budget than wooden shutters and can be less maintenance.


  • How are your numbers?

When was the last time you looked at your house numbers? Chances are your house numbers have seen better days and are showing it. If your house numbers are rusted, faded, dirty or distressed, consider purchasing a new set from a hardware store. A good rule of thumb is to match the finish of your house numbers to the finish of your exterior lighting – avoid contrasting finishes and go for a unified look.


  • Flower Power

It’s no secret that planting flowers adds curb appeal, but before you go out and buy a dozen daisies, stand back and critically look at your home from the street. Better Homes and Gardens suggests resisting the urge to buy every plant that catches your eye and instead aiming for five to 10 perennials, one or two trees and three to five shrubs. This will give your yard a cohesive look and save you the trouble of trying coordinate several mini gardens throughout your yard.


Thoughtfully planned flowers add instant curb appeal to a home.

  • Go Solar

Not solar panels – solar lights. Solar lights can line a walkway or flowerbed, and add a touch of class to your front yard for little money and effort. Or, if you have a prominent tree in your front yard add a solar light or two to illuminate it at night, giving your yard the instant elegance of a 5-star resort.


  • Paint your front door

Your front door should make a statement about the home, but it should also be the unifying piece that ties the whole picture together. Just remember not to skip the primer, as tempting as it may be. Your front door is exposed to the elements constantly, so that primer is going to be necessary to keeping your paint job intact.


As always, if you are interested in living the Florida Life please contact Sarah Caudill with all of your questions regarding buying a home in New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Ponce Inlet and Daytona Beach.




Dogs Rule in New Smyrna Beach

With endless sunny days, miles of beaches and a laid-back culture, New Smyrna Beach lends itself to being a dog-friendly town. With a dog beach right on the ocean, multiple outdoor restaurants that are dog friendly, and numerous biking and walking paths, it’s not uncommon to see dogs out and about in New Smyrna. This week we are featuring a local business that has been keeping the dogs and cats of New Smyrna happy since 2007.

Silly Willies is a local pet boutique featuring unique dog and cat toys, pet food, treats, and much more. Since opening their doors in 2007, Silly Willies has seen a lot of change, said owner Vicki.


“When we first got here this street was a ghost town,” said Vicki, referring to the store’s Flagler avenue location.

Today, Flagler Avenue is the dynamic pulse of the town, filled with people and bursting with quaint stores and restaurants, showing the growth New Smyrna has experienced just over the past nine years.

Vicki understands why New Smyrna has seen such rapid growth.

“We have one of the prettiest beaches around. I’ve gone to other beaches and I always come back here. And there are always things to do; you should never be bored in this town. There are tons of really good restaurants and really nice shops,” said Vicki.

Shops just like Silly Willies, which Vicki said strives to provide locals and tourists with unique high-quality products that you can’t find just anywhere. That means everything from beach-themed collars with sharks and fish on them to fish-shaped indestructible toys for every sized dog.

“We are always searching for high quality products and a reasonable price. I think there’s a balance and we try to find that,” said Vicki.

Vicki also believes in employing other local businesses in the area and has several products from local Florida vendors. Vicki owns and manages a local treat factory called Kennel Master Foods, which employs about 15 people and supplies the shop with their famous chicken dog treats.


Vicki believes it is important to support other locals and to shop locally in order to preserve the unique culture and character of New Smyrna.

“We hear people all the time saying that they were in Daytona and then they found this and decided to stay here because it’s much quieter, just quainter and cozy” said Vicki.

Even though New Smyrna Beach isn’t Florida’s best kept secret anymore and is the vacation spot for thousands of tourists a year, local businesses like Silly Willies help New Smyrna Beach keep its unique charm and character.

Next time you are on Flagler Avenue, stop by Silly Willies with your dog and let your dog try one of their famous chicken treats- just know you might have to leave with a bag of treats!

As always, if you are looking to make New Smyrna Beach home, please contact us to help you find your dream home.


Happy shopping!





Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

What can you do to be a competitive homebuyer in a seller’s market? Can a financing offer beat a cash deal? In the video below we answer these questions and give you steps to take before searching for your dream home in a competitive market.


As always, if you are looking to make New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Edgewater, Ponce Inlet or Daytona Beach home please contact me to help you make your dream a reality.



Construction Loans: What You Need to Know

What happens when you hear the words “construction loan?” Do you feel your chest tightening while visions of endless paperwork come to mind? Construction loans can be an intimidating process when you are looking to purchase a brand new home, but it’s an important process to thoroughly understand before diving in. This week we sat down with Pete Klironomos, President and CEO of Friends Bank here in New Smyrna Beach to talk about what you need to know when it comes to construction loans.

Simply put, a construction loan start off like a line of credit, said Pete.

“You’re just being charged interest throughout the construction phase on what you use on a daily basis, and that’s how the interest is assessed,” he said.

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Unlike a traditional mortgage loan, new construction loans are dispersed in increments that coincide with the stages of construction. However, before the money is dispersed the lender must verify the job’s progress.

For Pete, verifying progress on construction is one of the things he enjoys doing for his clients.

“I go and do all of the inspections myself,” said Pete. That means if a builder calls Friday morning at 9 a.m. asking for the lender to come verify the progress, Pete goes out to the construction site at lunchtime and then comes back to the office and gets them the money that same day.

“Normally that process takes a week at a bigger bank,” said Pete, which is part of what makes Friends Bank in New Smyrna Beach so unique.

“We watch over them, we keep an eye on them and let our them (the customer) know what’s going on,” said Pete.

Even though Pete and his team will take care of you during the construction process, Pete always advises clients to spend some time doing research on their builder before committing to a construction loan.

“The biggest thing I would say is to do your research on the builder. What kind of references do they have, how they pay their bills- that’s all very important. How do they pay their subs? If they pay their subs well, what kind of work do the subs do? They will do good work and they will always show up,” said Pete.

Even if you find the best builder, you should still plan on a few unexpected delays in the constructuion process. Rain delays or storm delays are common, so go in to the construction process knowing that minor delays are almost always inevitable.

Once you do get past the construction process and the day comes for the last coat of paint to be applied and the certificate of occupancy to be issued, the loan will typically converted in to a traditional mortgage, according to Bankrate.com, with the borrower ideally only paying for one closing called construction- to-permanent financing.

No matter what type of loan you are looking to get, be sure to always do your research on your builder and bank before beginning any process. As always, if you are looking to make New Smyrna Beach your home please contact us and we will help you make your Florida life a reality!


Happy house hunting!