The Real Gem of the Queen City

This article first appeared in Currents Magazine July 2005
by Angela Contillo Andersen

The gem of the Queen City, also known as Beach Haven, lies in the heart of the downtown strip. Bay Village has been a traveler’s destination for 50 years on Long Beach Island. The Maschal family has created or re-created a 19th century waterfront village into a mecca of shopping, browsing eating and relishing in all things that are quintessential summertime activities.

Bay Village houses 23 shops and eateries including: apparel shops, a bistro, pizza, gifts and toys — perfect for the lazy days of summer. You can shop a dollar store, get a donut at the bakery, grab a burger at the bistro and get a hermit crab for your child all in a one block radius. The Maschal family also created the sweetest spot within the village. John Maschal’s Country Kettle Fudge is handmade daily on premises from fresh delicious ingredients and blended on sight to onlookers into smooth goodness. From simple vanilla to grand concoctions of marshmallow, nuts and chocolate Country Kettle Fudge is a required indulgence while at Bay Village. Whether you eat it there, take it home or ship it to a friend, it is ideal.

With the success of the fudge reaching up and down the eastern seaboard, there are shops locally in Beach Haven and Surf City as well as in Newport, Rhode Island and Rockport, Massachusetts. The Maschal masterminds also created Country Kettle Chowda , located in Bay Village, to fill the bellies of visitors and shoppers. This creamy dreamy blend of cream, butter, vegetables and tender baby clams is only made better when served in a crunchy bread bowl. This award winning chowder is a star at the annual fall Chowderfest in Bay Village’s backyard. The Chowderfest is another of John Maschal’s additions to Beach Haven. He was the mastermind behind introducing the idea to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce 17 years ago.

The Maschal family manages the Windmill ice cream shop in Bay Village and the Candy Shop located in Schooners Wharf just next door. Bay Village houses other entrepreneurs besides the Maschal clan, although, from talking to them, they are like family within the shopping / eating village. John Maschal created for local business people and visitors alike a “real shore thing” in the development of Bay Village. His children, children-in-law and grandchildren have taken over the reigns to run the family businesses through the generations and for future generations of visitors to enjoy for another 50 years. “Come spend the day at 9th and Bay — it’s a shore thing”!