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Frene couple to sell Victorian Charm in Berlin

Rachel Ravina/Bayside Gazette
Debbie and Steve Frene, of Victorian Charm

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Oct. 31, 2019) Victorian Charm owners Debbie and Steve Frene will soon say goodbye to their shop on Main Street in Berlin.

The couple is in the process of selling the store, and they expect everything to go through next week.

Debbie said it’s been a whirlwind, and that the process has lasted roughly two months.

“It’s been so fast,” Debbie said. “We just thought let’s just see what happens … and it’s just bam bam.”

Debbie opened the shop on 100 N. Main St. in 1994 with the help of her mother, Carole Smith. She said her place has evolved from a gift shop to a retail store with clothing and accessories.

“Gosh, I just love Berlin,” Debbie said. “I just love the community of Berlin, and how everybody knows everybody.”

Steve and Debbie agree that great customer service is crucial.

“That’s important to us to go out and talk to people,” Steve said.

Steve added that he’s maintained friendships with his customers as they come back year after year.

“We have grown up with people,” he said. “We have grown old with people.”

They’ll soon pass the torch to new owners Melissa Stover and Chris Yingling, of Salisbury. Debbie added that the shop’s name, employees and overall vibe will stay the same.

“I’m actually helping them order a couple things to help them get ready for Christmas,” Debbie said.

As for Debbie and Steve, they said they’re not exactly sure what’s next for them, but they’d like to travel and spend time with family.

“We’re going to enjoy the holidays first,” she said. “We’re going to enjoy the holidays, and then I don’t know what we’re going to do. It’s happened so fast we haven’t even made plans.”

This article was updated to reflect that the shop opened in 1994.