(Oct. 31, 2014) Donald’s Duck Shoppe will be closing its doors by the end of November after being a staple in Ocean City for 38 years.
The multifaceted store in the Gold Coast Mall is famous for its art, collectables, decoys, ducks, cheeses and more Eastern Shore treasures.
“The loyal, wonderful people is what I will miss the most. Some have been visiting the store since we were on Shantytown. The strength and loyalty of our staff will be missed, too,” said owner Donald Hastings.
The Hastings family moved to Ocean City in 1969, where Donald became the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Worcester County. His wife’s previous profession was a school teacher, but with Donald already working for the schools, and being in the middle of raising their children, she decided to put her teaching career on hold and open up Donald’s Duck Shoppe.
She named it after her husband, and the rest is history.
Hastings could not gush more about the loyalty of his employees, especially Sean Tushup. Several have worked at the Shoppe for well over ten years. Tushup, an 18-year veteran, loves working for Hastings and the great atmosphere at the store.
“Mr. Hastings treats me like a son. The store has always had awesome employees and it is an all-around great place to work,” said Tushup.
Tushup was responsible for hand-making their famous cheeses, the impending absence of which has already saddened many loyal customers who have been fans for years.
Hastings fondly remembered Donald’s Duck Shoppe’s participation in dozens of nautical, wildlife, craft and art shows throughout the years at the convention center in Ocean City and at least four other venues in Baltimore.
At one time, Donald’s Duck Shoppe had locations in Bethany Beach, on Shantytown and in the Gold Coast Mall.
Their Shantytown location opened up in 1976 and was in business for over 20 years. In 1978, they opened at the Gold Coast Mall, and they had a place in Bethany for 10 years as well.
The Hastings are both 78 years old, and not in the greatest of health. Mrs. Hastings recently had a hip transplant and Donald is having vision problems. In addition, their daughter suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
“I need more time to spend with my family and help take care of them. I hope to continue traveling once we close the store,” said Hastings.
His wife wants to visit Istanbul, and Donald is excited for their annual June trip to Mexico or the Dominican Republic.
Owner Donald Hastings, left, and Sean Tushup reminisce
in the gallery room of Donald’s Duck Shoppe in the Gold Coast Mall
on 115th Street.