HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- It's the unofficial end of summer, and business owners in Brunswick County say it's been one of the best they have seen in years.
For the Sellers family at Holden Beach, this summer easily could have been the worst it's seen for its ice cream shop. Earlier this year, they lost a beloved member of their family, but that alone could not stop this family from rising to the top.
"It's been a great year," Sunset Slush owner Drew Sellers said. "This has been our fourth year, so more people know about us, and we have grown a lot of good relationships with a lot of tourists, and they have been coming every year."
Sellers and his family have spent the past four summers bringing cold treats to visitors in Holden Beach, but this summer was different. In May Drew's dad and business partner died unexpectedly.
"It definitely means a lot. My dad died of a heart attack on May 15 of this year, and he was really excited about the summer and got to work easter weekend, and he knew this was going to be the year, and he was right," Sellers said.
And he's not alone. Cindy Roach owns and operates The Lighthouse Gifts near the island and says this has been one of the best summers she has had in years.
"The weather has been great, and when it rains, they just flock in and pour into the store. I love to see the rain come," she said.
This summer easily could have been one to forget. Brunswick County's beaches dealt with lots of rain, shark bites, drownings and a deck collapse, but businesses say overall this year was a success.
"Well it's the best shop around. Everybody says that," Roach said. "People save their money all year just to come into my store, and I treat them well."
Both Roach and Sellers say they are looking for a break during the off season, but are thankful for the people that made this summer great.
"It was really cool," Sellers said. "My brother came back, his fiancee, my wife, my mom, we all came back together. On Sunday nights it was a big family deal, and we just really dedicated this summer to my dad."
The offseason starts immediately for Sunset Slush. It will close after today during the week and will be open on the weekends through October.
The Lighthouse will continue operating on a normal business schedule.