Battling Back

Owner Shannan Burk stands in front of her building where demolition has begun to clear space to rebuild the Blue Coast shop on Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores.

Blue Coast Shop has been a unique beachside store tucked along A1A in Daytona Beach Shores for many years.

A devastating fire started by a lithium battery on an electric bicycle put a temporary time out to the business in July, but plans are already in the works to bring it back.

The charming structure had previously been a four-plex, a real estate office, and then sat empty until it was opened in 2012 as Blue Coast Shop. Marc and Shannan Burk bought the building and the business in March 2015.

“Blue Coast became our home, our little shop and we built a life around it,” Ms. Burk said. “It was a place where family and friends could visit and make memories. We met so many wonderful people, and we fell in love with Daytona Beach Shores.”

Blue Coast sold clothing, sandals, kites and other seaside merchandise. The shop also rented stand up paddleboards, surfboards, skim boards, bicycles and kayaks.

Unfortunately Mr. Burk died after a battle with cancer June 18. The fire destroyed the shop July 4, less than a month later, while family was still visiting after his death. Everyone got out safely with only minutes to spare, including Ms. Burk, three children, a daughter-in-law, a three-year-old grandchild and two dogs.

“We were going to keep the business open (after Marc died), then the fire happened,” Ms. Burk said, but she is already looking ahead, even as Samsula Demolition is tearing down the building.

Watch for the reopening on the shop's social media and at bluecoastshop.com.

She is hoping to rent bikes remotely as early as March, offering delivery and pick up of bicycles.

Despite having cystic fibrosis and other medical issues that keep her from driving in traffic, being recently widowed after 30 years of marriage and having her business burn down, Ms. Burk is not deterred. Blue Coast Shop was involved with the community, participating in fundraising and parades, and donating to charity. Now the community is coming together to help her.

“The way the community is helping, we are very grateful,” Ms. Burk said. “Even the mayor, the city council, neighbors and people we didn’t even know. It’s amazing.”

The building was insured, but not the contents of the shop or the contents of her home above the shop. Insurance, plus a $3,000 grant from Daytona Beach Shores due to the pandemic, will help with the rebuild. The new building will look similar to the old Blue Coast Shop, the business will be the same, and Ms. Burk will again have a home above the business. In the meantime, she is living in a fixer upper she and her late husband bought in Daytona Beach. He had gutted it in preparation for a renovation, but again, friends and neighbors have jumped in to help.

She says Ark Handyman Service was instrumental in mobilizing businesses and others to get the home ready for her.

“People came out of the woodwork to help,” she said, with awe and gratitude in her voice. “Businesses and neighbors all helped. We had people offer to help with the shop, too. Bands have even offered to play when we have a big grand (re)opening. We are so grateful.”

The demolition of the damaged building took several days, and then Stoll Construction of DeLand will do the rebuild, which could take up to a year, according to Michael Thomas, a Stoll employee.

“(Herman Stoll) has been facilitating this project from day one, working with the city of Daytona Beach Shores on Shannan’s behalf,” he said.

Ms. Burk sat with friends, including long-time friend and co-worker Kelly Krahn, on a lawn behind the business and watched the building being torn down.

“With every item that I recognize in the large claws of the machinery taking down my home/business, I begin to see through the darkness and see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

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