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Storytelling: Bob, Owner of Bob's Beach Shack

“I grew up surfing on the East Coast off the coast of Rhode Island.

Around the time Peggy and I found out we were going to have our first child, we decided to move from the East Coast to Wisconsin. I didn't want to be away two weeks of every month traveling for work. I left my job as a sales rep for an independent jean store and had a few other jobs along the way. I soon realized that I was pretty unemployable. I was not good with supervisors or authority so, after being fired from 10 or so jobs, I realized I was meant to be self-employed and decided to open my own business.

I started my business, creatively named ‘Bob’s Store,’ in Walworth in 1991. We eventually had stores in Walworth, Whitewater, and Delevan but we were much more conservative. Bob’s Store was not the feel, not the thing, I was looking for in running my own company. I found the abandoned shack in the Delavan Inlet and it clicked that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to bring a feel of my surfing experiences on the East coast to the Midwest. It was here that ‘Bob’s Beach Shack’ officially opened its doors.

At the time that I opened up Bob’s Beach Shack, the rent Downtown Lake Geneva was a little frightening to me. Once my business prospered in Delavan and I knew I could handle it, I knew Downtown Lake Geneva was where I needed to be. Bob’s Beach Shack officially opened its Lake Geneva doors on St. Patrick’s Day in 2009.

Running a business in Lake Geneva, there are frustrating days and there are good days, but there's always action. I think Lake Geneva is a great city that could always use a little more excitement. I think the Downtown businesses and merchants are making that happen.

At Bob’s Beach Shack, we do our own thing. Honestly, it's not for everybody, but we do our thing and we try to be different. If you like it, you like it, and I hope you do.” - Bob, Bob's Beach Shack 140 Broad Street, Lake Geneva

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