Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boat Selling Becomes Tradition

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boat Selling Becomes Tradition

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- Tom and Barbara Jewell just can't seem to stay in one place very long. Success keeps them on the move.

The Jewells have done so well since opening a Triton Boats dealership in downtown Green Cove Springs two years ago that they have outgrown their leased building and are moving to a bigger site north of town.

It will be the third relocation for East Coast Marine since the Jacksonville couple and their son, Bradley, 23, started the business in Nassau County in October 1997 in a 1,500-square-foot, leased building they remodeled at a cost of $35,000.

After only eight months, the business had grown so much that the family decided it was time to look for a larger building and their other son, Troy, 27, left his job with an insurance company in Jacksonville and joined the firm.

When they heard about a 4,000-square-foot building available on U.S. 17 in Green Cove Springs -- two counties away -- they were interested but unsure.

"We're Christians, so we started praying about it," said Barbara Jewell.

It wasn't long before they got the inspiration they needed. They made the move in August 1998 and never looked back.

Many families might not work well together in a business. But Tom, a former fifth-grade teacher at Victory Christian Academy in Jacksonville, said being with his wife and sons all day at the shop is not work.

"Actually, we get along quite well," Tom said. "You kind of get used to everyone being together. When one is not here you kind of miss them. And we enjoy what we're doing.

"I've done a lot of things in my lifetime, but I'm most happy now than I've ever been. I attribute that to peace in my heart."

Tom, who moved his family to Jacksonville in 1980 from Louisville, Ky., said his was one of only three Triton Boats dealerships that opened in Florida three years ago. Today, there are 12.

He said he knew Triton was a highly respected boat manufacturer when he contacted the Tennessee plant seeking a dealership franchise. …

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