FishWare Outfitters has announced the opening of its first retail store. It is located on Matlacha Island at 4317 Pine Island Road (next to Bert's Bar and Grill).
"This is a great location, everyone knows Bert's and people can come by car or by boat," co-founder Donald Ware said. "As you know, this area has some of the best fishing in Florida and is also known for its restaurants and boutiques.
The store is promoted online for offering performance and casual fishing apparel for men and women, designed, Ware said, by his sons.
"The clothing line was developed by my two sons, Trey and Chandler, and actually came from a fishing trip to the Florida Keys," Ware said.
"Everyone in the family is an outdoor enthusiast and they were on a fishing excursion two years ago. They were very disappointed with the clothing that's out there and decided to start a clothing line that offers quality and performance at a fair price. They came up with the name FishWare."
The parent company is called The Inkspot "Home of Kentucky's best screen printing and embroidery services." The Inkspot manufactures licensed apparel for the University of Kentucky and is located in Lexington, Ky., near the university. It has been in business for 28 years.
"When we started the line we first did the boat show circuit for about a year and a half," Ware said. "That worked out really well and then we were in a bunch of marinas in Naples, in Loggerhead, Lashley's, Cape Harbor and several others. We love to be on the wholesale end of it but this little venture on Matlacha is to see if the retail FishWare Outfitters can be reproduced.
"If this is successful, we plan on opening retail stores on Sanibel Island, Marco Island and work our way to the Keys," Ware said. "We also just picked up a sales rep for the Miami area.
"Our official opening in Matlacha was April 1 but there were several unplanned delays and we didn't open until the end of April," Ware said. "Now we're off season and things are a little slower but it seems the local island population is stopping in a lot more. Father's Day is June 15 and we have great Father's Day gifts so please stop by."
FishWare Outfitters is at 4317 Pine Island Road, Matlacha. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 859-797-5748 or 859-255-7030.