We had the good fortune of connecting with Jean and Todd Walker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jean and Todd, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We really wanted to demonstrate to our sons the value of good, hard work. Our business creates a beautiful setting, but requires planning, strategic thinking, customer service, punctuality, and hard labor while working in the sand. These are all valuable attributes that were instilled into us that we wanted to pass on to our sons.
What should our readers know about your business?
Beach Genie is a luxury beach experience company. We provide luxury beach set ups, cabana parties and luxury beach bonfire services. Clients book their beach experience directly through our website, we work with them to create their ideal beach day, and then we set it all up before they arrive. When a client is done, they just leave the beach. We pick up everything, cleaning and storing the equipment.
Beach Genie is great for locals and visitors alike. Locals can bike or walk to the beach without lugging everything from home, worrying about parking, or trying to corral little ones while carrying a chair, cooler and umbrella. For visitors, many arrive without any beach equipment. They end up purchasing low end equipment, using it twice and then trashing it, or worse, leaving it on the beach. For the price of purchasing a low end set up, Beach Genie can provide a luxury experience that ensures everything will get picked up and used again.
We are most excited that our service provides a sustainable, luxury beach day with equipment made in the USA. Our cabana is made in Colorado. Our coolers are manufactured in California. Our hardwood chairs and side tables are harvested from sustainable forests in North Carolina. Our concession grade umbrellas are from Florida. Even our paddle ball games are made in the U.S. This required a lot of extra research and planning, but it supports families throughout the United States. We also work with local restaurants and women owned small businesses for our client food and charcuterie needs. We even have a local, organic s’mores provider!
One thing that really sets us apart is our focus on maintaining clean beaches. Each Beach Genie service starts with a general site clean up. Our beach toys are reclaimed sand toys that were left on local beaches. Often, visitors and locals just want beach toys for the day and those toys end up abandoned on the beach. We work with a local woman who does daily beach clean ups, reclaim the toys, clean and sanitize them, and then rent them to clients, ensuring no toy is left behind after a day with Beach Genie.
Creating our first private business was not easy. We had to work with the State and local governments to get permits to operate on local beaches at a time when most companies working on the beach didn’t have any business structure, insurance, licensing or permits. We had to learn how to incorporate, how to trademark our logo, who to trust to build our website, etc. We had to research vendors to find the right ones for us and create a business that really doesn’t exist in Southern California. We overcame these challenges with tenacity and a belief that we could do it if we could just find the right combination of skills and determination.
In the end, it paid off and now, one year into Beach Genie’s existence, we have more permits to operate legally on local beaches than any other beach experience company in Southern California. We found the right people who believed in us and helped shepherd us through the permitting process. We testified in front of local beach and harbor commissions for their approvals. We worked with local elected officials to find a way to make it happen. We created relationships with State Parks personnel that allowed us to be the first recipient for a permit to operate on State Beaches under a pilot project only available in San Diego County.
A lot of what we learned along the way is that we don’t know everything. It seems simple to put equipment out on the beach, but which governing body controls that beach? Is it the State or a local government? What restrictions are there on these beaches? Are wood fires allowed or only propane fires? How can you provide a luxury experience on a beach where everything is sandy? There are all kinds of people in government who assisted us. Our chair provider spent hours with us discussing the pros and cons of different chair styles and fabric colors. We spent a lot of time just asking friends what their ideal beach day looked like and strategizing how we could provide that experience. Our cabana alone took several weeks and at least ten iterations to finally be able to settle on how we wanted it to look. Our friends came out and acted as “models” for our photo shoot and provided even more insight into what people would want.
What we would want the world to know about our brand and story is that no matter how prepared you feel to do this on your own, you are going to need other people to assist. We embrace that assistance and appreciate the people who have allowed Beach Genie to flourish.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We really focus on fun things to do in North County. We always recommend Oceanside Coastal Expeditions for dolphin viewing. Their boats are fast and smooth and so low to the water that you can almost touch the dolphins and whales! Oceanside Sea Center has some great fishing charters.
For the family, we love Trapeze High in Escondido. In one lesson, they teach you how to “fly” on a real trapeze! We also like Free Flight Birds in Del Mar, where you can interact with exotic birds. We love to hike near Lake Calavera. Of course, we love to spend time on our local beaches and at low tide hit the tide pools at Terramar.
For food, we host our family and friends at Miss Kim’s That Boy Good BBQ in Oceanside. We love Fresco in Carlsbad. Happy hour at Le Papagayo in Carlsbad and Encinitas is definitely on our list, especially with their live music nightly. My personal favorite is Viggilucci’s on Tamarack for steak and seafood, but we also love Chandler’s Restaurant, both in Carlsbad. Our new favorite for sunset is The Camp Store at the State Beach Campground in Carlsbad. They have a great beer and wine selection and always great, live music.
But no visit is complete without a stop at Tony’s Sports Bar and Grill in Oceanside Harbor. His Bloody Mary has over 20 ingredients! It’s fantastic and his food is excellent!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our parents. Both our Mothers and Fathers grew up during the Depression. They instilled into us the need to work hard regardless of the circumstances to achieve our goals, not only for ourselves, but for others who did not necessarily get that opportunity. They grew up in a time when young people were going to war. Both our Fathers served in the military, as did most men of their generation. Many of those men never came back. Our Fathers were very aware of those sacrifices and they believed those sacrifices should be honored through their own hard work.
Yelp: Beach Genie
Youtube: Beach Genie
Other: Phone number (760) 828-0510 Email firstname.lastname@example.org