Three Generations of Farias, Continue to Share the Dream of Providing the Best Shopping Experience Possible
When Mario Farias purchased a house on Sixth Street in Surf City, he did not realize the impact his children and grandchildren would have on the business community and vacationers for years to come.
Vince and Michele Farias were school teachers in Edgewater Park, spending their summers on LBI. Vince kept busy working as lifeguard and bartender during the time here. While working on the Island, Vince noticed that rental houses did not come with amenities needed for families; and recognized the potential. In 1969 they established Farias Sales & Rentals in Surf City where Vince rented a dirt floor garage from a neighbor of the lifeguard barracks; who had a premonition that if he started a business there and would become successful. The beach and bike shop opened providing rental items for everything people would need for their stay. From umbrellas, chairs, bikes, boogie boards, rafts and surfboards to cribs and cots. During the 1980s Michele brought apparel into the stores. In 1983 the couple purchased Byerly’s Rentals on 28th St. in Ship Bottom, which was renovated in 2008 and is the current location of their Flagship store. Much like the premonition, the business was truly successful adding new products such as surfboards 1993. In 1994 the company purchased Taylor Ave Grill in Beach Haven and renovated to be the newest shop.
Brian Farias and his sister Stacey Farias Jordan have been involved their entire lives working in the family business. Being part of the evolution into a destination retail surf and hard-goods store through building relationships in the surf industry to staying involved on a community level locally. Brian took over the business full time and Stacey as a part time partner in the fall of 2012 from their parents. That year, Superstorm Sandy flooded 6 of 8 properties over four feet of water. In order to save the holiday season, they opened a mainland location that acted as home base for rebuild. The storm redefined connections to old and new friends, as well as reaffirmed the strength of our amazing community and business leaders. Vince and Michele’s granddaughter Sarah Jordan is the women’s buyer for all of the surf shops, and she also runs and manages Five 0 Six Surf Boutique. Ally, Drew and Sydney all work in each of the stores during the summers. Brian’s god-mother Peg Caffrey runs the books and payables in the office.
The Farias’ have witnessed how LBI is ever evolving. “There is a different clientele in every town on the island. From the local residents to the summer residents to weekend warriors. You have to be able to cater to everyone from the core surfer to the weekend beach visitors and everyone in between. We just try to do a better job to provide products that everyone wants in a welcoming atmosphere.” states Brian. In 2016 the company opened the Five 0 Six Surf Boutique and the Centre St. location in Beach Haven as branches of the family business. Keeping up with the customer demand they have expanded our children’s surf clothing offering, by opening our Farias Kids Store across the street from Ship Bottom flag ship store. Brian admits that have a lot of fun running the business as a family, even though retail business can be extremely difficult. “The business has a lot of moving parts and there is never really the ability to leave your work behind at the end of the day. Whether they are at a family dinner or on a vacation it is always the topic of conversation which can cause stress. Ultimately success rests on your shoulders. The level of passion and the commitment to always trying to improve our business are what drives us. What you put into it is exactly what you can expect to get out of it!”
The last 6 years since Super Storm Sandy has really been an experience the Farias Family could have never imagined. “It is one that we hope to never have to do again but at least now we know we can make it through anything.” reflects Brian. As business owners they recognize the investment on the island and how the level of development, service and hospitality have grown to greater levels that they have not witnessed in the previous two decades. With growth, there are hopes that some of the old charm and style remains. With an eye on sustainability, they foresee the community of business leaders growing tighter and stronger as a new generation comes of age in the family run companies. The Farias family could not be happier to be glad to be in this together as the business community looks forward to a bright future.
1st picture: Vince and Michele, and daughters Christy and Stacey on a surrey in front of the first Farias Surf & Sport location
3rd picture: Brian Farias on top of the rubble from our flagship store in Ship Bottom after Sandy
4th picture: Vince Farias and son, Brian Farias in Surf City
5th picture: Three generations of Farias ladies (Michele Farias, Sarah Jordan, Stacey Farias Jordan)