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Dave Rauschkolb

Beach Fanatic
Jul 13, 2005
1,006
790
Santa Rosa Beach
I'll never forget what it was like when we first opened Bud & Alley's. Johnny Earles and his partner Skip were already enjoying a thriving business with Paradise Cafe where the Red Bar sits today.

In 1985 there were only 4 or 5 places to eat so I would have expected, at the time, that Johnny would have seen us as a threat to his solid business. Something quite different happened though. Scott Witcoski, my business partner and I became instant friends with Johnny. Johnny welcomed us and even gave us tips on how to handle the seasonal business challenges. When he needed to borrow some linen or a case of tomatoes we were there for him. If our ice machine died we were welcome to fill a container of ice from his machine. From this, I believe, a path of support, cooperation and inclusiveness along 30A was set in motion that continues today.

The next big restaurant to come along was Harriet Crommelin's restaurant, Thirty A Cafe. Harriet moved down from Montgomery to realize her dream of living and working on the beach. While she was scouting the area and working on her opening she would sit in the same place at the downstairs bar at Bud & Alley's. Harriet probably had a couple of hundred meals in that spot during the building process of the new Cafe 30A. Of course we hit it off and instantly supported and even “cheer-leaded” and praised each other as was the case with Johnny Earles.

Those early friendships set a tone; a tone of a strong commitment to supporting, encouraging and helping other new owner operated businesses that came to the area. Not a tone born out of fear of competition but a tone of inclusiveness and support. A tone that continues today. There always was enough business to go around and with each new addition the result was a rich tapestry of shopping, food, lodging and services we all enjoy along the 30A corridor.

Fortunately for us the 30A area continues to be predominately owner operated and we should continue working together to keep it that way. Also, the bar of quality is very high here. Just opening a business along 30A does not guarantee success yet, it seems, there are more quality businesses opening and staying open every year. We all benefit greatly from this.

With each new business comes a unique dream of success and a contribution to our community. Sometimes these people are locals and others have realized their dream of moving here and opening a business. I have had the deep pleasure of watching many, many former employees of mine break out and create successful, enduring businesses as well.

I truly have been amazed at the level of support for each other that exists along 30A. Fortunately it appears that the type of “back stabbing” that occurs in other markets is rare here. We should not tolerate unsupportive, predatory and over controlling behavior regarding 30A either. Fortunately, the perception, insight and action of the 30A community is a powerful moderator.

I say all this because I believe this certain behavioral characteristic or tone of our community is a good thing that should be recognized, acknowledged and continued. We all share in the ownership of 30A, North and South Walton and the responsibility to keep this tone of positivity and inclusiveness intact. Coexistence, cooperation and support of each other is one of the key defining factors of our greater 30A community, South and North Walton. Let’s work together to keep it that way. WE are 30A. We are Walton.

Photo: 1986/87 Bud & Alley's front entrance. FC01988D-44F2-472B-AB9F-A33F197D923D.jpeg
 
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Truman

Beach Fanatic
Apr 3, 2009
621
231
Thanks for posting Dave - our community has always been positive overall and will shine through adversity!

While we are headed down a path of over development like other place in Florida, we will do our best to protect and preserve the environment and people's right to enjoy nature.

I urge everyone to leave the keyboard and get outside. :wave::love:
 

Stone Cold J

Beach Lover
Jun 6, 2019
150
171
SRB
Coexistence, cooperation and support of each other is one of the key defining factors of our greater 30A community, South and North Walton.


Yes, coexistence, cooperation and support of each other will be one of the key defining factors of the greater 30A community. How we treat each other will impact the 30A legacy.
 

Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,404
3,851
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
What a great example of the spirit of the South Walton community over the years. I truly appreciate and admire our residents, business owners and professionals, and everyone who lives, works and plays on the world's most beautiful beaches. We all share a beautiful and unique slice of earth.

Our restaurants and small businesses are the heart of the community and tell our story in many ways. Good food, great places and good people and so many wonderful memories. Love where we live.
 

Reggie Gaskins

Beach Lover
Oct 4, 2018
153
259
58
Blue Mountain Beach
Interesting take on the 30A Legacy. When I think back over the last 25 years, each restaurant owner, after arriving and working as a chef first, or opening each restaurant on their own risk, have truly shaped the personality, mood, and character of each eclectic beach community along 30A.

The dozens of restaurants they’ve developed, some of them 3, 4, even 5 each, shape our 30A memories. The additional influencers worthy of mention are Jim, the other Jim, both with impressive multiple successful concepts. Who can forget Johnny, first bringing National foody attention to 30A?

The contributors are many, Louis, Ollie, George and Anne, the other George, Brenda, Jimmy, Joe, Skip and Victoria, Jeff and Vickie, and many more.

Each of us have many of their influences in our memories, and for some of us old timers, all of them. Now think about their welcoming, passionate attitudes. Each of them humbly and quietly proud to be crafters of the 30A experience.

I personally value each of them, and their individual positive contributions to our individual and collective 30A experience. I’d put this group up against any group in any locale, anywhere. 30A would not be 30A without them.
Thank you all!!!!
 

jodiFL

Beach Fanatic
Jul 28, 2007
2,479
709
SOWAL,FL
So many that came before those mentioned.......Randall,Doug,Paul(still hanging in there).. Ernie and Betsy and Jane and Joel. None of them were as fancy as most mentioned but they are the ones that kept us all fed.
 

Dave Rauschkolb

Beach Fanatic
Jul 13, 2005
1,006
790
Santa Rosa Beach
Interesting take on the 30A Legacy. When I think back over the last 25 years, each restaurant owner, after arriving and working as a chef first, or opening each restaurant on their own risk, have truly shaped the personality, mood, and character of each eclectic beach community along 30A.

The dozens of restaurants they’ve developed, some of them 3, 4, even 5 each, shape our 30A memories. The additional influencers worthy of mention are Jim, the other Jim, both with impressive multiple successful concepts. Who can forget Johnny, first bringing National foody attention to 30A?

The contributors are many, Louis, Ollie, George and Anne, the other George, Brenda, Jimmy, Joe, Skip and Victoria, Jeff and Vickie, and many more.

Each of us have many of their influences in our memories, and for some of us old timers, all of them. Now think about their welcoming, passionate attitudes. Each of them humbly and quietly proud to be crafters of the 30A experience.

I personally value each of them, and their individual positive contributions to our individual and collective 30A experience. I’d put this group up against any group in any locale, anywhere. 30A would not be 30A without them.
Thank you all!!!!

Thank you! And to add to the list George and Amy from Amici and now Amigos as well as Christi and her dad from the Spell group of restaurants and the folks at Paradis and our great friends at Shades and Pescado and of course we can’t wait till the Red Bar reopens! and the list goes on and on! The bar is very high for great Food here and quality operators.
 
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