Jeremy Peterson came to the Keys in June to help his family liquidate the inventory at Overseas Outfitters and close the operation all together.
But his first week in the store, much to his surprise, turned out quite a bit of traffic in the store.
Talk was tossed around about him relocating from Charleston, SC to help bring the outfit back to life, but he hesitated.
“I was a regional product development manager for Auto Zone and Family Dollar,” Peterson explained. “I had no background running a retail business.”
Additionally, he quickly learned the store had a damaged reputation to overcome, and he had to win back incensed past customers.
Peterson, along with his parents – whom he brought back out of retirement – happily welcome every customer that enters the door. A quick, but firm reminder that the store is under new management instantly puts you at ease.
“Customer service is number one in my book,” Peterson proclaimed.
Overseas Outfitters is an authorized Trek dealer and sells everything from cruisers and hybrids to mountain bikes. Though he’s not carrying road bikes, he said, “If we don’t have it and Trek makes it, we can order it.”
A willingness to listen to his customers and accommodate special orders has proven a key to his success in only two months of operation.
“We’ve not had one customer yet who hasn’t walked out of those doors satisfied with a pledge to return,” he added.
Peterson’s also jumped in both feet first as an active part of the local business community.
On August 27, Overseas Outfitters will host the final round of registration for Middle Keys kids to participate in the AYSO Soccer League for the coming season.
“We need a store like this to accommodate kids’ needs here, especially with soccer going on year-round,” said fellow local businessman and soccer league coordinator Arno Silva.
With the closing of Marathon’s Boater’s World store, several people have approached Peterson about carrying water skis and wakeboarding gear.
Folks from the Marathon skate park have also advised Peterson what types of boards, shoes and accessories local kids need.
“We’re always open to hearing what people want,” Peterson said, adding that he was glad to special order any products from his distributors.
From basic workout apparel to baseball, softball, soccer, football and swimming gear, Overseas Outfitters is working diligently to meet the equipment needs of the local athletic community.
Ten years of his life after college were spent in Dallas, Texas building new homes. In working directly with new homeowners and builders, Peterson learned a great deal about working with a wide variety of people and personalities.
“If you treat people right, it’s easy,” he said casually.
This weekend, Peterson is welcoming his fiancée Shannon to their new home on Big Pine Key. He’s also expecting his first little bundle of joy in October.
“This is and will be a full blown family owned and operated business,” Peterson said, adding that the pack and play was already stashed in the back corner of the store.
Overseas Outfitters, Marathon’s premier bike shop and sporting goods store, is under new management and ready to meet the needs of every member of the community. An authorized Trek dealer, the store will also carry full lines of New Balance shoes, Maui Jim and Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Overseas Outfitters, located at 1700 Overseas Highway in Marathon, is open Monday through Friday 9-6 and Saturday 9-3.
Jeremy Peterson and his father, Mike, proudly sell, rent and service a wide range of bicycles for every level rider. Mike, who came out of retirement to help his son, is the stores full-time bike mechanic.