Conch Custard celebrates its opening day. From left: Daniel Samess, Robyn Still, Claire Segard, Madison Judd, Aiden Judd, Ron Judd, Kelly Judd, Sandra Bradshaw, Alexia Mann, Mike Puto, Lavarski Smith.

It was a phenomenal week for new businesses in Marathon as city officials, business owners and friends gathered with the Marathon Chamber of Commerce to celebrate three openings around town within the last week.

Established in 1990, Key Largo-based Florida Bay Outfitters has made its way down the Keys to open a second location in Marathon at 1825 Overseas Hwy. on Dec. 7. In addition to serving as a fully-stocked paddle sports center, the store is home to a large apparel and accessories collection focused around a day on the water.

Those looking for a sweet treat around Marathon now have another option with the opening of Ron and Kelly Judd’s Conch Custard at 11524 Overseas Hwy. on Dec. 10. Offering hard scoop ice cream, rich soft serve and Italian water ice and gelati, the new shop celebrated its opening with free treat samples for all visitors after its ribbon cutting and a raffle for early attendees.

Brutus Seafood debuts its new outdoor bar. From left: Candice Grostefon, Alexia Mann, Elise Mucha, Mike Martone, Grimi Betancourt, Robyn Still.

Finally, Brutus Seafood Restaurant made its contribution to the Keys’ unofficial — yet totally official – pastime with the opening of its long-awaited outdoor bar and additional seating area. Now furnished with a full complement of liquors and 50 additional seats, the restaurant looks forward to inviting more guests with live music and all-day happy hour specials.

“This is exciting. We’re welcoming new business with new products, new services and new jobs into our community,” said chamber CEO Daniel Samess. “This is what it’s all about.”

Florida Bay Outfitters owner Bobby Stoky (red shirt) and Marathon Mayor Luis Gonzalez (holding scissors) cut the ribbon to celebrate the paddle sports center’s new Marathon location with city dignitaries, chamber officials and local supporters. Photos by Patti Childress and Alex Rickert
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.