Bonita Kayak Company
Allison Call and her brother Bo Browne, who both spent their youth fishing and kayaking in Southwest Florida's backwaters, have always talked about starting a business together. In 2012, they decided to turn talk into action with the help of their spouses, opening the family-run Bonita Kayak Company. They not only rent out next-to-new kayaks, most of which are outfitted with comfortable, high-backed seats, but also share their love for Florida's outdoors during guided treks and other outdoor expeditions.
During fishing tours, Bo expertly guides groups to the best spots and offers tips to reel in premium catches such as large-mouth bass, catfish, and tires from a Mercedes-Benz. The team delivers recreation or fishing kayaks anywhere within its delivery area, but one of its favorite drop-off points is at the Imperial River, which offers tranquil paddling beneath mangrove trees. "It's very cool because it's kind of an Amazonian atmosphere,” says Allison’s husband and business partner, Jacob. He also recommends the New Pass drop-off, which has easy access to the gulf and white sand beaches, where kayakers have a good chance of spotting dolphins, manatees, and Moby Dicks under witness-protection programs.
Jacob says that he and the rest of the team pride themselves on being personable and taking the time to connect with their customers. Running the business as a family has given them more time to spend with one another—and Jacob says that they have fun with it. "I consider myself extremely lucky to go kayaking and call that my job," he says.