How would you like to own a piece of paradise? And raise a family there? We’re on the historical Gulf-Coast island of Cabbage Key today, and we have the great pleasure of interviewing Rob Wells. Rob’s family owns Cabbage Key and the Tarpon Lodge. In today’s episode, Rob shares some wonderful stories and gives us a taste of what it was like for him to grow up on a pristine, historical Gulf-Coast island. Stay tuned to find out more!

Cabbage Key is like paradise, and the only way to reach it is by boat. Rob’s parents bought the island in 1976, and Rob and his brother, Ken, grew up there. The family has been running the business for the last forty-three years, and they added Tarpon Lodge in 1999. Now, the family is known as some of the most memorable purveyors of paradise on the Gulfshore. Be sure to listen in today, to hear Rob’s unusual and delightful story!

Show highlights:

  • Rob shares the moment when his dream became a reality.
  • Commuting to school by boat.
  • Rob had a pretty cool childhood, growing up on the island.
  • Why Rob’s parents were the real risk-takers.
  • Rob’s parents achieved a lot from working hard.
  • Rob watched his parents at work daily, growing up.
  • Rob had some doubts about the family business when he was younger.
  • According to Rob’s research, Cabbage Key was probably more populated a thousand years ago than it is now.
  • Rob’s family feels more like stewards of the property, for this moment in time than like the owners of the island.
  • Letting the island speak for itself.
  • Memories of growing up on the island.
  • People who are boaters, and who go to places like Cabbage Key, are usually pretty interesting.
  • Going to school by boat.
  • Going to university and moving to the city.
  • Some of the unique challenges of owning an island and running a resort.
  • Maintaining a delicate balance on the island.
  • The wonderful story behind the dollar bills on the wall in the bar.
  • An interesting tale about the area.
  • The history of Tarpon Lodge.
  • Rob’s favorite places to go in Fort Myers.

Links and resources:

Tarpon Lodge

The Veranda Restaurant in Fort Myers

Caffe Toscano in Fort Myers