THE STORY OF HOW I OPENED A SURF SHOP IN BALI
The story 'about us' has to begin with my first trip to Bali 2006. Like most people that have been to Bali I was spellbound by the magical allure of the island and its people. Half drowned and sunburnt, on my first trip, I was immediately head over heels in love with this place.
My love affair with Bali began as a mission trip to source materials and factories for my skate and surf lifestyle brand, Ekumenik. During the initial development of Ekumenik, I was traveling back and forth between Bali and Canada several times a year. Eventually I found myself spending more and more time in Bali, specifically the untamed and rugged bukit area.
I was slowly making a second home in Bali, whacking down encroaching jungle from my little house (on loaner from a Canadian pal) and making friends with friendly locals. Few expats, at least of my age, were hanging in the bukit at the time, Arif of Warung Guero (a killer Mexican joint that I ate at nightly) and his little brother Komang became my closest friends.
Komang Pedro, as I call him, mainly because he looks like a little Mexican, is a legend. He is known by everyone for his infectious enthusiasm and general stoke for life. I knew if I was going to do any business in Bali I wanted to do it with this guy. Together, we set up a cafe & surf shop, the only requirements were to serve the best cup of coffee (a hard thing, if not impossible, to find back then), reliable wifi and a chill place to hang - this was the beginning of Bukit General Supply (BGS) Bali.
Today, my fiance Chelsey and I along with Komang Pedro are running BGS and it’s the best! We sell beer, coffee, surfboards and our house label, Ekumenik. We can test out Ekumenik designs on a truly international clientele and make friends from all over the world. We used to have the whole team working at a giant green table right in the middle of the action. It was pretty intense and hard to get any work done. Friends stopping by to drink beer and play cards or convince us to go surf. Now, thank god, after a complete renovation, our office is in the back.
Our business model (or lack thereof) is quite intriguing. We have no experience running a shop or cafe, so we just operate from the heart. We do our best to treat everyone like an old friend and help them out with whatever Bali challenges they encounter, like where to rent a scoot, suggest home stays, clean reef cuts, provide directions, etc. We always ask ourselves, how to do we make people feel welcome and create a community for them. I think that’s what differentiates us from every other shop out there.
To wrap our story I want to take this opportunity to thank all the customers, friends, family and brands we have a relationship with! I also feel the need to thank our amazing staff and the “we” team who truly deserve any/all credit and accolades BGS earns. Special thanks to my partner Komang, you the best bud.