Jesse Hines - Surfin' Spoon

When did you first start surfing?
I started surfing at 9 years old after moving to the beach from a nearby city. That was 25 years ago...

What is it that you love about surfing?
It's the best! There is truly no sport like it because you are so involved with the ocean, the weather, and each time its a different experience.

As a former pro I'd imagine you would have thousands, but do you have a session that stands out as your most memorable?
Hmmm.  yeah thats a tough one, but in 2012, late November, one of my favorite breaks here on the Outer Banks called the lighthouse, was as good as it gets. Double overhead beachbreak pits!

What influenced you to start the Surfin Spoon?
My wife and I wanted to start some sort of small business and being that we live in a resort town, we knew we could capitalize on all the visitors in the summer if we could create something authentic that locals love too. Everyone loves ice cream, so we went with a little healthier option by choosing frozen yogurt that you create yourself. So far its been great!

Can you tell us a little bit about the Surfin Spoon and the philosophy behind the store?
It is a self serve frozen yogurt bar that has 10 different flavors of yogurt and almost 50 toppings. You pay by the weight and basically make whatever you want! These types of yogurt bars are very popular at the moment in the US but are all sort of decorated the same. The environment is very sterile and usually they are painted with bright colors and have loud pop music playing. The Surfin' Spoon is a historical building in Nags Head, NC and we really tried to make it feel like you were walking into our house when you come through our little round front door. It is decorated with surf photos and classic single fins hang from the ceiling. We put our hearts and souls into it and hope that the customers feel it when they come.

What has the local response to the store been like?
We have been so blessed with a huge amount of community support. I think it is something locals can call their own and put a stamp of approval on as an authentic local spot. We have had so many visitors come in because a local told them they had to come in and check it out while they were on the Outer Banks.

I recently came across the Sebi the Surfin' Spoon book, what influenced you to create that?
The minute our designer and now illustrator, Ben Weiland, drew our logo, my wife and I said, "this character (Sebi, the Spoon) needs a story!"  I have also always wanted to document my travels and experiences as a surfer, but knowing I wasn't a novelist, Sebi, the Surfin' Spoon gave us opportunity to do it so kids could relate and learn to love surfing.

What were some of the difficulties involved in the transition from professional surfing to running your own business?
There were a lot, but mainly trying to be a boss (laughs). It is hard to be friends and a boss with people you work with. We are blessed to have an amazing crew working for us though, so that makes it a little easier.

What are you most proud of?
I am amazed at what God can do with an idea or a dream if we just take the risk and go for it. Not all things work out just right, but if you keep trying and trusting, eventually it will fall into place.  

What is it that you love about your job?
I love seeing people happy. It's the best feeling in the world to know that people come to your business and leave with a smile on their face.

Where can we find you online? 

Posted by: Matthew Ryan, on August 21, 2014
Categories: Interviews