Fibber’s on the Water was chosen by Myrtle Beach Restaurant News as “A Top Ten Waterfront Restaurant”. That is not a surprise to those of us who have had the pleasure of eating there…A Culinary Delight! A dining experience that strives for “Great service, Great food…At a Reasonable Price” only happens with a plan and procedure in place. The owners who initiated this plan live right here at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort. Ralph and Jean Carbone just moved from their condo in “The Lakes” at Brunswick Plantation into the custom home they had built in Brunswick Plantation on Beauvoir Drive. Their son, Jason, and his fiancé, Carolyn, are now moving into the “Lakes ”condo. As they are all part of the team that is responsible for the consistent quality of Fibber’s on the Water, living at Brunswick Plantation is another example of the Carbone’s way of keeping it “All in the Family”!
As it is with many of the folks at Brunswick Plantation, The Carbone family did not always live in the South. Before retiring to Eagle Rock, Pennsylvania, Ralph and Jean lived and worked for 30 years in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Must be something about the name Brunswick !
They met, married, and raised their twin sons, Jason and Matthew, in East Brunswick. Though they did not know each other growing up, Ralph and Jean discovered when they got to know each other that they had both grown up in South River, New Jersey. Small Jersey World!
I spoke with them recently about their life journey that brought them together and, eventually, to the Carolinas! Ralph was the chief financial controller & project manager for a variety of small businesses…certified by IBM and Standard and Poors. Jean was a management analyst for Johnson and Johnson. As it turns out, Ralph interviewed Jean for a job and hired her. So, he was initially Jean’s boss. They later married and remained in New Jersey until retiring and moving to Pennsylvania. At the time, they also had the condo at “the Lakes” in BP as a second home.
Their original plan was to split their time between Pa. and N.C. After a time the cold weather in the North became less appealing, and they found themselves wanting to stay in the South. Ralph stated that the decision to make Brunswick Plantation their permanent home was: First…The People & Second…The Weather.
Jean had retired at 55, and Ralph retired when she did. When they decided to make Brunswick Plantation their permanent home, their son, Jason, came to live in the South, also. Jason had the position of assistant manager at Fibber’s on the water …minutes away in Little River, South Carolina. (The border between the Carolina’s is about three miles south on Route 17.) One day Jason came from work with the news that the owner of the restaurant, Rich Dopkins, was going to sell it. Rich, it turns out, buys businesses to get them running and then sells them.
Jason told Ralph first, who said he was not interested. Jean was more interested, since she felt she had retired so young, and encouraged the idea. After learning more about it, they decided to buy Fibber’s and run it as a family business that could be built up for Jason in the future. They all got excited about the idea and bought it.
They all seem extremely pleased with that decision! In fact, when, Betty, the woman who worked for them was interviewing a young woman for a job, she went to get Jason in on the interview. Her comment was: “There is a really cute girl here that you need to interview, Jason!” He did the interview with Carolyn, was impressed, and hired her. She is now Jason’s fiancé, and they are about to be married at The Surf club on July 13. Carolyn has an eight year old son, Colby…One big Happy Family!
Notice that the Carbone family men seem to know a good woman when they see one…Right Away! Like father Like Son, they don’t let the good ones get away! The family and the business are happy and thriving! Jason calls living here…Paradise! Carolyn calls it living in “Vacation Land”! This family wants Fibber’s on the Water to be a…Dining Experience “All the Way Around”! Ralph says that means delicious food, friendly and efficient service, and a complete welcoming environment that makes you want to return. In fact, when Fibber’s is open, they have one or more family members at the restaurant at all times.
When I asked how they choose the menu and tantalizing presentation of the food, I was told that it is a team effort. There are three cooks, including Jason, who make sure that everything is high quality. They use the freshest ingredients possible & many dishes are home-made:
- Fresh fish
- Home-made: crab cakes, shrimp burgers. Cole slaw, soups, pasta sauces, cocktail & tartar sauce
They do buy freshly made desserts.
There are twelve beers “On Tap”…Prost!
There is, of course, lots of seating outside watching the boats in the open air! Very relaxing!
They also hire people who work there, in all positions, as a team. They advertise, interview and test (for cooks). There is trial period before the hire is finalized, as they want to make sure that everyone represents their brand as a restaurant. Sounds like a plan that is working to me!
I think that the real secret in being successful at anything one does in life is to “Love what you do!” I feel that sense of joy when talking with all four of these folks! When I asked about serving large groups, Ralph commented that “It is like throwing a party every night!” He says that “Business is business and that to him the kitchen is like a manufacturing business.” So, he feels very comfortable with the restaurant business.
I must say that the Carbone family wanted to be sure to tell me why they love living at Brunswick Plantation…”The people are so wonderful!” He said, “Everyone jumps in to help…Without ever being asked!” Ralph mentioned his friend and neighbor, Jeff, who always calls and offers help and brings friends who work for beer! Friends also volunteer to help when there are big parties at Fibber’s on the Water …A little food and refreshment is all they require…Fun! Fun! Fun! For everyone!
“All in the Carbone Family” includes their Golden Retriever, Jake, whom they say introduces them to new folks all the time! He is one popular Pup!
We have so many fun and interesting people at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort. We said in an earlier Blog that you could bring your business with you. The Carbone Family is an excellent example of how you can enjoy a business once you are living here! I have always loved the quote by Helen Keller: “Life is nothing if not a great adventure!” We’d love for you to share a great adventure of yours!