ADDRESS: 1327 Main St, Philomath, OR 97370
PHONE NUMBER: 541-929-7873
OWNERS: Jim Dagata and Robert Rube
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 9
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 2 and others off and on
WHAT THEY SELL: All things surfing related, skate boards, and services like board building, repairs, and surf lessons.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Pura Vida Surf Shop is “THE” one stop shopping location for surfing equipment and information in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
According to owners Jim Dagata and Robert Rube, Pura Vida is the last surfing shop on the highway before you get to the Oregon coast – and theirs is the only full service surf shop in the Valley. In a friendly and relaxed manner, Jim and Robert are happy to provide their customers with quality products and service, as well as information on the best surfing locations along the coast.
Why did you decide to start your business?
(Robert) It was the next step from building boards in a shop out by the Corvallis Airport. With the processes from that business, I opened the retail store because there was a ton of surfers in the valley, and they needed a place to buy and repair surf stuff.
(Jim) I came into the business a year ago, after being a friend of Robert’s for about 6 years. I’ve been in the valley for a while and, as a surfer, knew of the need for this shop to exist, so I invested in it upon the invite.
Tell us more about your products and services. What are your favorites? We do everything that relates to surfing. We can build custom boards and repair boards, and we sell boards from national manufacturers. We also give lessons and provide information about where to go and what’s happening on the coast. And we’ll sit around all day and talk surfing if that’s what someone wants to do! We even have surf films and DVDs we watch all the time.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? It’s good recognition and it gives the community an opportunity to know who we are and what we do so they can come in and hang out for a while.
Do you fill an unusual niche? Why should folks patronize your business? We are the only full service surf shop in the valley. And if you’re going to the coast to surf, from Bend or anyplace else in the valley, we’re the last place, before you get to the coast, to get information on what’s happening on the beaches.
What challenges have you faced as independent local business owners? One main challenge is overcoming perceptions of surfers as stoners and losers. Surfers come from all walks of life – they are lawyers, mechanics, construction workers, doctors, professionals, etc. Advertising to our target audience is difficult. But we are a real business involved in the surf sports industry, an hour from the coast. And we’re still in business after 9 years.
What do you feel is the impact of local independent businesses, and what does the future look like for the local independents? Being independent in the area means that local money stays in the local area. Corvallis and the local area are growing, and independent businesses will be a leading force in that growth. As more businesses move into the Philomath area, more local interest can be addressed.
What do you enjoy most about owning a local, independent business? What excites or inspires you, makes you keep changing, improving? We enjoy the conversations with the local customers. As a surf shop, we get some pretty interesting people through here. We really like to share the joy and stoke that the ocean and surfing gives us.
What is your relationship to the community? What organizations do you support and/or participate in? At first people didn’t quite get the idea of a surf shop this far inland, and, locally, they didn’t quite know how to deal with us. But over the last little while, local folks are starting to just stop by and come in to see what’s here. Our relationship is becoming friendlier than casual courteousness. In terms of organizations, we are members of CIBA.
How important is sustainability to your business? Have you taken steps to save energy, reduce your use of other resources, decrease your carbon footprint, reduce waste, etc.? We only use what we need to when building or repairing boards. We don’t throw away anything; we recycle everything back into other projects. We specialize in major board repairs so that resources don’t have to be used to make new boards. We also changed all of our lighting last Winter to high efficiency T8 fixtures and LED Spot lights.
Please give us your one-sentence take-away message about your business. We are a business that’s here to serve Valley surfers with a local source of equipment and custom work without having to drive to the coast for their needs because we surf ourselves and know that need is there.
(Interview and article by Ron Garnett – October 28, 2014)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally-owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Corvallis Independent Business Alliance.