Some of my earliest memories with family and friends are on the beach. In my early years, we lived in Massapequa, Long Island in New York. My family and I would drive to Tobay Beach first thing in the morning on the weekends. We’d throw our cooler in the back of the station wagon—a large red metal Coleman cooler packed with all 3 meals for a family of 6. Our trunk was filled to the brim with all the necessary beach stuff: chairs, umbrellas, towels, shovels, etc... but my siblings and I were happy to be squished together in that station wagon. We were headed to the BEACH!
We Have Arrived
Once we arrived, each of us would yell as loud as we could as we walked through the tunnel that led to Tobay Beach. Echo, echo, echo! And as we emerged from the tunnel, the beach looked massive—especially to a little kiddo. The beach went on for miles.
We kids skipped our way through the sand while the adults took on the strenuous task of carrying those heavy coolers all the way to our spot—AKA any place where 4-8 families and kids could fit. Since we typically arrived early in the morning, we always found prime spots and practically had the beach to ourselves. The first item on our agenda once we were settled in our spot was, of course, breakfast. Can’t skip out on the most important meal of the day!
Since there were no CoolerClips back then, food and drinks were haphazardly stacked on the top of the coolers…and you had to pull it all off every time you wanted to get something else. Older siblings would open the cooler lid and your PB&J would plop right into the sand. There’s nothing like a good ole sandy sandwich—I still vividly remember that grainy texture to this day.
The Cocktail Circle
Around 4pm, the adults would assemble the infamous “Cocktail Circle.” No kids allowed!!! Although we were jealous of their 21+ fort, it wasn’t fully functional. Beach chairs on the outside, coolers in the middle. Cups, ice, and mixers stacked on top, and something would always fall into the sand. We’d hear laughs and silly shouts of “Ohh Noo!” Sigh…if only the CoolerClips existed back then. Following happy hour was dinner: a yummy spread of hotdogs and burgers on those little Hibachi grills—you know, those black cast iron mini grills that the adults so graciously hauled down. After our stomachs were full of meat, bread, and way too much ketchup, it was time to head home. I remember being so tired and sunburnt that I always fell asleep on the ride home.
Welcome to Florida
When my family and several of our beach crowd buddies moved to Sarasota Florida in the early ’70’s, the beach was more accessible than ever. Now, the beach experience lasted almost all year long. As a lanky 7-year-old, I would journey to the beach at first light alongside my Dad, cousins, and a friend or two. We’d head to Turtle Beach and walk down to Midnight Pass to fish. On the way there, we’d stop at Economy Tackle to get shrimp for bait—handpicks (the best bait) were completely out of the question—too expensive—so we usually got the mediums.
Florida was still a little wild back then. In those quiet early mornings on the beach, we’d see all kinds of fish, porpoises, pelicans…it was just awesome. We’d then proceed to catch Mangrove Snapper and put them on the stringer. I remember feeling so cool when it was my turn to carry the stringer of fish. People on the beach would say, “Hey nice catch” and, “Wow, that looks like a tasty dinner!” The gang and I would walk up to our beach group and—you guessed it—the set up was all there. Coolers, grills, chairs, umbrellas all ready for a full day of sun and fun.
Day after day, the cooler situation would play out. Too much stuff on top, drinks and food falling into the sand. No place to put anything while we grabbed refreshments. As an adult with kids of my own, we experienced this same cooler issue.
CoolerClips is Born
You’re probably wondering how this all connects. Well, I bought my first Yeti in ’09, and when I saw how their single cup holder was attached to the tie down hole, a light bulb went off in my head. On that memorable day, CoolerClips was born. It took several years of diligent work—because with kids, life always gets in the way—but in 2021 we launched a successful Kickstarter for CoolerClips. Now, we have a product that can work on almost all cooler brands and styles. Hard and soft coolers, buckets, you name it. No longer do drinks tip over or sandwiches fall in the sand. CoolerClips provides the counter space you need to work out of your cooler, not on it. I hope CoolerClips can make long days with family and friends at the beach, lakes, mountains, and adventures a lot COOLER!