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After 5 Years, Lucky Dog Surf Co. Turns Luck into Prosperity on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright.

Owner Melissa D'Anna (left) and Manager Lauren Oldenboom. All photos by R.C. Staab

In 2017, Melissa D'Anna was at wits' end with her career stalled and living alone in Sea Bright. Her therapist asked what she really want to do. Avid surfer Melissa said, "Open a surf shop." Armed with a business plan, a lease at store on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, $80,000 in merchandise and an adopted Schnauzer Guinness, that's just what Melissa did, opening Lucky Dog Surf Co.

Today, Lucky Dog Surf Co is one of Monmouth County's brightness spots with a retail store at 1096 Ocean Avenue in downtown Sea Bright, a super successful surf camp, private lessons and championing a surf team for teenagers from 10 to 17 years old. Over the past five years, youth from all over Monmouth County have started with Melissa at surf camp and lessons and a surf team.

She's brought the store a long way from the first summer when business was so slow that if she had a surf lesson during the week, she close the store and put up a sign informing customers that she would be back after the lesson. Since Covid, there's been a boom in business as people have sought outdoor activities, particularly being out on the water at the Jersey Shore.

Five-Year Anniversary Celebration

This weekend, April 23-24, celebrate Lucky Dog Surf's anniversary during normal business hours from 10am to 6pm. On Saturday, from 10 am to noon, there will be an acoustic singer outside the store and from 2-6pm, the reggae band Green Dream will perform. Sunday, Melissa will be holding court with a karaoke machine, inviting anyone who wants to join with tunes from surf music to Broadway.

Both days, there will be a big sidewalk sale, free drinks and special prizes. Be sure to wear your favorite Lucky Dog gear so you can spin the prize wheel and win a tote bag, gift card, stickers, -r additional merch discounts.

The store features a full time of surf clothes, wet suits, sun, glasses, hats and Lucky Dog logo merchandise. For swimmers and surfers, there's a full line of surf board and boogie boards, plus a full line of accessories to make sure that when you hit the surf you're prepared for the big waves and long rides.

The vibe at the story is super friendly reflecting Melissa's and store manager Lauren's determination to be welcoming to everyone, pro surfers or newbies. Lauren said, "We remember being those young girls intimidated to walk into a surf shop" so we wanted people to be comfortable asking most basic questions about surfing and hitting the waves.

Say hi to Guinness, the real Lucky Dog and inspiration for the name of the store, who will be around all weekend.


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Jersey Girl Melissa

Melissa is a native Jersey Girl who’s been around the world and back. She first started surfing at age 12 and surfed casually until she moved out to Hawaii, where surfing became her passion. Melissa can be seen surfing all over Monmouth County, teaching surfing at low tide, and probably performing in some sort of musical.

Or each morning, you might see Melissa along the seawall in Sea Bright walking Guinness and the newest addition to the family, Rosemary Robin Turtell. Dad Matt Turtell, a surfer instructor and surfing enthusiast, is often along for the walk.

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