A Brief History of The Beach Shop
Jackie Zorn and her husband Erroll moved to Vero Beach in 1945. At the time, the Beach had no shops, crude roadways, and no bridge connected to the mainland. The Driftwood Inn and Sunny cottages were the only businesses on the barrier island. In 1950, after the death of her husband, Jackie built a two store building (where Very Fitting is today). The central store became Jackie Zorn’s Beach Shop. Jackie’s Beach Shop was one of the original stores on the island and helped to establish the Ocean Drive shopping district into what it is today.
In 1959, Rich and Marti Bireley moved to Vero Beach to manage The Petite Shop, which was owned by Rich’s parents, Dick and Evelyn Bireley. In 1961, Rich took a job with Burdines department store in Miami. During their stay in Vero, the Bireleys became friendly with Jackie Zorn.
In 1966, Rich became disenchanted with Burdines and was getting ready to move the family to Kansas City. He had accepted a management position with a department store there. Out of the blue, Rich received a call from Jackie. Jackie told Rich that she was thinking about downsizing and selling The Beach Shop. Rich’s initial reaction was, “I don’t have enough money to drive to Vero let alone buy a business.” After a few trips to Vero Beach, an agreement was reached. After seeing how much paperwork was required for the SBA loan, Jackie offered to loan the Bireleys the money to buy the business.
In 1977, Rich and Marti purchased Greene’s Sports and Specialties. The store was located directly across Ocean Drive from the original Beach Shop. (This is the Current location of The Beach Shop). They operated the store under the Sports and Specialties name and later as The Beach Shop.
In 1993, the Bireleys added a second floor to the Sports and Specialties building. An office and stock room were added. The store significantly increased its selling floor space and received a beautiful face lift. In 2003, the Bireleys relocated The Beach Shop from its original location to the new building where it is today.
In 2004, Rich passed away while doing what he loved, helping people. Rich was working on a Habitat for Humanity home when he suffered a heart attack. Rich was active in this business from the day he purchased it 1966 until the day he died in 2004. Rich was an active member of the OBA for many years, and also served as president for several terms.
In 2008, Rich and Marti’s second son, Martin, joined his mother at The Beach Shop. Martin worked for Parisian Stores (located in Birmingham Alabama) for 20 years. At Parisian, Martin was a Buyer for many years and served as Director of Merchandise Planning at the time the company was sold in 2006. Parisian was a 45-store chain and a division of Saks 5th Ave.
In July of 2010, the Bireleys opened a second location in Vero Beach on the mainland. The new store is located in The Modern One Plaza, site of the old Modern Age building. This location has more of a boutique feel and specializes in Brighton accessories, as well as NYDJ and Fresh Produce.
Currently, Marti and Martin are running the business with the help of some wonderful associates. The Beach Shop currently operates two stores, the Vero Beach store at 3328 Ocean Drive and 390 21st st. Miracle Mile in the Modern One Plaza in Vero Beach.