"New Name, Same Shop" - Murphys Buy Indian Summer Board Shop

Jason Graziadei •

Broad Street Surf 2
Shantaw Bloise-Murphy and Ry Murphy at the Broad Street Surf Shop (formerly Indian Summer Board Shop). Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

Ry Murphy grew up surfing on Nantucket, taught first by his late father Ben and then by Nantucket Island Surf School owner Gary Kohner. So it’s no surprise that Murphy’s first job was working at the Indian Summer Board Shop on Broad Street, where one of the initial assignments given to him by his new boss Dave Iverson was to scrub the stairs with a toothbrush.

More than a decade later, Murphy and his wife Shantaw Bloise-Murphy have realized a long-held dream, becoming the new owners of the iconic surf shop and taking the torch from Iverson.

After inking the deal late last year, the Murphys just reopened the Indian Summer spot under a new name: Broad Street Surf Shop. Working with friend and fellow surfer Beau Parent to design a new logo, they incorporated the same style script from the Indian Summer logo that has hung over Broad Street for decades.

“We wanted to pay homage to it but also make it our own and go into a new era,” Ry Murphy told the Current this week. “It’s a new feel, a new look, but the traditions remain.”

The Broad Street Surf Shop script logo, designed by Beau Parent.

As they start their journey as the new stewards of Indian Summer’s legacy, the Murphys said they’ve felt the love and support from the island’s surf community and the former owners of the shop who’ve helped make the transition seamless. However, Bloise-Murphy said, it’s still a little hard to believe the dream became a reality.

“It’s kind of wild,” said Bloise-Murphy, who previously managed the Nantucket Island Surf School with Kohner and now works as the town’s director of culture and tourism. “As a kid, coming to Nantucket and later moving to Nantucket, you walk around and think how cool it would be to own a shop on Nantucket. For it to come to fruition, I don’t think I’ve wrapped my mind around it yet.”

The Indian Summer Board Shop was founded in the late 1970s by island resident Chris Emery at a small shed out in Madaket where Millie’s Market is now located. In the early 1980s it migrated to its current spot on Broad Street, and then changed hands several times - from Kirby Fowler and Steve Lawrence, to Ron and Ellen Winters - before Iverson bought it in 2001.

But after more than two decades running the shop on Broad Street, Iverson told the Current earlier this year that it was time for him to move on, and he was thrilled to be passing the torch to a young, local couple already immersed in the island’s surfing community.

“Everything’s changed, nothing is the same, and I’ve done it long enough,” Iverson said. “I felt that I had my time and it’s now time for someone who's younger and with the times to step in and let the old dinosaur out. But selling to them is what makes this all alright. I had been thinking about selling for five or six years, and my only hesitation, really, was who am I going to sell it to? I had no intention of selling to someone who wasn’t part of our community and didn't understand Nantucket and the surfing community.”

Broad Street Surf 7
Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

While the Murphys had long contemplated the possibility of opening a surf shop, they hesitated to compete and jump into a space already occupied by people they knew and respected. They talked about reaching out to Iverson, but it didn’t happen until Shantaw finally nudged Ry to call him.

“I’m not a 'what-if' kind of person, I’m very direct,” she said. “I told him ‘Enough what-ifs You know Dave and you have a great relationship with him. Call and ask him’.”

And so Ry finally did call him, only to hear that Iverson already had another potential buyer looking at Indian Summer. He had given that person a deadline to seal the deal, and told Ry to call him after that date had passed to see if anything had come to fruition or not.

“So I saw him sitting on the Strip one day, where everyone finds Dave, and I slammed on the brakes and said ‘Dave! You told me to call you two weeks ago!’ And sitting on the bench he said ‘Alright, I’ll call you soon.” And that afternoon he called and said ‘It’s yours if you want it’,” Ry recalled.

Two days later, the Murphys found themselves at a trade show with Iverson, who introduced them to Indian Summer’s vendors and other connections in the industry. Since they inked the deal, Iverson has shared advice, the relationships he’s forged over the years, and guidance on everything involved with running the small business.

“The universe lined up,” said Iverson, who was close friends with Murphy’s late father. “There’s no better pair to continue Indian Summer in the way it’s been running. Ry is connected and a big part of the surf community here. That’s what’s important to me, that the surf community is acknowledged and taken care of and that Indian Summer lives on.”

The Murphys plan to do that and more with the surf shop. As they get their feet under them and establish the Broad Street Surf Shop, they intend to explore producing their own gear and wetsuits, while also opening the space up to other makers and creators in the surf community and the community at large. The stairway that leads up to the second-floor shop will soon be adorned with photos depicting the history of surfing on Nantucket. They envision the shop will be a place local filmmakers can screen their productions. 

Part of the shop’s new logo - a circle image hand-drawn by Ry and digitized by friend Britney Anderson - depicts Madequecham Beach, a popular surfing spot. The silhouettes of two surfers in the image represent Ry as a child with his late father Ben.

“My dad taught me to surf - he taught me the sport, the culture, the love for boards and to be able to ride every kind of board,” Ry said. “And Gary (Kohner) showed me the ropes with high performance and pushing yourself.”

Now the Murphys are pushing themselves into a new venture with the island surf community, both carrying the torch passed by those who owned the shop before them, while also forging their own path and putting their unique stamp on the business. 

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current News