By: Kristin Bourne
"What can I get you, baby?"
A known charming and handsome man with a history of good service and who is motivated by meeting people and wanting to make them happy - that's Garvey Lake.
Meet Garvey Lake
With Garvey at The Sunshine Shack
Born in Anguilla, raised in the village of Blowing Point and even with his many talents, Garvey has chosen to keep things close to home for his career.
He and his brothers, Perry and Leon, decided to start The Sunshine Shack in 2007 on Rendezvous Bay, the next bay over from his village. They opened in 2008.
After having worked in several of Anguilla's larger resorts, Garvey's (who is the host and face of the Sunshine Shack) reputation for bringing sunshine to others even on a rare rainy day, has flourished since taking the entrepreneurial route.
After speaking more with Garvey, I wondered how he manages to stay so relaxed and cool - he has a lot going on…
First, he's played cricket for 22 years now. He still plays for Blowing Point's team, Point United, and has traveled all around the Caribbean competing in the sport.
Garvey the cricketer
Anguilla's Point United cricket team
(Garvey is 2nd from the right on the back row)
In addition to cricket he also played softball for many years.
Hold on, there's more!
He is a musician. And if you've spent any time around The Sunshine Shack, you've heard that talent. He comes from a musical family and in years passed has not only performed in a variety of bands but also founded his own - Satisfaction.
He has sang with the popular Mussington Brothers and Anguilla's local soca band Exodus.
A gift to Garvey, hanging inside The Sunshine Shack
Soca, calypso, reggae - he sings it all. His first cousin is the crown-winning Calypsonian, The Mighty Springer. You can often find him performing on a Sunday down the beach from The Sunshine Shack at Bankie Banx's Dune Preserve.
Garvey is at The Sunshine Shack every day from around 11am until sunset time, except for when he's closed on Tuesdays (and for a brief period in the late summer when he closes for a couple of weeks).
How does he find the time to practice and play sports and perform and run The Sunshine Shack? He's an efficient person with lots of positive energy!
I gather he also appreciates hard work because as we looked at some of his old photos and keepsakes that decorate the walls and hang from the ceiling of The Sunshine Shack, the picture that he seemed to be the most proud of was one of two children helping him clean up after Hurricane Earl had made a mess of the beach.
Cleaning up after Hurricane Earl in 2010
You can usually tell what a person appreciates by what they surround themselves by and Garvey is surrounded by gifts and memorabilia from friends and visitors pictures of friends he's made over the years.
He's surrounded by smiles and fond memories.
He's surrounded by handwritten notes of thanks and well wishes.
Now that's a happy work environment!
As I looked around I saw some familiar faces who I know to be fun and friendly people, and that's who Garvey attracts.
Garvey with regulars to Anguilla from my home state of Virginia
Hanging With Elvis Fleming
While his drinks and food are standouts, his positivity and charm are what keep people returning year after year.
Garvey and his friend, cyclist Danny Lloyd
at their high school graduation
His fans and friends have even followed him from his earlier days in hospitality in Anguilla…
After graduating from Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School where his favorite subject was Social Studies, he started to work at Cap Juluca as a waiter. He was there for two years and enjoyed the experience.
He worked briefly at Altamer before going to CuisinArt Resort where he started as a beach server and then became their bartender on the beach.
Garvey early in his career at Altamer
I first heard of Garvey when he was bar-tending at CuisinArt because a friend of mine was going crazy for one of his specialty frozen drinks.
While Garvey liked all of his former employment experiences, once his brother voiced the idea of The Sunshine Shack on Rendezvous Bay, Garvey was in.
He loved the idea of creating a "casual place for people to relax on big and empty Rendezvous Bay", as he put it.
Garvey during his CuisinArt years
Once the plan was in motion, he spent hours in his own yard building the structure that is now the base of The Sunshine Shack and then moved it to where it currently rests, directly on the sand of Rendezvous Bay.
I witnessed the evolution from empty land to tiny wooden shack with a few chairs to what's it's grown to be today.
Garvey in his yard at home, working on building The Sunshine Shack
It's been a steady and unpretentious growth and I think that's part of why it feels great to hang out at The Sunshine Shack. It's full service today too - top-notch frozen blender drinks, cocktails, cold beers, sodas, fresh lobster or ribs, chicken and fish.
Garvey and his staff do a great job.
The Sunshine Shack Today
There are plenty of beach loungers, umbrellas, stools and tables and chairs.
If requested, he'll even open up in the evening, light his tiki beach torches and cook for a crowd. He'll serenade too!
Bottom line is this… Garvey is a hard-working and happy man who loves doing what he does because of the people it puts him in touch with.
When I asked him about his future and what's in store, he said, "I'm just taking it all a day at a time, baby". Hopefully for those who's days he brightens, they will continue to brighten his too so we'll all know where to find Garvey when we need some warm sunshine.
Thanks to Garvey for the generosity with his time and providing some of the older pictures.