Vol 6 No. 26 - March 22, 2006

Mister Roberts Resort Wear: an Island institution


SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Left to right, Tena Roberts,
Signa R. Bouziane and Linda R. Clayton

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

If you’re not familiar with Mister Roberts Resort Wear in Holmes Beach, you must have just found your way over the Anna Maria Bridge to our little Island.

Mister Roberts is virtually an Island institution, understandably since it is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month and all 40 years have been at the same Island location.

R. G. Roberts, Jr. would be proud that the store he and his wife, Tena, started in March 1966 is still going strong. It is currently being run by their daughters, Linda R. Clayton and Signa R. Bouziane, with the continued moral support of their mother.

Clayton and Bouziane’s grandfather, R.G. Roberts, Sr. was one of the co-founders of the Montgomery Department Stores, well known in the area for many years. When their father, R.G. Roberts, Jr. retired from his banking career, he and his wife, who has been an Island resident for over 40 years, opened the store designed with a nautical theme.

Linda Clayton has been involved in the business on and off since her parents opened the doors, eight years ago, her sister joined the business, continuing the family tradition. They and their three employees, Jane Bonneson, Rosalee Moore and Jane Mann, skillfully sail the Mister Roberts ship on a daily basis.

The store’s inventory consists of great and comfy clothing, beachwear and accessories for the island lifestyle, including hats, bags, men’s swimwear, sandals, and jewelry. Men can even purchase ties and socks, although I can’t imagine they sell too many in our semi-tropical paradise.

Some of the manufacturers you can find at Mister Roberts for women are; Color Me Cotton, Koret, Key Lime Pie and their new line from Jams World. For men; Weekender, Sportif, Hook & Tackle, Luau, and Paradise Found

Mister Roberts’ Anniversary Sale starts March 22nd and runs through the 24th. They look forward to seeing all their repeat customers and hope to meet some new ones. When I asked Tena Roberts how she felt about being in business for 40 years, she said "we appreciate everyone who has done business with us down through the years."

Prominently displayed at the front desk, is a vintage photograph of the young and handsome R. G. Roberts, Jr. in his Navy uniform. And if you haven’t guessed by now, yes the name of store was inspired by the popular 1955 movie "Mister Roberts," but don’t worry Ensign Pulver is no where to be seen – just a whole lot of great sportswear.

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