Bo Cure is the wine & spirits director at Sawgrass Country Club- a role he’s extremely passionate about and thankful to have. Also a musician, Cure has an interesting story and background that led him to Ponte Vedra Beach.
What was your career path to your current job?
My first endeavor into the food and beverage industry was at South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island off the coast of Southwest Florida in the late 80s when I was 20 years old. Shortly after I started working at South Seas, I was taken under the wing of an extraordinary fine dining restaurant director, Arno Schied. Arno was such a great mentor to have at such a young age; he was German to the core and very strict as to the attention to detail in all aspects of our daily operations at the King’s Crown, South Seas’ formal dining restaurant and banquet facility. The exposure to such strict discipline at that time in my life helps me to this day. Beyond my time at South Seas, I worked as a high-volume bartender in unbelievably busy nightclubs until I was in my early 20s. It was in the early 90s that I became disillusioned with the life that goes along with working in nightclubs and decided to shift from playing guitar as simply a hobby to performing professionally. I played all across the United States for the next 20 years. Ironically enough, I was still working in nightclubs, but at least it wasn’t a constant and I enjoyed playing in different locations for the most part.
What’s a typical day like for you as wine & spirits director at Sawgrass Country Club?
My day generally varies between checking in on our beverage orders to the much more interesting facets of my job that include tasting wines that I might pick for our wine lists or wine dinners; hosting wine dinners and other beverage related events; setting up visits at vineyards for our members; or simply walking around our dining facilities and helping our members pick out a bottle of wine that might make their dining experiences much more enjoyable. I am also involved in conceptualizing member events, and I truly love this part of the job as I get an opportunity to create unique, eclectic events for our membership.
What do you like most about your job and working at Sawgrass Country Club?
That’s an easy question to answer: our members and my co-workers. I am so fortunate to work for such a great group of members and to work on a staff that I also care for dearly. Sawgrass is a family, and I feel very lucky to have become a part of such an amazing community and staff. Another aspect that I love about working for Sawgrass is that I can still play guitar professionally at the club. My much better half Tia Charles, who is a professional singer, and I perform at the club quite often, which creates a best of both worlds atmosphere for me.
What are some of the challenges you face in your role?
I would have to say that my biggest challenge is imparting a love of wine to the millennials on our staff. There is so much good wine in the world now that to get a handle on even just the wine that comes out of a state like California or Oregon is daunting. It takes time and a true passion for vino to start to understand all of the subtle differences between the different varietals of wine on the market today.
What do you think distinguishes Sawgrass from other clubs?
Usage. Our members utilize their memberships at our club. Our culture at Sawgrass is not one of profit margins and bottom lines first; it’s about getting our members out to enjoy all the club has to offer. Of course, we have to be fiscally responsible, but ultimately Sawgrass Country Club is about creating an amazing experience for our members each time they visit the club. The sheer volume of business we have created at our food and beverage outlets has enabled us to gain lower pricing and pass those reduced costs on to our membership.
What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?
I moved to this area from Naples, Florida, which is a great place to live, but Naples really doesn’t have the Southern hospitality vibe that the First Coast is steeped in. People, for the most part, are just pleasant and nice to each other here.
When away from the club, what do you do in your free time?
I enjoy spending time at home with my family. Tia and I have a happy home with her two boys, Spencer and Nathan. I don’t think there is anything more important than creating a good home life, especially when children are in the picture. I also get out and play tennis and basketball when I get the opportunity. I play tennis with some of the members, and I give the millennials I work with a chance to get back at me for driving them crazy about wine by playing basketball with them.