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BOCCEBREW - Growing Popularity

Couple lay the groundwork for sport that is growing in popularity

Business profile: Boccebrew

Business: Boccebrew designs and installs bocceball courts for commercial and residential use.  The company consults with clients considering landscaping, such as patios, trellises and decks, to enhance the courts.  David Brewer is a licensed landscape contractor.  The courts are mad out of oyster shell clay or granite, which provides a hard surface that allows the ball to roll smoothly.

"Soccer, golf and bocce are probably the most recognized sports in the world.  It is most popular with women, and its popularity is growing fast," David Brewer said.

Staff: Four. It normally takes about 10 days to put down the surface.

Customers: Private homes, wineries such as Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma, senior-citizen facilities, restaurants and public parks have bocce courts.

What people are saying:  Two bocce courts are in Beach Park near the Seafood Peddler restaurant in San Rafael.  Kristen Kohary, restaurant co-owner, said having the courts is good for business.  The restaurant has bocce balls for people who wish to play and people are "thrilled" at finding courts nearby said Kohary.

"It certainly adds to the atmosphere for clients who have the opportunity to come and dine, and have a recreational outlet as well.  It is also fun for the diners on the patio who watch a live game," Kohary said.

Susie Roy and her husband had their bocce court completed in June and it is a hit in their Tennessee Valley neighborhood of Mill Valley, Roy said.

"It is fun, it is challenging, and you can play with a beer in your hand or a glass of wine. It is a really nice way to end your day, but I hate it when people say it is  a yuppie sport.  My husband played as a child in Maine.  We have given them as wedding gifts," Roy said.

Revenues:  Boccebrew is a privately held company and does not disclose revenues.

Vital Statistics:  The Brewers started Boccebrew two years ago after being introduced to the game while visiting a friend.  "We just had a fabulous time," Sandy Brewer said.  Shortly after, David Brewer, a landscaper since 1978, came up with the idea to add bocce court design and installation to his business. He sees a bright future with the courts he designs.

"It is an organic thing. It is much more than a court," he said.