Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Capri Frescobol started out as a family project in the summer of 2018 to teach our children about entrepreneurship, business, marketing and leadership. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we want our children to understand this aspect of our own lives that is all ever encompassing. Sadly, our education system is designed to institutionalize kids minds into careers working for others. We wanted to give them another option.
First task was having them think about business ideas. Not an easy task for adults let alone kids who were 12 and 14. We were amazed at all their ideas, but one stuck out particularly – Frescobol.
This is a game that we had been playing for a long time as a family. Tamara and I had discovered the sport on a trip to Europe when the kids were still in diapers. We became instantly hooked. It was such a simple game, a great way to pass time on a beach, get some exercise and look cool while doing it. To us it was a European lifestyle game and all the col kids were playing. Little did we know the origin came not from Europe but from Rio de Janero from back in the 40’s and is still what all the cool kids play. When you see people playing it you get a nostalgia of a simpler time. A classic time. Just picture some young people pulling up to the beach on their Vespas, white linens, wayfarers on, scarves blowing in the breeze, carrying a set of frescobol beach bats ready to hit the sand.
We loved their idea. But one problem, no one in Canada, and few in North America know what the game is. In South America and Europe, you find hundreds of people playing it on beaches, so everyone knows the sport and most have their own name for it like Paddleball, Matkot, Paleta and my favorite Racchettoni! We would need to do a lot of explaining for this to become a thing. Second problem, we are not wood workers.
Given that we had been playing beach Frescobol for years, we knew what we liked and didn’t like about all the paddles we used throughout the years. The kids then drew up designs and we had a local millwork company do up some prototypes, and some more prototypes and some more until we were so happy with the weight, feel, strength, durability and the beauty of them. We designed to make the best Frescobol beach bats ever.
The next thing we needed to accomplish was making the company and our products eco-friendly and sustainable. The kids wanted the products and the company to protect the earth rather than take from it. Not an easy task for a manufacturer but we found that we could use remnant and reclaimed woods. These woods are derived from the scraps and reclaimed woods left over from cabinet makers. This is a win-win as we now didn’t have to cut down trees specifically for our products and wood isn’t ending up in the garbage pile. The packaging we use is entirely recycled cardboard (downside is its not the nicest) and even the inks used for printing are eco-friendly and plant based. But the icing on the cake was our focus to plant a tree for each Capri Frescobol beach paddle set sold!
Now that we had prototypes the kids went hard at it, creating a business plan, designing web sites and planning for sales and marketing. On paper, things always look rosy, but the real world is a different story. To test the market, in August of 2019, the kids launched a Kickstarter campaign for 30 days. It was an all or nothing campaign meaning if they didn’t hit their $10,000 goal, they would get nothing. If they hit it (and they did) they would receive all those sales. It was a success and officially Capri Frescobol became a business. We now ship our Capri Frescobol beach paddleball sets around the world. What an incredible accomplishment and experience. Even more important is that Frescobol is a game our family has played for many years and we wanted to create exceptional paddles that are not only functional but amazingly designed, and sustainably manufactured.
We hope that you enjoy your paddles and the game as much as we do!