With an assortment of fresh coconuts and pineapples, Destin’s newest business is bringing a taste of the tropics.
Michaela Partin has always had a wild soul. After graduating high school, she left her parents' house in Destin and began traveling the world. She spent six years working in the surf industry in Indonesia and four years in Australia before she sold everything she owned and decided to travel through Indonesia for a few months before she came back home.
One day, while she was on a boat off the coast of Sumatra, a couple of local villagers paddled out in their hollowed out canoes to sell coconuts and trinkets. That’s when Partin got an idea.
“It wasn’t just the coconut they were selling, but the whole experience,” she said. “I wanted to bring that feeling to people here.”
From the moment she got home, she worked on getting her new business, Wild Coconuts, off the ground. She wanted to serve fresh coconuts and fruit around the Destin harbor, Crab Island and the East Pass. So she bought a special outrigger boat and altered it to work how she needed.
During Easter weekend, her boat Kubu Laut – which means “my ocean home” in Indonesian – hit the water for the first time.
Although she’s only been in business for a few weeks now, Partin said it has taken off.
“I’ve been so encouraged by the way our community loves to support young entrepreneurs,” she said. “It’s so surreal to see people tagging my business on social media and posting pictures with my coconuts.”
In addition to the coconuts, which are shipped in from Miami, Partin also sells fresh, cored pineapple.
“There aren’t any options to get fruit that isn’t processed or altered out there (Crab Island) and no one wants to be the person who has to buy, cut and bring all the fruit for everyone,” she said. “So I help give them that fresh fruit they’re craving without the hassle for them.”
Partin sells her fruit at a two for $20 rate. Each coconut comes with an eco-friendly straw made from hay. Partin wanted to make sure that she wasn’t selling anything that she would see floating in the water later that would hurt the environment.
As with any new business, there has been a lot of challenges Partin has faced with Wild Coconuts. Nearly half of her first order of coconuts were accidentally frozen, costing her a few hundred bucks.
“I cried into my drop freezer for five minutes before I rolled my sleeves up and got to work figuring out what I had done wrong and what I could do better,” she said. “That’s kind of how it has been every step of the way.”
That positive mindset and determination has helped make Partin’s business successful in the past few weeks. With a unique brand and curated social media, Partin has quickly made a name for her business.
Partin said she plans to be on the water during the entire peak season. For more information or to find out where Partin and her coconuts are, visit the Wild Coconut’s Instagram page: @wilddestin.