An Interview with the “30A Songwriter Radio” Founders


Those Lips Were Made for Talking

If you’ve ever wondered how small businesses along the Emerald Coast come to life, Shannon Ireland and Josette Rhodes have a passionate story to tell about 30A Songwriter Radio.  I have been there several times in the past and loved the welcoming atmosphere that the cafe embraced.  I wanted to know more about them, their vision, and how their dream took shape.  So after ordering a tall glass of iced tea off the menu, I sat down on one of their comfortable sofas.  I took out my pen, preparing to take notes as each of them shared the journey of how their small business idea became a reality.

How it All Began

Located in the Publix Shopping Center on Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach, 30A Songwriter Radio is much more than just a coffee shop.  Shannon explained to me that it all began in February 2013, when he simply set out to fill what he considered to be a void in the community.  Local musicians would gather at his house for jam sessions, and he wanted to create a way for more people to listen to the music.  He found a technology to stream music live online, created a website, and 30A Songwriter Radio was born. Along with his friend Josette, Shannon wanted to expand.  They had a vision for their dream coffee shop, but different ideas kept roaming around in their heads, so they weren’t sure where they would land with their business model.  They began collecting pieces like art, radios, record players and records wherever their travels took them.

30A Songwriter Radio Offers More than Just Great Music

In January 2016, they moved 30A Songwriter Radio to its current location and added the coffee bar, a unique venue with a deliberate and thoughtful ambiance.  Upon entering the store, the inviting atmosphere of soft lights, dark colors, eclectic items and interesting pictures draws you to sit down, relax and get lost in your thoughts.  They built out the shop from the hardwood floors to the ceiling, working until they were finished and all of their artifacts had a special place.    Shannon and Josette worked hard to create a space that serves as a gathering spot for people to talk, ponder in peace, or to share their budding artistic talents, such as music and poetry.  Josette told me she really wanted a safe place where people could “just be and share their soul.”

30A Songwriter Radio streams music, interviews and events that occur at the coffee shop on their website to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.  Shannon and Josette have interviewed over 700 musicians.  You can also enjoy Open Mic on Tuesdays, a variety show on Wednesdays called the Ted Rocket Radio Program and events like Friday Night Originals. In addition, 30A Songwriter Radio offers a variety of breakfast and lunch items and an extensive drink list.  Whether you feel like eating a chicken salad or banana Nutella croissant, all food items are homemade and served fresh by Shannon and Josette.  They were the first coffee shop in the area to introduce nitro coffee, and other drink choices include espresso, tea, beer and wine.

After interviewing them, I remained for a while, contemplating the art on the wall.  I became intrigued by a picture of their logo, a pair of lips with the words “30A Songwriter Radio.Com.”  I asked Josette who the lips belonged to, and she relayed that it is a piece of mystery art and the owner of the lips is a secret.  I accepted that the lips are an awesome talking point for visitors, a very calculated piece of their enticing atmosphere. If you are seeking a judgment-free zone to showcase and explore your musical and poetic talents, 30A Songwriter Radio is the place for you.   It’s also a fantastic location for hosting events, socializing with friends or just drinking a cup of coffee while enjoying the vibe.  Once you arrive for vacation, make 30A Songwriter Radio your first stop to unwind, before getting your groceries for the week next door at Publix. Their website offers a complete list of weekly and special events and a full menu.  Find your inner artist at 30A Songwriter Radio, where the MUSIC lives, and the COFFEE rocks!

30A Songwriter Radio Santa Rosa Beach

For more info on 30A Songwriters Radio go to the 30A Prime Community Forums…  30A Prime Forums – 30A Songwriters Radio

One Response

  1. Felicia McQuaid
    | Reply

    A true example of living your purpose and passion. Great article and wonderful people.

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