The eldest son of nine children, Jacob Crook was born and bred in Batemans Bay. Following high school, he began an apprenticeship in a café in the local area, before moving to Canberra to further his experience.
In Canberra, Jacob worked for a number of restaurants until receiving his qualification, then moved back to the Bay where he met his wife Jess and had a son.
Over time, the couple realised the strength of the local tourism market and the demand for high quality seafood restaurants, takeaways and fish mongers. So in 2015, Jacob, Jess, and a couple of Jacob’s siblings came together, and are now the proud owners of JJs at the Marina, JJs at the Moorings, JJs Southern Catch and JJs Southern Catch Takeaway.
Each location offers fresh local seafood and produce and employs local staff. Jacob says they get a lot of support from Canberra customers who travel to Batemans Bay on weekends and during holidays, and contribute significantly to the local tourism economy.
He says that anyone contemplating a business in the Eurobodalla region should go for it, particularly if it’s tourism-based. “There’s so much untapped potential in this area, and opportunity for businesses. Take advantage of the cheap house prices, the really good schools, and the opportunity to build something from scratch.”
Of living and working in Batemans Bay, Jacob says “The lifestyle of Batemans Bay is relaxed, easy-going, and beautiful. It’s serene. It’s untouched. And a wonderful place for kids to grow up.”