PROFILE: Bonney Andersen

November 6, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

A grandma with a green thumb…
BY OLIVIA CAMERON- In the town of Boca Grande, almost everybody knows your name. Each of the members of the community helps make the town go round. But do you ever wonder what stories sit behind the people who hand you your coffee or checks? There are many people you may interact with on the island for a mere few seconds. You may know their faces and recognize their voices, but what about their lives and careers?
Englewood Bank & Trust is the epitome of small-town banking. The employees enjoy working directly with the community, getting to know account holders and sharing a conversation over deposits. Teller Bonney Andersen is no exception. 
Bonney shared her childhood with six siblings in Delaware, and she is familiar with the appeal of a small town. “It was the kind of town where everybody knew each other,” she said. It was the kind of childhood where she felt she’d grown up with her best friends. 
“Life could be crazy, but we had each other’s backs,” she said.
Today, the siblings manage to see each other frequently, despite the fact that they live in three different states. 
When Bonney finished her studies at Delaware Technical Community College, the road ahead was foggy, but she felt a special connection to her parents’ business, a little mom-and-pop grocery shop in Delaware. 
“Once my parents retired, I bought the business,” said Bonney. 
She’d spent 15 years in the industry, providing service for the small community and the deli regulars. The family business was the spot to get steaks, sandwiches and all things in between. She’d always planned to have a business of her own, but raising her two sons became her priority.
Once Bonney relocated to Florida, she found herself in search of a job in finance. But when she least expected a new position to arise, the job practically came to her. 
“I went to an Englewood Bank branch to open an account, but the more I was there, the more I enjoyed speaking with the staff,” she said. A caring and compassionate atmosphere won her over. “One of the girls had said, ‘Why don’t you apply?’ And that’s exactly what I did.”
By 2015, Bonney became a bank teller. With financial experience already under her belt, Bonney was able to apply her prior knowledge to something new. In a way, it reminded her of Delaware, where people would see each other in their work environment or out of it. 
Of course, her newfound position required an adjustment period, but the learning curve is what allowed her to become more in touch with the field. She found her home away from home and would spend the next few years at a couple of Englewood Bank branches.
In early October, Bonney transferred to the Boca Grande branch. She was ecstatic to be working in paradise. 
“I hadn’t been on the island much prior to landing the job, so I ended up spending some time driving the streets and learning about the community,” she said. 
From there, everything clicked. She began to look forward to the mornings where her drive to work was scenic and tranquil. She’d think about the nights driving home and seeing the sunset curl under the gulf from the causeway. Between the friendly faces and the calming atmosphere, her new place of work provided the perfect blend. 
As for her first season on the island, she’s noticed a steady increase in customer activity, and this has made her eager to get to know both the new and returning residents.  
“The customers truly make this job enjoyable,” she said. Not a day goes by when she doesn’t provide service with a smile. “And when our customers aren’t in our bank, you may get to see them around the town. You really get to know everyone. I just love it here.”
In her five years in the banking industry, she hasn’t worked in a place quite like Boca Grande. But to Bonney, one thing is for sure. 
“I enjoy providing local service to our customers, who come for that very same reason.” 
With just a month on the island, she’s looking forward to a new adventure.
Bonney also has a green thumb, and it’s not from handling bills. 
“I’ve got plants everywhere, from the house to the lanai. It’s fun to try and grow different things,” she said.
 Her passion for plants gives her a reason to dig in the dirt. But with Florida’s sandy soil, Bonney has ways to work around a difficult plot of ground. 
“My husband just bought me a greenhouse to work with,” she said. “So, I can finally transfer my plants and grow vegetables the right way.” 
This being her first greenhouse, she’s got a long way to go. However, Bonney will continue to apply her natural expertise and grow tomatoes bigger than before. 
“I have a goal in mind, so we will see if it works!” she said.
Bonney has been keeping an eye on her lemon trees and has even successfully grown a few pineapples. Now is her chance to pursue her ideal garden with an array of veggies and blooms. 
“I think my husband is amazed by the things I’m able to grow. He’s just as interested as I am.” 
Bonney and her husband, Ernie, will continue to blossom through their relationship and gardening. Bonney is also a mother to her golden retriever, Toby.  
“Dogs are so loyal and cuddly. I love golden retrievers especially,” she said. 
 But what takes precedence in Bonney’s life is her new grandbaby, Rylee.
“My son, Andy, just had a baby, so now I’m a grandma and I love it!” 
Bonney is looking forward to the holidays with her family by her side. 
“My granddaughter may still be too young to remember it, but I always will. Family is important. I will always be there for her.”