■ BY SUE ERWIN
Spencer Paterson, son of Boca Grande Realtor Becky Paterson, has started a live music café and digital video production company called Sugarshack. Spencer is an aerial/video photographer who was born in Sarasota and grew up in Boca Grande. He currently lives in Bonita Springs.
Sugarshack Sessions was a YouTube series started by five friends (Eddie Kopp, Alex Casement, Arian Antonucci, Justin Kaczmarek and Spencer Paterson) as a passion project in a backyard in Bonita Springs in 2014.
“We featured bands doing raw and intimate live acoustic performances,” Spencer said. “The idea is to do something we loved with people we cared about and create something positive for others. We filmed local bands to provide them with high-quality video and audio content to promote themselves. We did it for free while we continued to work our day jobs. The seed was planted, and we tended to it. And now it has sprouted.”
The team built the Sugarshack channel and company from scratch. Sugarshack Music Channel has grown from a backyard hobby into an online community of more than 100,000 subscribers from all across the world, serving emerging local and national artists. It was built starting with nothing but cameras, audio equipment, a backyard and a whole lot of love, blood, sweat and tears.
“They really are a remarkable bunch,” said Becky. “All very talented and good guys. They are filming events all over the country, and the Kickstarter campaign doesn’t really speak to that, but it’s a big part of what they do and how far they have come in a very short period of time. Spence is my former deer in the headlights, and now he’s speaking in a commercial that was filmed in Hawaii. Their goal is $100,000, and so far they’ve raised more than $20,000. Maybe some friends in Boca Grande would like to pitch in.”
Sugarshack Live Music Café is the latest step in Spencer’s journey.
“With support from the community, we plan to open a café and live music venue in Bonita Springs, where people can experience the good vibes of the Sugarshack in person, increase the quantity, quality, and types of content published on our YouTube channel and improve our business to make it sustainable in order to continue to keep this dream going through live music.”
Sugarshack captures and creates captivating content for the music and corporate worlds.
“We promote talented artists and bands to music lovers, and we serve businesses and brands who share our values,” Spencer said. “And we still provide the channel content free of charge to the bands. Sugarshack Inc. became our startup business founded by the five original Sugarshack Sessions partners and Jameson W. Yingling, who joined as sixth partner in April 2016. The vision was to create a multimedia company offering creative services, including audio and video production, photography, graphic design and creative consultation, while continuing to grow the acoustic sessions series into a digital music channel. After two years of grinding with full-time jobs while keeping our dream project going, we made the leap. We quit our other jobs and went for it. We believe the Sugarshack Café will be a realization of those highest possibilities.”
Becky said the guys have been busy shooting video content of music festivals and golf tournaments all around the nation.
“They even recorded a hole-in-one, which was very exciting for everyone,” Becky said.
Sugarshack is a multimedia company that creates digital content for brands, bands and events. The site has more than 45 million views to date featuring intimate live acoustic
performances as well as live concert videos and documentary films.
Kickstarter.com is a public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity and merchandising. The company’s stated mission is to “help bring creative projects to life.” Search for Sugarshack Sessions on the website to view videos and learn more.
Spencer said the Sugarshack location in Bonita Springs will be more than live music. “This will be the quintessential café, serving all people of all ages in a relaxed atmosphere full of good vibes and great food and drinks. We plan to hire a general manager and staff to manage and operate the overall cafe, including the sales and service of our craft beer and wine menu.”
The goal is to open by the winter of 2020. The owners said they will book local, emerging and national acts of a variety of genres.
For more information, visit sugarshackinc.com.