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Victoria couple mixes love for Poco Bueno with business

By BY J.R. ORTEGA
July 16, 2010 at 2:16 a.m.

Richard Janecka, of Victoria, sets up his display of shirts at a shop he set up for Poco Bueno at Port O'Connor.

WHAT DO THEY SELL?Koozies - $3

Shirts - $15

Caps - $10

Decals and Stickers - $2

IF YOU GOWHAT: Offshore Weigh-ins

WHERE: The Fishing Center, corner of Water and 13th streets in Port O'Connor

WHEN: 4-8 p.m. Saturday

PORT O'CONNOR - Every year, Richard and Robin Janecka manage to catch the best seat in town to watch the weigh-ins at the Poco Bueno annual invitational fishing tournament.

That's because the couple, who own Signcrafters in Victoria, sell Poco Bueno keepsakes from their portable trailer right above the crowd and in front of the weigh-in station.

Although they don't work for Poco Bueno, selling merchandise is just another way to share their love of the event with their love for business, Robin said.

"We just thought this would be a great idea to feed the crowd what they want," Robin said, as her husband and 13-year-old son, Colin, managed the register and customers Friday morning. "They want those memories, they want something to say, 'Hey I was there at Poco Bueno.'"

Friday isn't the biggest day for the event or for their sales, Richard said.

That's saved for Saturday.

Richard steadied himself on a stool and hung some of the T-shirts with 12 different designs.

The couple brings several boxes of each item in different sizes. The Janeckas just hope it's enough to last through the event.

Richard already knows what's items are the first to go.

"Caps and visors and koozies," he said, as he beat the 100-degree heat by choosing to work shirtless.

Stephanie Ward, one of the Janeckas' first customers Friday morning, bought several T-shirts.

Her husband is not in the tournament, but was out offshore fishing, she said.

Ward enjoys the camaraderie the event brings to the small fishing community.

"It's a good time," she said, taking her son, Caden, 5, into the shade. "My kids love to come and see all the fish."

At the end of the day, the Janeckas have benefited from the annual event in their pocketbooks and their hearts.

Robin is still amazed by what she sees each year.

"It's awesome. You get to see the beautiful boats and those awesome fish they bring in," she said. "They work so hard to catch that winner."

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