Garry Montag is the owner of The Stowaway Wine Bar and co-owner of Rising Tide Tavern, two of Seabrook’s most adored dining destinations. “The Stowaway is moving to our new location next door where we are expanding our menu, hosting more wine events and scheduling live music – all with an ocean view!” Learn about Garry Montag…
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
First job: My first job at age 7 was selling butter toffee peanuts to neighbors from my red wagon to pay for summer camp. It developed my love for sales which expanded to shoes, clothing, electronics, advertising space and ultimately employee benefits.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: There are so many things to do in our wonderful state! My current favorites include hiking, off-roading, wine tasting, yoga and cooking. Living at the Washington coast is a perfect place for a mix of outdoor activities and cozy indoor ones.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: After finishing a professional career in employee benefit sales, I reflect not on the sales awards and accolades I won, but the ones that people I trained and mentored won. Seeing their success and how they grew into the people they became was fantastic and one of my career accomplishments. A great marriage of 34 years and the adoption and raising our amazing daughter from Russia round out my personal accomplishments.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: I am a fulltime caregiver for my wife, Heather, who became disabled over 34 years ago from a rare form of ALS. We are blessed that she is in permanent remission. We both have worked together to overcome this obstacle and still do every day. Knowing that each day is a gift, and that you get to choose your attitude beginning each day is critical.
Someone who inspires you and why: My wife is the most inspirational person to me and many others. Handling herself with grace and beauty and keeping a positive outlook even given her limitations is her gift to the world.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Your career path is exactly that, yours. The best advice I have is find something you are good at and see if there’s a way to do it as your job. I’m on a different career path now than all my years in sales, but I knew I wanted to retire early and pursue my love for food and entertainment. I’m in the restaurant business now, and this path may change again. I can say that when an opportunity comes, you need to make the best decision you can, that’s why knowing some other smart and successful people is important. Seek their advice, but make your own decision. Also, don’t be in a hurry to get through your life. Be humble and know that sometimes there’s no substitute for plain old sticking to it and hard work.
Favorite quote: “Change sparks a seed in us that might not otherwise grow.” —from Dune
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am also a certified yoga instructor and teach a free class every other Saturday to Seabrook guests and homeowners.
What makes someone fabulous: I believe it’s mostly how they approach life and how they treat the people around them. The ones that contain the true desire to teach and help others are the special people in this world!