What started out as an idea and then a hobby has grown into four successful sunglass and optical boutiques.
The original Sunglass Shoppe was – and still is – located in Charlevoix. In 1989, what started out as dinner table conversation with his parents became reality. Barry Bennett, a band director for Petoskey schools, opened a sunglass shop in Charleviox and ran the store mid-June to September. In 1998 Barry formed the Petoskey Steel Drum band and his summers became consumed with performances. His parents, who had been retired from the optical industry, stepped in to oversee the store.
Then in 2002, Barry and his wife, Robin, opened the Petoskey store and five years later, in 2007, the Traverse City location. Robin now manages all three stores. Joel Heady, who has been working with Robin since the opening of the Traverse City store, supervises that location.
In addition to sunglass frames, the Petoskey and Traverse City locations have been offering optical frames and prescription lenses since 2008.
The Sunglass Shoppe offers a wide variety of lenses and includes the newest frames from Maui Jim sun and optical; Tom Davies bespoke, eyewear from London; Lafont, frame makers from Paris since 1923; Ovvo Optics, offering lightweight and flexible European- made titanium and surgical steel frames as well timeless designs from California based SALT Optics; and OGA, Scandinavian designs with architectural lines and components.
What started out as an idea and then a hobby has grown into three successful sunglass and optical boutiques. Today Robin enjoys traveling internationally to eyewear shows to curate the best eyeglass frames from eyewear artisans and brings ideas home to the Northern Michigan shops.
Meet the friendly faces that are helping to run our stores. They’re here to help you pick out your new pair of shades, explain the latest lens technology, and more.
Annika – Petoskey & Charlevoix
Janelle – Petoskey
Barry – Charlevoix
Joel – Traverse City
The Latest in Optical Technology
Life Happens AT Every Focal Length and as we age our vision shouldn’t get in the way of how we, live, work or play. We offer premium products and the latest optical technology with individually tailored lens solutions for your specific needs.
Once you have found that unique optical or sunglass frame that fits your look and your personality, then we can help you find the lenses that are tailored to you.
Hours vary by store, please call ahead.
325 East Lake Street
415 Bridge Street
137 East Front Street
131 Mason Street