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Agent Profile

James Jones

My interest in real estate started when I was growing up in the San Francisco Bay area. My dad owned 8 homes which we either lived in or rented out. My main goal is to satisfy your every property need with the help of our First Weber team of experts.

Although I am new to the real estate business, the career experience I have had has prepared me well for this new venture.

I have been in the hospitality business for over 40 years. After graduating from college in the gorgeous California wine country, I took a job with Barry Salt, the best man at my wedding, whose father, Hadden Salt, owned a chain of fish and chips restaurants called H. Salt Fish and Chips. This was my first full-time job as a cook, and it wasn't in one of the restaurants. It was on an Alaskan fishing boat. From this job I learned to keep my head in very treacherous and taxing situations.

After a few years fishing, the owner of the boat recommended me for a job as a valet in an exclusive club called the Bohemian Grove on the famous Russian River of Sonoma County, California. The club members included some of the most famous and influential politicians, business leaders and members of the entertainment industry. From this I learned that most people are truly grateful to those who are attentive to and care about their personal needs.

As a result of the connections I made at the Bohemian Grove, I was offered a position on exclusive Indian Creek Island in Miami as a private chef for James E. Stewart, the CEO of Lonestar Industries. In addition to traveling the world with him on his corporate jet, I had a chance to spend time with people as diverse as Elizabeth Taylor, Chuck Yeager, Julio Iglesias, Raymond Floyd, Tip O’Neil, Bob Dole and Jack Kemp. I learned to interact with a diverse group of people and to accommodate their needs.

After 5 years, Mr. Stewart retired and sold his home to Norman Braman, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. I was invited to stay on as chef. During this period I enjoyed hanging out in South Beach with his Quarterback, Randall Cunningham. Mr. Braman had Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel as a regular houseguest as well as many NFL coaches like Jimmy Johnson, and owners like Jerry Jones and Al Davis. From this experience I learned that, if you are an NFL quarterback, you can get into any club in South Beach. I also learned to treat everyone equally and with respect.

Then in 1992 Hurricane Andrew blew in, which is how I met my future wife, Jean. We got married in 1995 and decided to take on the adventure of owning our own restaurant. We found a beautiful, small restaurant in West Bend, Wisconsin, The Old Courthouse Inn. We purchased it in 1997 and moved to West Bend. After nine months, while enjoying a cruise on Big Cedar Lake, we were presented with the opportunity to buy the historic Linden Inn. We operated both restaurants for years but found owning and managing restaurants made family life very challenging with three children. We eventually sold both restaurants, and for the last eight years I have enjoyed working at the Poplar Inn (formerly Old Courthouse Inn). From purchasing, owning and operating these businesses I learned to pay attention to the details which make any endeavor a success.

Because I grew up in the San Francisco area and lived for many years in Miami, people often ask me why I am in West Bend. The simple answer - the people. The people in this area have welcomed me and made me feel at home, and I look forward to doing the same.