Pensacola, Florida
Monday August 20th 2018

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Eighteen Years And Still Going Strong


by Sean Boone

“Psych” Shack Sets Bar For Local Businesses

It all started as a way to make some extra bucks on the beach. A year later, Burton Ritchie’s T-shirt kiosk business was more than he could have dreamed.

Today, the Psychedelic Shack is one of the most widely known local businesses in Pensacola and recently opened its third location on Ninth Avenue in April — selling everything from jewelry, tobacco pipes and clothing to offering body piercing and tattoo services.

Ritchie says his success stems from an interest that he didn’t even know he had.

“I never saw myself doing something like this,” he says, “but I’m a big believer that life is kind of a chance.”

In the fall of 1992, The Psychedelic Shack was a struggling business on Plantation Road. It had opened as a tobacco seller but later expanded to include tattoos and body piercing, when a local approached him about working in the back of the store. From there, the shop transformed.

“We stubbornly stuck at it,” says Ritchie. “I was in school full time…never gave up and actually started making money in ’95. It was an accident when we started tattooing and piercing in ’94.”

Ritchie credits the death of Grateful Dead front-man Jerry Garcia and the release of herbal ecstasy for the boost in sales in the mid-90s. The continuation of great customer service from his 15 employees and quality product lines have continued the success, he adds.

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