Our Story


At an early age while growing up in New York, Michael Valentino, became captivated by the beach life when his family vacationed on the Jersey Shore. In Florida, he fell in love with sailing, bodysurfing and fishing. He was inspired to make a better life for himself and get away from the suburbs.

The pursuit to live on an island had begun.

Michael started his first job at sixteen with a local department store & quickly graduated to mall store manager. At 21 he was managing six stores from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania and by the young age of 24 he opened his own store in Boston selling authentic Swedish clogs at Eskil's Clog Shop. Shortly after, in 1979, he opened Northern Pursuit, a ski shop embracing the outdoor life in Killington, Vermount. Over the course of the next three years he expanded to five stores, including Hyannis.

With the goal of living half the year in Florida in the winter and half the year in New England for the summer, Michael combined his expertise in the retail industry to create Island Pursuit on Martha's Vineyard in 1983.

The first Florida store was opened in St. Armands Circle, Sarasota in 1988. In addition, the current Island Pursuit family includes Sanibel, Chatham, Newport, And Mystic

While celebrating our 30th Anniversary, we thank our loyal customers for helping us reach this milestone!