Who are you? Tell us a little about yourselves.
Matthew Olerio and Joanna Zamora, we’ve been together for 12 years now and married for almost 9.
JZ: Graphic designer, book collector, professional thrifter, terrible surfer.
MO: Can’t live landlocked, love to make music, amateur photographer, philosophy nerd.
How did you two first meet?
JZ: We met while attending different colleges in Boston. My best friend from high school introduced us. She lived on the same dorm floor as Matthew and told me he was the funniest guy she ever met. I remember going to his room and he was in a bad mood and I didn’t really like him. A week later, we were both on the train on the way to a party and bonded over our mutual love of Funyuns. The rest is history.
MO: Joanna intrigued me from the beginning – I thought she was the most interesting girl I’d ever met. We dated for about month but, were both young and stupid and fell out of touch. It wasn’t until the following summer that I smartened up and invited her to RI for a weekend. We’ve been together ever since.
What do you do for a living?
We have a company called East Surf Co. We make organic surf wax and are now focusing on expanding our product line. We also work with other brands and help them with design and marketing strategies.
Where are you from?
JZ: I was born in California but spent most of my childhood in Southern Maine.
MO: Born and bred in Rhode Island, the smallest and most underrated state in the Union.
When and why did you move to Rhode Island from NYC?
We moved to RI from NY about a year ago. We had been talking about coming back here and it was ultimately a timing thing. Our family had plans to open a cafe in Wickford and asked for our help in getting it started. Our lease happened to be up and we saw that as our opening. Being back here has freed us up to work on our own terms and be close to the water and family.
What are your favorite parts about the area in which you live now?
The location – we’re in Bissel Cove; a pretty neutral spot where we can reach some of our favorite beaches quickly. Newport, Narragansett and Matunuck are all very close and comparable in distance. We also have a beach in our neighborhood that we can walk to. It’s very peaceful here and has been a base for us to explore and rediscover the state.