Have you ever noticed a super chill dude walking through Asbury Park, saying “hey” to every single person he sees?
Sometimes he has a really cute little blonde babe in tow (his son), a gorgeously creative lady on his arm (his wife), and/or an equally chill brother-from-another-mother to stroll with, with whom he’s always in deep talks.
You’ve probably wondered “Who is that? What’s he up to?”
And we’ve got the answers.
The mystery man with the Mayor-like knowingness of everyone and everything in the City of Asbury Park is the one and only Bret Morgan.
And what’s he up to? Basically everything.
From Asbury Fresh to Ashtanga Yoga, Bret truly does it all and what’s even better – he’s figured out how to do his way.
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Bret and I am an entrepreneur here at the Jersey Shore. I am a managing partner and a founder or co-founder in businesses such as Fresh Markets, the parent company of Asbury Fresh, Bradley Fresh, and Bell Works Fresh, Cowerks – a shared office space and community with 2 locations in Asbury Park, BandsOnABudget.com, an online t-shirt printer and merch company, and Humble Humans, a design and software development shop.
Who would you say is your #1 inspiration?
Ben Franklin and Leonardo Da Vinci are both inspirations – I really admire how they didn’t pigeonhole themselves into one trade or profession and that has always resonated with me.
What is something on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to live overseas for a “longer” period of time. I managed to live in Indonesia for 3 months a few years back and it was such an incredible experience when you break the boundary of being a “tourist” and you become a “local”. All the little relationships that can’t develop on a 2-week trip start to develop and it’s really an incredible experience. I also like to put myself in situations where the language and culture are different enough to really force you outside your comfort level.
What are your biggest passions?
Food and cooking are very much a passion of mine and I think I’m pretty good at it. I do all of the cooking in our house and enjoy experimenting with lots of international cuisines including Indian, Israeli, Thai, Indonesian, and South & Central American. Everything I cook is 100% vegan and I like making pastes, curries, etc all from scratch.
To that end, I’ve been working on hosting some pop-up dinners at High Voltage Cafe in Asbury Park. We’ll be cooking up some tasty plant-based cuisine from my travels through Southeast Asia. You should totally come and let us feed you. http://www.facebook.com/explorerssupperclub/events
What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I’ve never actually taken a business class or had any interest in starting a business or building a company. I used to be a network engineer and I was completely miserable and knew there had to be a better way out. At the time, music was very much a passion of mine. I was playing in bands, throwing basement shows at my house, and it seemed like the next logical step was to open a music venue and escape from the day to day monotony of my old life. I was a terrible business person at that time and I really was forced to educate myself on everything from managing people, bookkeeping, saving for retirement, marketing, understanding a customer’s needs, and a whole lot more. I’m far from perfect still but I do think I’ve come a long way since then.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I’ve always been a sponge for information and I try to make time to read on a daily basis. I don’t really read much fiction – primarily yoga texts as close to the source material as possible as well as business books. I have a daily Pranayama, Meditation, and Asana practice and I’ve found that since I’ve committed to it, it’s also opened up the doors for personal growth.
If you weren’t teaching yoga, what would you be doing?
Teaching yoga is very much a practice for me and if I weren’t doing it I’d still be practicing. I’ve had a daily practice for more or less 11 years now and I know I have things to offer students so I just enjoy getting on the mat and sharing my experiences and knowledge.
Bret Morgan has been practicing Ashtanga since 2007 and has studied through second series under teachers including Manju Jois, David Swenson, Iain Grysak and Wendy Green. He is currently enrolled in a 300 Hour YTT with Jeff Seymour and Matt Becker which have allowed him to delve into some of the more subtle facets of his practice both on and off the mat. He believes in the transformative ability of asana, pranayama, and mediation and believes that everyone can find balance through consistent practice. Outside of yoga, Bret is an accomplished entrepreneur and software engineer and is a managing partner in companies and brands such as Asbury Fresh, Cowerks, Humble Humans, & Bands on a Budget/Merchwerks Touring.
You can find Bret at these awesome local studios on a weekly basis: