What We're About
GumboCoolio has something for the whole Dam family!
Mr. Dam makes his gumbo with a dark roux and a thin consistency so his Acadian relatives don’t revoke his Coonass Card. They attend Catholic Church, they embody their culture and heritage, and they live in a party city that enjoys a lack of inhibitions regarding alcohol, cuisine, dress, and behavior like everyone else who lives here.
But most of all, both cities are charming and the people who call them home are simply wonderful. You either love them or not, but which ever, you should find out for yourself, especially if you’re a history lover.
About the Founder
Ben Hennington is the founder of the GumboCoolio brand. He is a Key West transplant displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and spent over 2 decades living in the lower Garden District and Bayou St. John in New Orleans. Ben spends most of his free time in the Crescent City because of his deep love for the locale, and because he finds inspiration within the one of a kind vibe and scene of NoLa. Prior to his move south, he wanted to create a brand that showcased the similarities and unique aspects of his two favorite cities. Ben is an avid Key West socialite and founder of the Key West Chapter of the Sunset Social Drinking Club, a charitable organization that gives back as much as possible to the community that they are a part of. He was also an avid member of the New Orleans SSDC Chapter, until it's disbandment after Hurricane Katrina.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, after finding the Key West tourist industry stalling and with way more time on his hands than usual, he decided to begin the steps to create his brand - which has morphed into more of a child to him. Many months of brainstorming, networking, meetings, creating, designing, redesigning, and good old fashioned hard work have all culminated in GumboCoolio. Keeping in line with his "give what you receive" ideal, he even incorporated charitable donations into his grassroots business plan. Ben embodies the One Human Family motto of the Southernmost city in which he resides and has based the KeyWestCoolio apparel line.
When he's not actively volunteering and assisting in his community endeavors and business aspirations, you can find Ben in his "office" in the back room of Shots and Giggles bar located at 201 Anne St. in Key West, FL.