These days, Delray Beach has no shortage of exciting new hotspots to add to the fun vibrancy of “Florida’s Village by the Sea.” Its latest addition, THRōW Social, is a cool place for adults to socialize, play elevated games (such as axe throwing and ping pong to name a few), and sip on refreshing cocktails that make you feel as if you’re actually away on vacation; a nice reprieve from the day-to-day hustle and bustle.
THRōW Social is the talk of the town, and because I very much enjoyed experiencing what it has to offer, I wanted to meet the mastermind behind this concept. Meet Ginger Flesher-Sonnier, a mathematician turned Owner and CEO of The Ginger Companies, pioneering experiential entertainment with brands Escape Room Live, Kick Axe Throwing, and most recently THRōW Social. To say that Flesher-Sonnier is impressive is an understatement. She is so laser focused with an eye for detail, it’s no wonder that her favorite life motto is “Don’t do anything halfway.”
Tell us a bit about your background before pioneering experiential entertainment concepts.
I was a high school math teacher (Honors Precalculus, Calculus, and AP Statistics), Department Chair and Mathletes coach for twenty years. I was also a puzzle fiend and closet interior designer for my friends and family. I raised one amazing daughter who graduated from the Brown University/RISD Dual Degree Program, who lives and works in NYC now. She is my biggest accomplishment!
At what point did you have the ‘ah-ha’ moment to take a leap of faith and completely pivot into the entrepreneurial world?
I was able to travel with my retired Green Beret husband to Europe on one of his contractor assignments and discovered these amazing things called Escape Rooms. They hit all my loves: puzzles, creating amazing, immersive spaces and fun experiences. I immediately thought about how I could improve on what I was seeing. None of the venues we visited–in Prague, Paris, Germany–had a woman’s touch or lobby space for private events. Many of them required folks to crawl on the ground or move furniture. I wanted to create a boutiques space perfect for birthdays & corporate events; 8-year-olds and 65-year-olds alike. And of course, with a full bar. Over the next few years, I designed fourteen rooms in three locations in the DC Metro area, including Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria.
How did the overall concept for THRōW come about?
I had also created an Axe Throwing brand, Kick Axe Throwing. The first was in NYC, then Philly and D.C., which had a cozy, Canadian Lodge theme, so I wanted to create something more on the feminine side that incorporated multiple activities, not just focusing on one. I love the Palm Beach vibe and decided to create that kind of ambiance.
Your first location is D.C. and now Delray Beach, two completely different places and vibes. So… why Delray?
Delray is the perfect place for this concept and we were lucky enough to find this space with the largest outdoor patio in Delray. It was an amazing bonus that it had a stage because one of the things I love most is live music.
Live music seems to play an important role for this venue. What genres can guests expect to hear at THRōW Social?
We are hosting mostly cover bands that can play a little bit of everything to cater to the crowd. Some of them have great followings and were my personal favorites before we even got the space. Having songs that people can sing along to & dance to are important to me.
Even before moving down to this area, your decor was inspired by “1960s retro Palm Beach life.” What is it that drew you to that aesthetic and particular time frame as you designed the space yourself?
I love the crisp aesthetic of the black-and-white cabana stripes softened with palm leaves and pink flamingos. I love the mental space you immerse yourself in when you are on vacation and wanted to recreate that feeling the moment you walk through the door. Of course, taking people to a time in the past that seemed so much simpler removes some of the modern day pressures that force you to stay in constant connection to your devices.
What does the flamingo represent?
Flocking beautiful, friendly Florida! It’s at once iconic and kitschy.
Your menu looks delicious with some fabulous cocktails to enjoy. How was the drink menu curated?
I love the fruity tropical cocktails! There is nothing like a Watermelon “Throjito” to get you in the relaxed mindset. All of our craft cocktails are kitschy and delicious, and our food has a Polynesian inspiration.
Opening during a pandemic must have been difficult. What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has been the supply chain issues for equipment and furnishings. It has been so difficult to get what you want and need, that compromises have had to been made at all levels and it continues. Hiring has not been easy either, but luckily we have an exciting brand that people love to be a part of.
What do you hope the future holds for your business? More locations?
We are definitely looking at more locations all along the coast of South Florida. No locations are specified as of yet.
What is the best advice you’ve received in business?
Delegate. It’s also the hardest to follow!
Lastly, what’s your favorite quote/life motto?
Work hard, play hard. Don’t do anything halfway.