About Us

ABOUT THE TARPON SPONGE COMPANY
The creation of Tarpon Sponge Company is the realization of the “American Dream”. It began in Greece, where Emmanuel Klimis lived and worked harvesting sponges from the Mediterranean Sea. In an effort to find a better life, Emmanuel moved to America in 1911 and brought with him the unique skill of sponging. He settled in Tarpon Springs, Florida where the sponge industry was thriving. In the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Klimis sponging legacy was handed down to the youngest child, as Emmanuel taught his son, Harry, the skill of using a hook boat to harvest sponges. As was the case with millions of Americans, the advent of World War II interrupted the aspirations and dreams of the Klimis family. Harry Klimis enlisted in the Navy in defense of his country. After the war, Harry graduated from college and pursued a career as a pharmacist, but the days of sponging with his father always remained alive in his memories. In 1983, Harry found a way to honor the father he loved and admired, and the opportunity to open his own unique enterprise. He decided to return to the sponging industry and establish a retail location on the sponge docks of Tarpon Springs, Over the years, through hard work and determination, the company grew, and the Klimis legacy was passed down once again, as Harry’s daughter, Athena, entered the family business. Her retail expertise has helped to expand the amount and variety of unique products that Tarpon Sponge Company offers its customers.

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