While creative director Bill Moulton, who splits his time between Brooklyn and East Marion, has worked on highly successful commercial campaigns for the likes of Google, Target and more, his true passion is found in an unassuming vending machine tucked away at the Port of Egypt Marina in Southold. The vending machine, known as Greenie Supply & Tackle, houses maps that take participants on an adventure through the North Fork to find buried treasure. The maps will take intrepid treasure hunters through some of the most beautiful spots on North Fork beaches and locales and end with mysterious artifacts that are made to further pique the imagination.
For Moulton, Greenie Supply & Tackle is a labor of love. “I started as a painter and studied that in college and I’ve always just kind of lived a creative life,” says Moulton. “This is another extension of that.” The idea for Greenie Supply & Tackle came from a series of short, nautical-themed films Moulton directed five years ago called Tales from Mt. Striper Surf. “They’re all around this kind of romanticized fishing and nautical adventure and self-discovery and they’re kind of like newsreel films to promote this idea of imagination and adventure and fishing,” Moulton says. Moulton added the fictitious Greenie Supply & Tackle as a “sponsor” at the end of the films. After releasing the films online, Moulton found that viewers were asking about where to find the mysterious tackle shop. “I really love it when things exist in digital media or in the imagination and [think about] trying to merge them with reality,” he says. “People get excited when they realize that something really odd or fun exists in real life. I started thinking about how I could make it a real store.”
But rather than opening an actual tackle shop, Moulton thought about how he could make something tangible that maintained the concept’s initial mystique. “The smallest store that I could imagine was a vending machine!” says Moulton. “I don’t know where it came from exactly, but I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to make this store a vending machine that just pops up suddenly? Maybe there are items you have to find buried in the sand somewhere.” During the machine’s first year outside the Orient Country Store, Moulton printed 100 maps and buried 100 treasures, which he admits was a massive undertaking.
The treasures themselves were created from items Moulton and his wife, Heather Kosch, found at yard sales. “I’d find these things just around,” he says. “I love to go to yard sales, it’s a passion, so my wife and I would find these fun things—I’d find a little medallion or something and write a story about the medallion as if it was the captain of a sea ship writing about it. I’d find old photographs and write on the back of them and so you’d find these objects. You place this significance around them and some importance based around the story and your adventure going to find it.”
The project has been a great success, and Moulton has gotten great feedback from the community. “Ultimately what I realized after that first year was that not just kids but whole families were going to do it together,” he says. “They leave reality for an hour and do something together that kind of just sparks their imagination. That was the whole point.”
The phrase “change your day forever” is on the back of each map. For Moulton, that’s his goal. “That’s the idea,” he says. “To change your day, to step out of your routine and try something new. I think that’s what people really respond to—how fun that could be and how we forget there’s something special in life activating your imagination. It’s just wonderful to feel that people are finding joy in it.”
Find more about Greenie Supply & Tackle at greeniesupply.com.