Well, now this is humbling, isn't it? Looking at where you've started in comparison to where you're presently at. It's easy to get caught up in the to-do list from one day to the next and sometimes we forget just how 'empty' our dreams and aspirations were at their true inception.
This photo was taken on October 7th, 2021. I was all packed up for my flight to work that afternoon and had just picked up the keys to what would be our store. My wife insisted that this big moment be documented and shared. It felt trivial at the time. Nothing was really done yet; the work was just beginning! But I'm glad she was there to capture me in the empty space, pinching myself at how fast it had all gone to that point, yet excited to pick up the building materials and get to work. We've now celebrated our 1-year possession date and are forging ahead to our 1-year with the doors open! I'm considering having cupcakes or something in-store that day so that you can celebrate with us too while you're finishing up your Christmas shopping. Stay tuned on that!
Fast forward 8-9 weeks later to December 16th, 2021 where we spent our final hours preparing to open the next day! The smile on my face is not only rare, but a true testament to the hard work our whole family put in during that time (4-kids and Mother-in-law included). From building walls and the front counter, to laying flooring and painting every square inch of the store-front; we spent countless hours putting this all together and consumed a shameful amount of pizza. We had some major services completed from Monarch Electrical and HYPE Mechanical to make sure everything was safe and up to code come opening day on December 17th, 2021.
The first 6 months, I (we) focused on Community Engagement, Local Partnerships and supporting other local businesses/organizations (Kids Can Catch Foundation/ Wabamun Waves). We sponsored area tournaments and giveaways where we could, and made a consistent effort to maintain a good pulse on the products requests we received from our daily customer traffic.
The product growth that I've pushed so heavily for in order to double our product inventory, has been a direct result of the supportive community we are part of. You have asked for specific brands and have given us the opportunity to provide that for you. I/ we strive to offer a well-rounded shopping experience that's close to home, while ensuring folks can spend more time doing what they love.
Some of the new brands we introduced to the store are (but not limited to): VIBE Kayaks (First Canadian Dealer), Browns Angling, Lexi's Lures, 6th Sense, 13 Fishing, Ion, Savage Gear, On-Brand Fly Fishing, Get'n Hooked Lures and TNT Lures.
We held our Grand Opening on May 7th, 2022 and we welcomed the Mayor of Spruce Grove, Jeff Acker to present a New Business Plaque for the store! Many hours of planning and effort went into it all and we received many giveaways from some incredible brands that we carry in store. My wife and her cousin's Company, Save The Date Weddings & Events Inc. put everything together to ensure a spectacular turn-out with well over 200 patrons through our doors that day. The outpour of support in this community is just unreal, and we're beyond grateful for it!
We spent much of the winter and early spring doing our research and watching out for some key folks that have a similar mentality as we do. Everything from their passion for fishing, (safe fishing at that) to the importance of Community and Fishing Education. These talented Anglers have it all, and more! It was without hesitation that we asked them to join the TEAM Hooked Up Fishing Gear movement! We've included their IG handles below so you can check out what they've been up to this past open water season! (From left to right)
Recently, we attended the Dealer Show for many of the big brands in the industry and were able to get our hands on some of the hot products for 2023. What a success! There are so many things to be excited about and we can't wait to stock the store with it all!
As we look forward, we are excited to continue growing and expanding within the Parkland County/ Spruce Grove Community. As of November 1st, we will be changing our hours to better support our community. We appreciate your patience with our business hours since opening, and are excited to offer more flexibility with Monday open and extended hours on Thursdays going forward!
Starting November 1st, 2022, our NEW Business Hours will be:
Monday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM
Tuesday & Wednesday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Speaking of growth and change! Here's a list below of what's coming up!
1. We are on track to be bringing in Mustang PFD's and Archery Gear in the spring! (RIGHT?!?!)
Brands coming to the store: Bear, Axe Cross Bows, Blazer, Bohning, Rage, Wac Em, Nap, Carbon Express, Muzzy, Hawk, Big Game, Apex, TrueFire, Blood Sport and more!
2. We will be offering Fishing Kayak Rentals in 2023 to further promote some time out on the water.
3. We have plans to build up (eventually) within the store to accommodate the expansion into more inventory to support a total-outdoors experience for you and your family.
It's purely due to your support that we are able to discuss such plans for growth. Stay tuned for updates on those exciting things to come! In the meantime, we are excited to continue building relationships with some ever talented Anglers and Business owners in our area.
As always, we appreciate your support!
Stay safe, and tight lines to all!