Small Business Saturday: Outpost Feature

By Stio Mountain on

This Small Business Saturday we want to recognize and appreciate the speciality retailers we work with in mountain towns across the country. From Bend, Oregon to Stratton, Vermont, outdoor shops are the heart and soul of the outdoor community for locals and visitors alike. We had the pleasure of sitting down with the owners of a handful of small businesses to get an inside perspective of their stores. Keep reading to discover your new favorite shop and learn how these small businesses enrich our cherished communities.

 

Grizzly Outfitters Ski & Backcountry Sports // Big Sky, Montana

Grizzly Outfitters Ski & Backcountry Sports started in 1994 and Andrew Schreiner and Ken Lancey are the original owners. They are true to their name offering Alpine, Backcountry and Nordic skiing apparel and equipment. Grizzly has a full ski tune shop in the winter and bike rental & repair in the summer along with fly fishing. They are here to meet all your outdoor needs in Big Sky.

What is special about being based in Big Sky, Montana?

Being based in Big Sky we have access to the Greater Yellowstone Eco System, just like Stio in Jackson. That means we enjoy skiing, fishing, hiking, while living among wolves, moose, elk and grizzly bears just like our name. The best part of living in a small mountain town is how y
ou can ride up the chair with someone who has lived in Big Sky when there was a dirt road to the resort and in the same day after skiing you can catch a beer with a first-time visitor at BeeHive Brewery.

What do you do to give back to your community?

Grizzly has been involved in our community supporting Big Sky Ski Education Foundation and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. They are keeping us safe along with the Gallatin River Task Force which is keeping our eco system safe.

If someone is to visit Big Sky, what are two other businesses they can't miss?

If you're looking for a great place to dine, Big Sky offers quite the selection. Sushi at the Blue Buddha, Bison Wellington at Olive B's, Pasta and Pizza at Ousel and Spur, just to name a few. When you want to grab and go on your way to fish the Gallatin or Madison stop at the Hungry Moose.

Idaho Mountain Touring // Boise, Idaho 

Idaho Mountain Touring was founded in 1984 and specializes in cycling, backcountry skiing, outdoor & climbing gear and expertise for all activities in southwest Idaho and the northwest. With a long history of climbing, skiing, and racing bikes throughout the northwest, owners Chris and Jill Haunold have run this family business for 36 years.

What is special about being based in Boise?

Boise is a truly unique place with more than 250 miles of local trails in our foothills area for mountain biking, hiking, and running, and a river running straight through town. Did we mention our ski resort that's just 16 minutes from town? We have a small-town feel with bigger city opportunities. From cruising along the river on the 20-mile greenbelt path to skiing at Bogus Basin, the town truly lives for being outside and enjoying what the Treasure Valley has to offer.

What do you do to give back to your community?

Idaho Mountain Touring gives back to the community by supporting the local and regional non-profit organizations that fight to keep our rivers and air clean and our public lands preserved for future generations to enjoy. Some of the key organizations that we support are Advocates for the West, The Conservation Alliance, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Conservations Voters for Idaho, and Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation.

If someone is to visit Boise, what are two other businesses they can't miss?

For a genuinely unique Boise experience, head to the Basque to enjoy learning about Boise's Basque history and grab a bite to eat at Bar Gernika.

A couple of iconic Boise businesses that have been around for a long time are the Record Exchange, one of the last true record stores in the U.S., and Flying M Coffee House, which we highly recommend for local coffee and hangouts.

One of our favorite restaurants on the 8th street corridor in downtown Boise is Bittercreek Alehouse, which has tons of beers on tap and killer food.

Norse Horse // Bondville, Vermont

Norse House originally opened in the late 40’s in New York City and moved to Stratton in 1961. What was once the base of the Bondville Rope Tow is now their 10,000 square foot single brick and mortar store since 1977. At Norse House they pride themselves on researching and finding the neophyte brands, before they become the sought after brand to have. They are also proud to offer extensive race services, demo rental programs along with master boot fitters.

What is special about being based in Bondville? 

We are avid outdoor enthusiasts, whether it's summer or winter. Our location here in the southern Green Mountains is the perfect place for hiking, biking, and paddling. On top of that, Bromley Mountain, Magic Mountain and Stratton Mountain are all within 15 minutes from our store.

What do you do to give back to your community?

The Norse House has given back to its community in many ways. We support all the local schools with affordable equipment rentals to ensure each Vermont child can be on the mountain, either skiing or snowboarding. We donate to local school fundraisers and auctions, either monetarily or with a special or unique item or adventure. One of our most enjoyable and memorable contributions was during the pandemic, we held a fundraiser in our parking lot along with Silo Distillery to benefit the Winhall Food Cupboard, which enables families going through a tough time to have food for their household.

If someone is to visit Stratton area, what are two other businesses they can't miss? 

Places of interest nearby are The Workhorse Café and Honeypie to grab a bite. A bit further down the road in Manchester we would recommend a visit to the Northshire Bookstore, Hildene (The Lincoln Family Home) and the Southern Vermont Arts Center - all places that make our community the unique place it we love.

Outside In // Bend, Oregon

Outside In is a women and locally owned outdoor lifestyle shop in Downtown Bend. They consciously curate a collection of clothing, shoes, outerwear, accessories and goods deeply inspired by the Central Oregon outdoor lifestyle, and the daily life adventures that come with living in CO. From brewery hopping attire to the latest ski gear for riding at Bachelor; Outside In is committed to bringing you quality goods that are built to last, always in style, and sustainably sourced. Shop local and love what you buy at Outside In.

What is special about being based in Bend?

Operating a locally owned small business in Bend is special because of the deep and close connection to the community. Whether it's on the trails, in the grocery store, at our children's schools or through business; we're constantly connecting and supporting each other. Mountain life in Bend allows us to work, live and play all in the same place. We're able to get fresh tracks before work, surf the river at lunch and hit the trails before the sun goes down. 

What do you do to give back to your community?

We give back to the community by supporting non profits that help protect the outdoors and enrich the lives of our community members. In November, we're holding our annual Youth Snow Clothes drive benefiting Family Action Network. Every year we partner with FAN to bring outdoor winter clothes to the kids of Central Oregon to ensure they have access to safely play in the snow all winter long. We're also currently raising money for The Alex Kollar Memorial Fund, honoring a member of the local outdoor community. In the past we have partnered with Oregon Natural Desert Association, Saving Grace, Bend Park and Recreation Foundation, Bend LaPine Education Foundation, The Conservation Alliance, Discovery Our Forests, Bend Women's March, Realms School, Bend Spay and Neuter Project, Bend Humane Society, KOR Land Trust and many more. 

If someone is to visit Bend, what are two other businesses they can't miss? 

We are so grateful to be surrounded by several thriving shops and restaurants. We could give you a long list of where to go but two spot's you can't miss are Crows Feet Mountain Collective and Spork Restaurant. Both locally owned businesses support what we love: getting outside, eating well and giving back to the community.

Sturtevants // Sun Valley, Idaho

Serving the Wood River Valley with four locations, Sturtevants aim to elevate the experience and performance of their customer’s outdoor adventures and mountain lifestyle through exceptional service and world class products. Sturtevants offer retail, rentals, and technical services for skiers and cyclists and their mountain lifestyles. Founded in 1948, they are frequently voted Best Ski Shop, Best Bike Shop, and Best Customer Service in the valley by the independent survey ‘Valley’s Best’.

What is special about being based in Sun Valley? 

Although we have amazing local recreational infrastructure, we are also very remote. Stacked with spectacular mountains, rivers, and valleys, but void of any population centers, our access to solitude and backcountry adventures creates a special energy that resonates from our staff, locals, and adventurous visitors. We are still a small community where we know each other and care about each other. Most businesses are owned by locals, our ski area is independent, and the ski town vibe is still alive.

What do you do to give back to your community? 

As much as we can  - money, time, resources, and lots of love. We support the local school ski programs with free and discounted ski rentals, our community owned ski hill Rotarun by hosting the Ski Swap and through donations, Wood River Bike Coalition by hosting The Bike Swap and donating $2 per mountain bike rental, The Sun Valley Ski Team, Friends of Sawtooth Avalanche Center, The Sun Valley Art Museum, SV Devo, Living with Wolves, and Idaho Rivers United to name a few.

We sponsor events like The Standhope Ultra Marathon, Baldy Hill Climb, Boulder Mountain Tour, and Galena Grinder. Maybe our most rewarding effort has been our key role in the ongoing renovation of the first backcountry ski hut in North America, Pioneer Cabin (picture below).

If someone is to visit Sun Valley, what are two other businesses they can't miss? 

Pioneer Saloon and Grumpy’s. Both beer, potato, and meat consuming establishments but, that is Idaho after all.

The Mountaineer // Keene Valley, New York

The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, New York, the Home of the Adirondack High Peaks, is an iconic outdoor specialty store and purveyor of fine mountaineering and outdoor equipment since 1975. The shop is base camp for any and all year-round pursuits in the Adirondack Mountains, drawing world class ice climbers, rugged backcountry skiers, and those simply looking to summit every “46er”. The Mountaineer is nestled at the foot of the Great Range, at the confluence of the Johns Brook and the East Branch of the Ausable River. 

What is special about being based in Keene Valley?

We are so lucky to have our playground literally right out the back door. Staff can take a trail run, quick ski or just hang by the river on their lunch break. People that come to our neck of the woods are here to get right into it! From world class ice climbers to old timers on Nordic skis, Keene Valley locals are light on talk and heavy on action, in all seasons. 

What do you do to give back to your community?

The Mountaineer has a proud history of engagement within our community. In addition to our annual events – ADK Mountainfest, ADK Backcountry Ski Fest, and the Great Adirondack Trail Run, which have raised tens of thousands of dollars for local causes, shop staff are active in the community.  This includes winter coat drives, shoe and sock recycling programs, and adopt-a-highway volunteerism. We also proudly collaborate with brands to facilitate meaningful environmental grants and product support for amazing programs like watershed restoration and our High Peaks Summit Stewards.

The shop also takes its role in raising user group awareness and education seriously. The Mountaineer facilitates AIARE Avalanche training, Wilderness First Aid, and Leave No Trace to our broad base of loyal supporters and those that are new to the area. 

If someone is to visit the Keene Valley area, what are two other businesses they can't miss? 

Old Mountain Coffee – Aside from high-end coffee, OMC turns out fantastic food and a weekly specialty pizza night. Essential stuff.

Valley Grocery. Family owned and a staple in the community for decades.  Along with The Mountaineer, this is many folks’ last stop before heading into the woods.  The “Gro” covers all rations, and will wrap up a deli sandwich or send the not-so-lightweight packing with a high-end microbrew.   

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