Erik Jacobson is a Bemidji native who grew up the way many of us did – with a love for all things outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman, Jacobson always wanted to turn his passion into a lifelong career. With the exception of a few retailers dispersed around the area – Reed’s, Gander Mountain (now closed), L & M Fleet, there are very few locally owned, outdoor specialty stores. Seeing this niche as a major opportunity, Jacobson and his friend Aaron Templin came up with Destination Sporting Goods (DSG).
“We cater to the outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re looking for the best equipment or the right advice, you’ll want to shop at Destination Sporting Goods,” it says on the store’s Facebook page. Their main product offering will include fishing & archery along with a wide selection of live bait. DSG will offer high-quality fishing rods, reels, ice fishing tackle and equipment, summer tackle, live bait, compound bows, crossbows and assorted archery equipment. A lot of the products carried by DSG are unique to their store. They had their grand opening on Black Friday, November 24, 2017.
|From left to right: Aaron Templin, Paul Thorne, Sean Moran,
and Erik Jacobson.
Sean Moran, NMF economic development specialist, has been working with the duo for months providing guidance and taking them on as a loan client. “It’s always exciting seeing our clients start with a business plan, and provide them with the support they need to open their doors. This type of business is exactly what our community and the region needs,” said Moran. He also paired Jacobson and Templin with a consultant, Paul Thorne, through a Small Business Association grant. Thorne ran his own specialty sporting goods store with his brother in Blaine, Minnesota for thirty years. Thorne Bros still exists today utilizing the same niche product offerings that were offered over 35 years ago.
“Erik shares a true love for the outdoors, much like my brother and I do. I believe his greatest attributes are his drive and tenacity to complete the project,” says Thorne. “We had our share of challenges, but he never gave up when experiencing the hurdles that are often part of starting or owning a small business. That drive and passion will be his greatest strength in the days, months and years ahead.”