The 50 Best Family-Run Sporting Goods Stores in the U.S.
Are there even 50 family-run sporting goods stores in the United States? If Sports Authority can’t make it, how can a mom and pop store?
Actually, there are hundreds of family-run sporting goods stores in the United States. As for why they can make it, and huge chains like Sports Authority can’t, it is quite simple.
The big guys stopped caring about you. As marketing consultant Jon Schallert put it, they are “product generalists rather than product specialists.”
Family-run sporting goods stores are product specialists. They’re not focused on a demographic. They are focused on you.
Also, they cater to local teams, and we’re not just talking about local professional teams. People want to feel like they are a part of something, and they feel just that when they shop at their local, independent sporting goods stores.
These two concepts, specialization and being a part of a team or community, ultimately decided who made and who didn’t make our list of the 50 best family-run sporting goods stores in the USA.
Some of the following shops are about team sports, some are about the great outdoors, and a few are about one particular sport. Even so, all of the following stores, and the families behind them, care deeply about improving the sporting experiences of their customers.
Alfred's Sport ShopMadison, NJ
As they like to say, Alfred’s Sport Shop is where sports happen. It’s also where great service happens. Alfred’s has been around for more than half a century and is one of the oldest privately owned sporting goods stores in the Garden State. Here’s the box score: when it comes to meeting your sporting needs, owner Chuck Bleakley and his elite staff at Alfred’s Sport Shop, have hit a home run.
All Seasons SportsDelano, MN
All Seasons Sports is the place to go in Wright County for all your outdoor, hunting, and fishing gear. Owned by the Lynch family for more than three decades, All Seasons Sports prides itself on offering quality products at fair prices and making their customers feel like family. They also offer a wide variety of services, everything from bow tuning to bicycle repair.
All Star SportsFlorence, SC
If you want to feel like an all-star just go to All Star Sports. Family-owned since 1989, All Star Sports began life in a modest space next to an ice cream store. Today, it’s one of the largest, and best, sporting goods stores in South Carolina. All Star Sports stands out from the crowd thanks to its superior products and knowledgeable sales staff.
Allen Sports Center
Opened in 1975, the family-owned Allen Sports Center is a full service sporting goods business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a team, league, or corporation, when you do business with Allen Sports you’ll be served by a professional sales team with over 200 years of experience. So, if you need screening, embroidery, or equipment, you need your hometown friends at Allen Sports Center.
Alpine Hut owner Kyle Fisher, and his crack staff, in particular Jim Finkle, Sara Shier, and Mitch, do more then sell sporting goods, they help you explore the Pacific Northwest. For more than four decades, Alpine Hut has been your destination for everything skiing and biking. In other words, this welcoming and friendly store on 15th Avenue sells adventures.
Al's Tennis ShopRiverview, FL
Al’s Tennis Shop is the destination for both recreational and competitive players. Al, as well as Sylvia and the kids, offer racquets, shoes, accessories, and apparel. There are many great things about Al’s Tennis Shop, but one of the best is the ability to try out new racquets. Stop by Al’s to demo a new model or two. All Al and his superior sales team want to do is help you get the most out of your tennis game.
Appalachian OutfittersPeninsula, OH
Bob Collins opened Appalachian Outfitters in May of 1988 in a Canton strip mall. Bob has since retired and the store is now owned by Mike and Karen Leffler. Moreover, Appalachian Outfitters is no longer in a strip mall. There are now two locations (Peninsula and Lodi) as well as a rock gym. Appalachian Outfitters has an amazing staff that can help you with apparel, footwear, and equipment.
Arlberg SportsWenatchee, WA
Family-owned Arlberg Sports is the place to go if you’re into biking, camping, hiking, and/or skiing. What sets Arlberg Sports apart from similar stores, besides their 50-plus years of experience, is their enthusiastic staff. Not only do they know their sports, but they use the products they sell. This means you can be confident in their recommendations and suggestions.
Bill Jackson's Shop for AdventurePinellas Park, FL
Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure began as a post-World War II military surplus store. It’s now a state-of-the-art outdoor adventure outfitter. You won’t find baseball bats and basketball shoes at Bill Jackson’s, but you will find a passionate staff and equipment for archery, kayaking, and hunting (just to name a few adventures). The Jackson family has owned and operated the shop since 1946.
Bolio's Sporting Goods
If you need a uniform for your team you’ve got to put Bolio’s Sporting Goods into your lineup. Their computer generated art work can produce just about any logo your team can devise. Even better, your logo will be placed on a high-quality garment. Francis and Angela opened the store in 1978. Today, Jeffrey and Lorna Bolio operate the Milford location while Tom Bolio runs the store in Webster.
Boone Mountain SportsEvergreen, CO
Boone Mountain Sports is in business for snow skiers and general outdoor enthusiasts. Customers love their friendly service, technical expertise, top-of-the-line apparel, and family vibe. The store is as much a part of Evergreen, Colorado as the surrounding mountains. BMS was started in 1985 by Casey and Jennifer Boone. Today, they are joined by two of their children, Logan and Riley.
Brown Bear Sporting GoodsChesterfield, MI
Brown Bear Sporting Goods is a labor of love for George and Jean Israel. They opened their store in 1980. Since then, they have dutifully helped the citizens of Macomb County safely arm themselves. If you already have a gun, then put your marksman skills to the test at Brown Bear’s shooting range. Whether you need firearms, ammo, or a nice place to shoot, Brown Bear has your six.
Burghardt Sporting GoodsBrookfield, WI
Burghardt Sporting Goods is known to have the largest selection of lacrosse gear in Wisconsin. The store also boasts the largest selection of baseball and softball equipment in the Midwest. Simply, they are one of the largest independent sporting goods stores in the U.S. Burghardt Sporting Goods can trace its roots back to Charles Burghardt and the 1800s! Five generation later, the store is still in the family.
Burke's Sport HavenEastpointe, MI
Burke’s Sport Haven is heaven for those who love great customer service. Burke’s staff is rapt, polite, and proficient. They are the kind of team that will drop everything to make sure your team looks good and plays well. That is what Burke’s Sport Haven is all about. They provide teams with sharp uniforms and reputed equipment. Located in South Detroit, Burke’s has been family-owned since 1973.
C&S Sporting Goods
Your kids have moved on to other things. So what do you do with all their old sporting goods? Take it all to C&S Sporting Goods. They buy, and take in trade, used sporting equipment. They also sell brand new sporting equipment. By the way, this store is the place to go if you’re putting together a home gym. C&S Sporting Goods is a family-owned business that opened in 2011.
New York City
DQM is a very unique shopping experience. It’s perhaps the most interesting establishment on our list. It was founded in 2003 by professional skateboarder Chris Keeffe. DQM began life as a skate shop but has since evolved into a worldwide brand. Despite all the success and all the attention, DQM still represents skateboarding, skateboarders, and New York City.
Dunn’s Sporting GoodsPevely, MO
George and Mary Dunn opened Dunn’s Sporting Goods in 1958. Not only did they build an amazing sporting goods store, but they also found time to raise nine amazing kids. Three of their offspring, Dennis, Dean, and Steve, are in the family business. DSG caters to outdoor enthusiasts. Those who need a floating duck decoy, a laser rangefinder, and/or a nice pair of waders.
Eastside SportsBishop, CA
Do you love camping, hiking, and mountaineering? If you do, you’ll love Eastside Sports. Their top-notch staff not only knows their equipment like the back of their hand, they also know California's Owens Valley like the back of their hand. Whether you’re an experienced climber, or you’re looking to do some fishing for the first time in your life, you should definitely call on family-owned Eastside Sports.
Eich's SportsPlainfield, Il
Eich’s Sports has stores in Plainfield, Coal City, and Lemont. You might think a family-owned business like that has forgotten their roots, but not Eich’s. They remember their roots. Athletes and sportsman keep coming back, because Eich’s Sports puts their customers first. Eich’s knows they wouldn’t have one store, much less three, if it wasn’t for their fabulous patrons. Eich’s Sports was founded in 1988.
Feet First is all about running. They carry shoes, socks, apparel, and insoles. While running is a solitary endeavor, the Feet First staff provides one-on-one service. Their staff is very skilled and they truly care about their customer’s performance. If you’re serious about jogging, you need to run to Feet First. They’ve been helping runners in Tampa for more than 30 years. They also have a St. Petersburg location.
Final Score Sporting Goods
We may boo them, but they need sporting goods too. Final Score Sporting Goods provides referees and umpires with uniforms and equipment. Of course, that’s not all that this family-owned sporting good business does. They also take care of the good guys. Final Score makes custom apparel for sports teams and they’re the place to go for shiny new varsity jackets.
Holabird SportsBaltimore, MD
Holabird Sports’ inventory includes over 2,000 styles of athletic shoes. What we want to know is who counted them all? Holobird has been a family-owned sporting goods store since 1981. They carry a huge range of products—everything from squash racquets to GPS sports watches. Not only is their selection second to none but so is their pricing and customer service.
Homewood Sporting GoodsHomewood, AL
Besides sporting equipment, and products like fraternity and sorority wear, Homewood Sporting Goods
also offers valuable services. Need a basketball hoop installed? Then just call Homewood. When you do call them, you’ll notice their superior customer service. The family-owned and operated Homewood Sporting Goods really takes care of you. In fact, they’ve been taking care of customers since 1972.
Jeff's Sporting GoodsLos Angeles, CA
There aren’t many family-owned sporting goods stores where you can buy a batting helmet for your softball team, tackle for your weekend fishing trip, and a letterman jacket for your teenager. You can buy all that stuff at Jeff’s Sporting Goods in Los Angeles. Harold R. Jeffs, Sr. founded the store in 1947. It’s still in the family—third generation. It’s now owned by Kevin and Ryan Jeffs.
Joe's Sporting Goods
St. Paul, MN
From water sports to snow sports to hunting, camping, and fishing, Joe’s Sporting Goods has you covered. Oh yeah, they are the only shop in Minnesota that’s part of America's Best Bootfitters; they can make sure your ski boots don’t pinch. Joe’s can trace its origin to 1930 when it was a Buick repair garage. Today, the store is owned by founder Joseph J. Rauscher’s grandsons, Joseph H. and James T.
Johnson's Sporting GoodsBrunswick, ME
Johnson’s Sporting Goods is a family-owned establishment. Even better, you can find three generations of Johnsons working side-by-side. When watching the Johnsons work becomes boring, check out their huge selection of products, including gear for hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and paintball. Johnson’s Sporting Goods services equipment in-house and they deliver experienced-based customer service.
Kelly's Sports, LtdHarrisburg, PA
Kelly’s Sports, Ltd is your own personal equipment manager. Do you need a field hockey stick? How about a practice ball for your rugby team? Perhaps you’re shopping for wrestling headgear? If it has a ball, a goal, or some way to keep score, then Kelly Sports sells equipment for it. Kelly's Sports, Ltd is a family-owned business that has been taking care of Pennsylvania athletes for more than 35 years.
Lahout's Ski ShopLittleton, NH
Billed as the oldest ski shop in America, Lahout was established in 1920 by Joe Lahout. Nowadays, the shop is a 4th-generation family-run business that’s rooted in tradition and community. They carry top brands, the kind that will help you brave New England’s winter clime. Lahout is the ultimate proponent of skiers, hikers, and outdoorsmen. That’s why they like to say: “See you somewhere out in the woods.”
Medusa SkatesAustin, TX
Medusa Skates sells skates, wheels, helmets, apparel, pads, and protective gear. Yes, Medusa Skates is all about roller derby! How cool is that? Medusa is the brainchild of Glitterotica, a member of the Hellcats Roller Derby team. If you’re into roller derby, and who isn’t, you’ve got to roll into Medusa Skates. Until then, check out Gillerotica’s blog. It’s packed with useful information.
Middlebury Sports & Apparel
Middlebury Sports & Apparel is actually a membership club for equipment heavy sports. They aim to keep athletes playing the sports they love by offering quality products and elite services at the lowest prices possible. They also believe in educating their customers and staying up-to-date with technology. MSA began in 2004 as a small embroidery shop located inside an ice skating rink.
Mount Kisco SportsMount Kisco, NY
Rob Bernstein is a real renaissance man. Not only does he own the best sporting goods store in the Mount Kisco area, but he’s also one of the founders of the Bedford Turkey Trot (it’s coming up on November 26). Mount Kisco Sports opened in 1997 and since that time it has offered its customers terrific service, excellent equipment and stylish apparel for a plethora of sports.
Outdoor Research Retail StoreSeattle, WA
Outdoor Research Retail Store was founded by Ron Gregg. He believed life is an adventure and quality gear only makes it better. Gregg was killed in an avalanche in 2003. His Outdoor Research was sold to Dan Nordstrom, who has worked diligently to carry on Gregg’s legacy. The retail store is located in Seattle’s SODO district. You’ve got to check it out. It definitely primes visitors for adventure.
Outdoor Sports Center
Here’s a clear indicator of the specialness of Outdoor Sports Center. The store can trace its roots back more than half a century when John and Sidney Maxwell founded it under the name “The Ski Hut.” Their son, Jack, has since moved the store and renamed it. Yet, they still have customers who can recall their “Ski Hut” beginnings. OSC is committed to their community and respecting the great outdoors.
Panda SportNew York City
If you ski or snowboard, you should definitely check out Panda Sport. They offer a tremendous line of products for all ages and all types of skiers. Furthermore, Panda carries a robust inventory of apparel. If you need assistance, Panda Sports’ knowledgeable team is ready to assist and to do so on a one-on-one basis. Panda Sport was founded in 1987 and since then has been family-owned and operated.
Paragon Sporting Goods Company
New York City
Paragon Sporting Goods Company is located at 867 Broadway at 18th Street. Paragon has been privately owned since 1908. That means Paragon has over 100 years of providing Big Apple athletes with quality sports equipment and clothing. Don’t think Paragon is stuck in the past. They pride themselves on delivering to their customers the most technologically advanced products on the market.
Port Jefferson Sporting GoodsPort Jefferson Station, NY
Port Jefferson Sporting Goods is owned by Richie LoNigro. He’s a great-grandfather and a board member of Hope House Ministries. He started his business in his garage before moving to a brick-and-mortar store in 1973. Today, Port Jeff Sports is a thriving local team, and retail sporting goods store that serves Long Island athletes. Team jerseys are their strength but they also have a large retail space.
Portland Running CompanyPortland, OR
For the second year in a row, readers of a local newspaper voted Portland Running Company as the city’s Best Running Store. When you go to PRC to get new shoes, it’s recommended that you wear workout clothes and you bring your old shoes. They’ll do a gait evaluation and look at your wear patterns. Since 2000, the Portland Running Company has been owned by Dave and Paula Harkin.
Quint's Sporting GoodsSaraland, AL
When Quint’s Sporting Goods opened in 1968 it was a hardware store. Fueled by their owner’s passion for the outdoors, Quint’s slowly transitioned to sporting goods. Today, they sell gear for hunting and fishing. They also offer gunsmithing and archery repair, both on-site. At Quint’s, which is locally owned and family-operated, you won’t feel like a customer, you’ll feel like a friend and neighborhood.
Reynolds and Sons
Grand Rapids, MI
Reynolds and Sons was founded in 1927. The family-owned sporting goods store is known for its attentive custom service, a robust inventory, and low, low prices. R&S is the place to go for shoes—they carry Jordan Lifestyle—as well as sports equipment. You’ll find Reynolds & Sons in downtown Grand Rapids, but they serve the entire community of West Michigan.
Ritchies Sporting GoodsTallmadge, OH
Robert and Rosemary Ritchie started Ritchies Sporting Goods in 1979. They had a family of runners but nowhere to buy apparel. So they started their own sporting goods store. They moved into their current location in 2007. Presently, Ritchies offers team sales, custom embroidery, and on-site screen printing. They also have an indoor running track. When you buy shoes from them, you get a free t-shirt.
River Valley SportsSomerset, WI
If you’re into ice hockey, then you need to skate on over to River Valley Sports. They are a full service skate shop and they stock all major brands of hockey gear. That’s not all RVS does. They are also a full service bike shop and licensed Trek dealer. Their shoe selection is awesome and they provide screen printing and embroidery. River Valley Sports was founded in 1979 and is family-owned and operated.
Scott's Sports SuppliesWindsor, CT
Scott's Sports Supplies has been serving Windsor area athletes for more than four decades. Scott’s is the mound to charge if you’re into sports. It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, soccer, or softball, Scott’s has your bases cover. They also sell apparel. Family-owned and operated, Scott’s Sports Supplies is fully committed to their customers and their community.
Streiff Sporting GoodsWarroad, MN
If you find yourself anywhere near Warroad, Minnesota you’ve got to visit Streiff Sporting Goods. They have everything! This family-owned and operated sporting goods store has been in business for more 25 years. Their passion is for the great outdoors (hunting and fishing), but they also have a huge hockey department (with a stick buyback program), clothing for the entire family, footwear, and gifts.
The Natick Outdoor StoreNatick, MA
The Natick Outdoor Store, all 25,000 square feet of it, is located 18 miles west of Boston. It’s worth the commute. You won’t find a better selection of sporting goods in the MetroWest area. Even better, several staff members have worked at NOS for more than 20 years. The Outdoor Store was founded by Huck Saxe in 1947. The store is still family-owned and is currently under the guidance of Henry.
The Sports Locker
The Sports Locker specialty is team apparel, silk screening, and banner making. They are known throughout the Enchanted Mountain Region for their quick turnarounds, top-notch products, and their courteous custom service. The Sports Locker is family-owned and operated and has been in the sporting goods business since 1984. Located on W. State Street, the Sports Locker is opened seven days a week.
TradeWins SportsForest Lake, MN
TradeWins Sports was launched in 2012 by siblings Tim Dubbs and Carey Dubbs. They have expertly put together a sporting goods store that’s part of the community and provides athletes with the equipment they need (and at fair prices). Competitors can rent their “Training Zone” any time of the year. This spectacular space can be used for batting cages, dryland hockey, fitness classes, and much more.
Val's Sporting GoodsMechanicville, NY
It doesn’t matter your sport, age, or if you’re a player, coach, or fan, Val’s Sporting Goods has what you need. Their best pitch is custom screen printing and embroidery. Nonetheless, Val’s carries a wide array of sporting goods as well as local school team apparel. Their pricing and customer service is second to none. Val’s Sporting Goods was founded in 1945 and is currently operated by Val’s grandson, Josh.
Wayne Sporting GoodsWayne, PA
Alvin Galczenski Sr. founded Wayne Sporting Goods Co. Inc. in 1955. The business is still in the Galczenski family (third generation). Wayne Sporting Goods has managed to thrive while big box stores are going out of business because they offer brands their customers love and provide personal customer service. They make their patrons feel like they’re part of the family.
Whitney's OutfittersLincoln, ME
Whitney's Outfitters has a strong connection to the Lincoln Lakes region. In fact, this family-owned sporting goods store was founded on a love for the great outdoors and activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. The store is currently owned by Alan and Erica. They are continuing the tradition of providing superior outdoor clothing and equipment to Mainers who love the great outdoors.
Yeager's Sporting Goods
Yeager's Sporting Goods commenced in 1921 when Ira Yeager began selling outboard motors from his garage. His son-in-law, Frank Uhrig, bought the business in 1980. Yeager’s is now owned by Ira’s grandsons. If you hunt and fish in Northwest Washington, you must visit their 26,000 square feet retail space. This space also includes their famous toyland and a huge housewares department.