ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Hidden Valley Outdoors officially became Woodbury Outfitters in July.
Owned by Joe Miller, Woodbury Outfitters is based in Coshocton and the St. Clairsville location became Miller's first expansion of the company he and his wife began.
After two months of transitioning and monitoring sales receipts, Miller is more than pleased with the results so far as his company makes its foray into the Ohio Valley outdoor market.
"It's been exceptional," Miller said. "Far better than I expected. It's been very brisk and I'm extremely pleased. Our business model has always been we'd rather make $10 10 times per day than $50 once per day and I think the consumers in that area are really responding to that."
That business model is what led the Miller's to open their initial store and also what led Miller to tap into the local market.
It also helped that Miller was familiar with the Ohio Valley from personal experiences.
"I think this is a growing area," Miller said. "And I've hunted down there in years' past and always enjoyed being in that part of Ohio.
"We'd been looking at expanding into that part of Ohio for a while now, so when (former co-owner) Chuck (Bell) contacted me and said they were looking to sell, naturally I was interested."
Bell owned Hidden Valley Outdoors along with Allen Jaworski and Anthony Borkoski.
Borkoski has stayed on as store manager, helping the transition to a larger, more diverse inventory and more employees on a workforce that has nearly doubled since Miller took over.
Keeping Borkoski on was a perfect idea for Miller.
"Honestly, he was the best qualified candidate," Miller said of Borkoski. "He's a seasoned veteran. He knows the area and the customers. It was a perfect fit."
Miller noted the inventory has grown exponentially and Woodbury Outfitters is offering a more diverse line of products at its new location just outside of St. Clairsville on U.S. 40.
While the St. Clairsville location doesn't have near the square footage of the Coshocton store, space for inventory is not a problem.
"It's a smaller store than our (Coshocton) location, but we have trucks running daily taking inventory down to St. Clairsville," Miller said.
Given the facility's proximity to I-70, getting trucks in and out of Woodbury quickly is not a problem.
Miller is looking to continue to offer Ohio Valley residents quality outdoor gear at excellent prices.
So far, things have gone better than expected. It's a trend he's hoping continues.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.