MONTPELIER, Vt. (BRAIN) — When retailer Onion River Sports closed its doors after 43 years in business last December, an outpouring of community support made it possible for the store’s former manager, Kip Roberts, and his wife, Jen, to purchase the business.
The shop was rebranded Onion River Outdoors and reopened in the same 7,500 square location in downtown Montpelier in May. Roberts launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this spring to help buy inventory.
“We’d had some lenders come in with some of the financing. So many people in the community said they would put money into this venture but we didn’t want to put our hands out and say, ‘hey, give us money.’ But we ended up launching the Indiegogo where every donation was pre-purchased store credit,” Roberts said. “Between that and the other checks people wrote us, we hit our goal of $85,000. Those people who just gifted us money wouldn’t take store credit when we offered. A lot of people just want to see their downtown survive and be vibrant. They understand the value of supporting the brick and mortar.”
Former Onion River Sports owner Andrew Brewer, who still owns the building where Onion River Outdoors …read more