Behind the desk

Company name: Canoe Mountain Outfitters, or CMO

Address: 1636 Turkey Valley Road, Hollidaysburg

Telephone number: 573-6800/935-2013

Position: Owner/operator

Years with company: Five

Family: Wife, Danielle, and 1-year-old son, Samuel

What products or services does your company provide?

We are a full-service bait and tackle shop that also does fishing rod repairs and builds all types of custom fishing rods from ice rods to fly rods and everything in between to customer specifications. We also can guide the customer through the selection of components needed for their custom rods.

Our products range from mainstream brand-name tackle and lures to custom lures, jigs and plastics, which we hope to continually grow and expand.

Additionally, we sell kayaks, namely Ascend, with a focus on fishing-type kayaks.

Finally, we are always willing to take time to take a beginner out into the yard and teach them how to cast, tie a hook or rig a bait.

Who are your customers?

From beginners to advanced, from young to old, we have every type of fisherman walk through the door.  Along with fishermen, we are frequented by pet owners looking for food for their birds, reptiles and fish.

What is your business day like?

When I am in the shop, I am usually engaging in conversations with customers, discussing where the fishing is best, what the latest innovations may be and what is working where. After hours, a lot of time is spent doing rod repairs, building rods, restocking, reordering, researching suppliers, packing bait and, of course, record keeping.

What is the best business advice you have received?

The best advice I’ve received is to continually look forward and be humble enough to recognize mistakes. For example, looking forward may mean innovating a way to better serve the customer, developing a new lure or designing a rod for a specific purpose. Recognizing mistakes and learning from them enables you to look forward and be innovative.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned on the job?

The customer is the life blood of the business. I feel a responsibility to try and get to know the customer to best help the customer. As a result of doing this, I have made some great friendships and in turn, customers have provided me with great ideas and feedback to help the business. Simply put, there is more to a business than a transaction.

What does the future hold?

CMO will begin to expand and focus more on custom lures, fly fishing and custom rods. With all the big box stores, it’s difficult to compete on the main stream brands. CMO wants to become an outlet for custom baits, lures, flies and rods that can’t be found “just anywhere.” For example, we recently launched our own line of custom tungsten ice fishing jigs — with more tungsten-related tackle on the way — that is the same great quality of major brand names without the price tag.

What have you read lately that has influenced your business life?

I find myself continually reading research related to fishing, fisheries conservation, fisheries management and aquaculture. I also read business-related websites and magazines looking for ideas, answers and strategies.

If you want your business to be featured in the Mirror’s Behind the Desk series, call 946-7467.

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