Business Spotlight: Stone Harbor

Minnesota Business

January 14, 2018

Christina|Lake Time Magazine

After first heading to the BWCA a few years before it was declared a wilderness area, 1962, I continued to take a trip or two a year. It was an annual trip with family and on some occasions friends. My kids all took their first trip around the age of 3 or 4. It seemed that every time I got to my favorite town, Grand Marais, I was always missing something. One time I forgot my boots. All I had was sandals and I certainly did not want to spend a week in the backcountry in sandals. I did find a place open to buy boots but sizes were limited and only one model was displayed. So I bought a pair a size too small. It worked but I was a little blistered. I had a background in outdoor retail having worked for Eddie Bauer in their heyday, early 70's. I thought what this area really needed was a full service high adventure outdoor shop. There were places in town where one could, and still can, fill in last minute needs. I had a vision for a shop that would be full service.

9 years ago I purchased Superior Coastal Sports and remodeled, expanded and opened in June 2010. I opened it with a few qualifications. I want guests in my shop, not customers. I want those guests to be all treated the same. I want the silent sports participants treated the same as the motor sports folks. All are welcome. I do not want an elitist shop where people are talked down to. We want to hear your stories and your adventures. Yes, we will share our stories with you if you like but it is your story we want to hear. Your experiences can be passed on to other guests to help them better enjoy their trip. When you bring your family in for a tour we want your kids to be able to tell their kids someday what the trip of a lifetime was like. 

Nothing makes me happier than to be able spend time with our guests when they return year after year. I watch their kids grow up. I get to visit them when they come in on their honeymoons, anniversaries and holidays. It is like seeing old friends over and over. If you want high adventure, great equipment, advice or just a pair of socks, stop on in. We sell everything from canoes and kayaks to key chains. We will sell to you or rent to you. We can help fill in your outfitting needs for your trip. We can refer you to a full service outfitter if you need everything.  

Next time you come to Grand Marais, turn south, toward the lake, at the only stop light in the county. In one block you will see Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply next to the Cook County Co-op. Lots of parking in the city lot. We will be honored to make your acquaintance.  

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply opened in June of 2010. Our philosophy from when we opened has not changed. 


Our Mission

The mission of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply is to help customers of all ages and experience levels to enjoy the beauty of Northern Minnesota while participating in outdoor activities.  We do this by providing high-quality gear and supplies for all seasons, as well as expert advice and guided tour opportunities. 

Our Vision

Our vision is to become a top destination for all visitors to Grand Marais, and something that draws new people to the area. We want to be well-known as a place that can give them the inside scoop on what to do, as well as how to do it.  Our goal is to help hundreds of new people per year develop a passion for the outdoors, while still providing challenging opportunities for those who are already outdoor enthusiasts.  In either case, we will strive to be an integral part in making sure our guests can't wait for their next visit to Grand Marais. 

Our Values 

  • Equity among our guests; whether you are an outdoor newbie or seasoned veteran, a cross-country skier or snowmobiler, you will feel welcome here. 
  • Environmentally-friendly efforts that genuinely make sense.  Our "green" efforts aren't a marketing tool; they are an extension of our passion for the outdoors. 
  • Educating and equipping guests to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.  We want to be part of the experience with you, and are here to help. 
  • Quality over cost.  We don't sell based on price points, we sell based on what we know works.  Our more expensive items aren't based on status, they are based on quality.