An obsession with adventure and a career in supporting ecommerce systems for companies led Greg Kjono to open an outdoor store of his own in Pocatello, Idaho.
Idaho Adventure Sports welcomed its first customers on March 11 into the 1,600-square-foot space, packed mostly with climbing gear but also hiking and camping essentials.
“I’m kind of a gear junkie myself,” Kjono said. “It’s like a big toy box for me.”
The store is staffed by Kjono, his wife Joanna, his son, Chris, and his daughter-in-law, Fern. But like any business in the beginning, they want to grow and specifically into Pocatello’s go-to climbing, mountaineering, and backpacking outfitter.
Gear is sold both online and in the store. But some items, such as hiking shoes, are only available by walking through the doors. Display cases made by Kjono show off brand new quick draws and carabiners. Chalk bags, climbing ropes, apparel, backpacking food, and backpacks hang on floor racks. A couch positioned in front of a TV and a table with stacks of magazines create a lounge area. And a climbing porta-ledge hangs like a piece of art.
“We want to offer everything you could possibly need to do the sports you want, whether it’s climbing or alpine climbing or backpacking,” Kjono said. “I know that a lot of the stuff I have might never sell, but I don’t want you to come in looking for something and not be able to get it.”
They even sell gear for children and dogs, which Greg Kjono said is hard to come by in town.
In the winter, they’ll swap inventory to ice climbing, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing and ski touring. Eventually, Greg Kjono wants to bring in river kayaks and play boats, but only if they have more floor space. Despite starting small, the community has taken notice.
“It’s so great seeing local climbers come in here so excited,” said Joanna Kjono. “They just light up and they say, ‘We can’t believe we have access to all this stuff and we don’t have to order online and return it if we don’t like it.’ There are some people that say, I’ll come back tomorrow because my wife is waiting in the car. And sure enough at 10:05 a.m., they’ll be walking through the door. They love it.”
Meet another Idaho gear nut: Chris Haunold, owner of Idaho Mountain Touring in Boise. Watch our video about how Haunold decides what to sell in the shop.