Business Close-Up: Northland Marine the place for outdoor gear
One of the great things about shopping locally is meeting the people, face-to-face, that have worked so hard to bring commerce to an area, and that’s what Laura and Mike Boers have been doing for almost 36 years at their Northland Marine store in Three Lakes. Every customer that walks through their door is greeted with a friendly smile and hello, and helpful service is only a question away.
Over the years the focus of this business has changed, while the name of it has not. Many might think boat repair and sales are the name of the game here, but in reality this inviting and charming shop is filled with a multitude of brand name clothing, footwear and so much more. However, they do specialize in one outdoor marine item, Minn Kota trolling motors, and they are a factory authorized service center. In fact, their sales tech, Jason Kral, is known as the “Minn Kota Whisperer” and has embraced this part of Northland Marine enthusiastically.
Jason makes sure customers that come in with Minn Kota trolling motor troubles walk out the door with either a personalized parts kit so they can fix the problem successfully themselves, or he will find a solution himself, getting eager anglers back up and out fishing again.
“We have been told by MinnKota that we are by far their largest parts dealer worldwide” said Laura. “We know this is a good product, and our customers appreciate that we have someone like Jason who knows the products inside and out.”
Northland Marine also has a large selection of brand new MinnKota motors to choose from, in addition to factory reconditioned motors that are easy on the pocket book.
But trolling motors aren’t all that Northland Marine has to offer. This store is filled with popular brand name clothing for outdoor enthusiasts in any time of year. Since the summer season is upon us, of course swim suits, sunglasses and comfy shirts and shorts are the main focus. Swimsuits by Roxy, Quiksilver, Billabong and Raisins are offered, and sandals and shoes by Sanuk, Merrell and Earth Shoe are available too. If you are in the market for a pair of sunglasses, Northland Marine has a huge selection of brand names such as Maui Jim, Oakley and Native, in addition to reading sunglasses and floating ones as well. Sundresses, sun hats, and lots of other fun summer fashion is available in men, women and children sizes. In fact, guys will really appreciate the large selection of items made just for them and available at Northland Marine. Water sport toys are also available, including water ski equipment, wake boards, towable tubes and ski ropes.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the cold weather in the Northwoods, and now is a good time to purchase clothing for this time of year, especially at Northland Marine. All brand name winter apparel is on sale at very affordable prices. Columbia boots and clothing, Woolrich coats, shirts and blankets are all on sale, in addition to lots of other cold weather items, such as wool socks and fleece slippers.
Shopping at Northland Marine is truly a family experience. Some of the 12 or so employees have been here for more than 20 years. Laura’s dad Roy Sobolik, who recently turned 90, is the business’s webmaster, while his wife, Gene is the bookkeeper. Keeping up with the times has always been a priority here, and customers can order an item not available in the store, or have something delivered to a loved one by mail order.
And each and every customer is only a stranger once at Northland Marine. “We live in a vacation type of community, and when people visit us, we want to make their experience a memorable one,” said Laura. “That’s important to us.”
Northland Marine is located at 6991 School St., just one block off Superior Street (which is the main street) in Three Lakes. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, call (715) 546-2333, or visit northlandmarine.com.