Joe Barbiero started his career selling sporting and outdoor goods at the age of 12. In the last 20 years he has mastered the art of combining work with his passion for the outdoors. Stocking products on shelves and serving customers all began in his dad’s sporting goods store in a small town in Utah. With his background, he didn’t skip a beat when he started working for Sportsman’s Warehouse in 2005 as a fishing sales associate. Soon, he went from fishing sales associate all the way up to store manager with a few other title changes along the way.
As many companies suffered in the 2008 recession, Sportsman’s Warehouse went from 70 stores nationwide down to 25. The Coon Rapids location in the current Dick’s Sporting Goods in Riverdale was home to the store in 2002-2009. Although the Coon Rapids location and dozens of other stores closed across the country, Sportsman’s Warehouse revised its business plan, transitioned to new ownership, made improvements and has been able to grow the business back up to 93 stores over the last 10 years.
Barbiero was up to the challenge and accepted an offer to move from Utah to Coon Rapids, Minnesota to launch the new Sportsman’s Warehouse location in the Riverdale Shopping area. In a short amount of time, he began to oversee the final stages of construction, hire dozens of staff members and provide training and orientation for the new team members. Barbiero and his crews worked 10-12 hour shifts as the store went from empty to completely set up and stocked in 10 days, ready to open its doors July 2018.
Sportsman’s Warehouse sells a wide-range of sporting goods products such as anything related to hunting, camping and fishing. Staff members are ready to help with the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses, as well as educate what products to buy and how to use them.
“One of my favorite interactions with a customer is when someone comes back in to the store and tells me their success story, for example when I set them up with a rod and reel to catch a walleye and they bring in photos of the fish they were able to catch,” Barbiero says.
Barbiero says the community has been very welcoming as Coon Rapids Sportsman’s Warehouse recently reached their one-year milestone. The store is now gearing up for a busy hunting season followed by the holiday season and will be looking to hire more friendly staff members. While he tries to find people that are knowledgeable in a specialized outdoors area, he says if someone is willing to learn, he is willing to teach. “It’s a fun industry to work in” Barbiero says, “We’re happy to be back! Come in and see us, we would love to help you enjoy the outdoors like we do!”
- Address: 3420 124th Ave. NW
- Barbiero is an angler with fly fishing experience, but he is eager to learn more about Minnesota fishing.
- Sportsman’s Warehouse offers events and seminars throughout the year for anyone looking to learn more and improve their skills.