It is the perfect combination of active lifestyle, slow-roasted coffee, and spirited spirits that makes Bird’s Eye Outfitters a unique and welcome addition to the Sault Ste. Marie business scene.
Think about it…how often have you wanted to shop with a cocktail in hand? Or sip a latte while dreaming up your next kayak excursion? This Portage Avenue shop feels like it stepped out of the Pacific Northwest, with its barn-wood interior and cool vibe, but it’s better than that. It’s here…in a place where you love to get outdoors. Maybe owner Ken Hopper says it best when he talks about Sault Ste. Marie’s connection to wilds and water.
“We’re surrounded by water, but we are more than just big boats going through the Locks. That is an engineering marvel but Sault Ste. Marie is also a marvel of natural resources.” Ken and his wife, Wilda, had long dreamed of this store and saw their dreams come true in March of 2016.
Now, thanks to their dreams, others immerse themselves in the activities they love, including hiking, kayaking, biking, and any number of other outdoor pursuits.
Those who want to ply the waters of the St. Marys River under their own steam will find plenty of eye-candy at this Downtown location.
Bird’s Eye Outfitters carries Wilderness Pungo Kayaks and Boardworks standup paddleboards, but it’s more than just a sales venue. Instructors are trained to educate on the art of kayaking and paddleboarding. They will be offering workshops to help the beginner and even renting equipment for those wanting to try the experience before purchasing their own kayak or board.
The shop carries all kinds of apparel and footwearfor both men and women and features a variety of name brands, including Lole, Marmot, Salomon, Adidas, Patagonia, and more.
With staff well-versed in the products carried by the store and owners who are committed to creating a place where others can share their passion for sport through workshops, events, and excursions it’s no wonder that Bird’s Eye has clearly become a gathering place in the Soo.
And then there’s the beverages.
Thanks to a lease arrangement with Superior Coffee Roasting Company, the store is buzzing beginning at 7am and it’s still humming into the evening hours, when the bartender pours a cold one from Soo Brewing and other craft beers, or mixes a cocktail from the full bar.
The Hoppers bring a lot of expertise to their new business. Ken has a degree in Outdoor Recreation from Central Michigan University and has spent plenty of time backpacking. Wilda grew up in Florida and finds herself perfectly at home on the water, which is why she will be one of the standup paddleboard instructors.
There’s more that can be said about Bird’s Eye Outfitters, but perhaps it is better experienced. We leave you with this…when we say the new business may very well have the coolest men’s room (yes, I said men’s room) in Sault Ste. Marie…well, it’s worth checking out.
Birds-Eye Outfitters Summer Hours:
Superior Coffee Roasting Company Hours: