Mel’s Sport Shop in Spicer Celebrates 60 Years of Business
Mel’s Sport Shop in Spicer has been a destination for travellers from all around Minnesota for decades— even drawing in customers from Canada, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.
With 22,000 square feet, they boast a large selection of sporting goods. From fishing poles to fishing rods, bait, tackle, guns, clothing, hunting gear and anything you could possibly need to enjoy summers on the lake, including life jackets, tubes, paddleboards. They have what it takes to make sure you are all set for your next #OnlyinMN outdoor adventure.
In addition, they offer a wide variety of lottery products in their convenience store. Owner Gregory Melges says they enjoy giving people the chance to win. “When people win, they’re excited so it’s fun to see.” And they have had a lot of winners—paying over $1 million in prizes since 1990.
This specialty sport shop is in the big leagues when it comes to outfitting their customers with top-of-the-line gear. Melges says they carry fishing reels that cost upwards of $700 and fishing rods that cost up to $500. “We appeal to a very specific buyer in that regard,” he said. Adding, that they offer gear in all price points to appeal to their diverse clientele.
Mel’s Sport Shop wasn’t always this grand. Gregory started the shop after graduating high school in 1957, with the help of his parents who owned a drive-in restaurant. “I told my folks I was done with the restaurant business. I wanted to do something different,” said Gregory.
That’s when Mel’s Sport shop was born. “We started out real small,” he explained. “We had minnows and fish baskets,” he recalled. “The business has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the years. I have added on nine times to the store.”
Gregory said while the business has changed drastically over the years, his business mantra has not. “I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t have a computer on my desk. I’ve been doing it the same way when I started. And it works. If it works, don’t fix it!” he said.
Gregory’s old-school approach to business ownership hasn’t exactly been passed down to three of his five children who also work at the shop. “They are much more tech savvy than me,” he said with a laugh.
Mel’s Sport Shop has been a family affair since day one. First with his parents, and then his wife of now 55 years, his children and even one of his grandkids occasionally helps out around the shop.
Mel’s Sport Shop will be celebrating their 60th anniversary July 21 – July 31 with daily giveaways. “We always have a sale that time of year, too,” said Gregory. “It gets bigger and bigger every year!”
Next time you’re driving on Highway 23 through Spicer, you’ll want to make a pit stop at Mel’s. With all they have to offer, we think your pit stop will likely turn into an unexpected shopping adventure.