REEDSVILLE - Jim Ream originally wanted to open his business, Valley Sports -n- Outdoors LLC, in Reedsville, but it was only recently that he was able to move his store to the complex that also houses Dutch Country Inn.
Located at 7920 state Route 655, Suite 3, Reedsville, the new location offers almost triple the space of the old store in Derry Township, which was also difficult for customers to find.
"Higher visibility is really what I was going for," Ream said.
Sentinel photo by KIM?HAYES
Jim Ream’s store, Valley Sports -n- Outdoors, is open for business in its new location in Reedsville.
Ream carries a variety of archery, fishing, fly fishing, camping, kayaking, hunting, water sports and team sports equipment in the store, with more available by special order. The team sports he focuses on are softball, baseball, football, soccer, volleyball and field hockey, with some basketball thrown into the mix as well. He sells live bait as well.
The archery portion of the business is Ream's specialty.
"I'm a full archery pro shop with Hoyt Archery and Bear Archery," he said.
Customers looking for a bow can shoot it before purchasing it and then Ream can customize it, making sure it is set up properly for the
individual. He also offers customization services for people who purchased elsewhere.
"I can work on any bow here," he said.
Toward the end of the year, customers will be able to practice at the store as well.
"We're adding - in the fall - a video archery range and a batting cage," he said.
Ream also offers kayak rentals, which allows people to enjoy a day on the water or try the kayaks he sells before they buy one. He charges $25 for a 24-hour single-person kayak rental or $35 for a tandem, or two-person, kayak rental. The rental fee includes paddles, life vests and whistles.
Valley Sports -n- Outdoors has a price matching policy too, with proof of the competitor's price, Ream said.
He offers a 10 percent discount to all military personnel who present a military ID or proof of service and there is a VIP program for organization members. He defines this as "any organization that (people) have to spend money to join," like Little League, the National Rifle Association, Belleville Athletic Association or a sportsmen's club. The VIP program does not include scholastic sports, but Ream said many scholastic athletes are members of a qualifying organization anyway.
"I know how expensive it is to have a child in sports," Ream said.
He shot competitive archery for 12 years. He played baseball until he was 24 and slow-pitch softball until age 30. Then his children, Rylie, now 16, and Jaden, now 12, got involved in sports and he began coaching Little League girls fast-pitch softball. He also ran Foxpro's indoor 3-D range for five years.
He started his business in January 2011 as a sole-proprietorship, filling orders on a case-by-case basis out of his home. He opened the Derry Township store in January 2012 and moved to the Reedsville location at the end of May.
Jim wants customers to feel at home in his new store, not pressured.
"I pride myself in customer service. That is the most important feature, I feel, at Valley Sports -n- Outdoors," he said.
Valley Sports -n- Outdoors is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The store is closed on Sundays and Mondays.