Since 1974, Appalachian Outdoors has been a part of the Heart of Happy Valley. They may have moved locations throughout the years, but their heart is here.
Geoff Brugler, the owner of Appalachian Outdoors, started his business back when “The Old Guard” (the older generation of Happy Valley business owners) were still large and in charge. Now, he happily assumes the role of being one of those business owners who has been around for quite some time.
Brugler has his heart in Happy Valley, not just his business.
“State College is everything. It’s one of the best towns in the country to live in. My kids grew up here and went to school here. I graduated from Penn State, I’m a season ticket holder and a wrestling fan. It’s my heart and soul. I’ve been here since I was 17.”
The key to Brugler’s success has been his integrity throughout the years. Appalachian Outdoors does not shy away from going the extra mile to give their customers the ultimate experience in their store.
“We try to develop a reputation where people feel like they can trust us and trust their business with us. They can feel safe dealing with us. We have really customer friendly policies. We spend a lot of time on customer service, developing new processes and programs. We do a lot of training so that the staff knows what they’re doing and they know what we sell. We spend a lot of time on education for us so that we can teach customers. We have a strong moral compass, not just in what our outward face is, but what we do inwardly. We are very team oriented.”
Brugler loves his employees just as much as he loves his customers. The Appalachian Outdoors family has grown throughout the years, even spawning a few marriages between employees, with countless couples falling in love there too.
Brugler loves being a local business. He knows that he can do everything big box retail can do, and even more.
“We can tick off all of the big box store boxes. We even match pricing for people now too.
We contribute back to the community. You have to make it worth it to come into your business.”
You can visit Appalachian Outdoors at 131 South Allen Street in Downtown State College.