With experience of over 30 years in the skiing, biking, canoeing and camping industry, Andy is one of the guys that our customers are always asking for, particularly during the nordic ski season. In his early years in the business, Andy was a manager at the Dayton's Ski Shop (Yes, they had a ski shop). After a stint in management at Carson's downtown he was employed at Hoigaard's and has been here for about 16 years.
Andy is the official voice of Hoigaard's. His pleasant elocution welcomes you on the phone anytime you call us, providing you with store hours, directions and the latest sale information.
In Andy's opinion, if it's outdoors and non motorized, it's good. He grew up canoeing and camping, then started skiing in the 70's and nordic racing in the 80's. He's canoed the Boundary Waters and the sub arctic, paddled in many competitive canoe races and skied most nordic ski races in the midwest. In the winter, when he's not selling skis, he coaches the nordic ski team at Edina High School - grooming ski trails and young skiers. Off-season (for Andy, "off-season" is summer), his favorite toys are his solo race canoe, his bike and his rollerskis. As long as Mother Nature keeps saying it's ok to play outside, Andy will cooperate.
Sally first worked in the outdoor industry at Alpine Ski Shop in 1979 and '80. She started at Hoigaard's during the 1981 Tent Sale and has been here as a part-time employee ever since. (Our part-time employees have more experience than most shop's full-time staff.) And she is a gem to work with, at least on days when she isn't being "Bossy Sally".
If Sally was limited to one outdoor activity for the rest of her life, there would be no hesitation. Golf. When Sally travels, the focus of most trips is golf. When she has a day off, the focus is golf. She has been involved with the MN Women's Golf Association. She hob nobs with the famous people of Minnesota on the golf course. Sally loves golf.
That being said, Sally is far from one-dimensional. What drew her to Alpine and then to Hoigaard's was her enjoyment of downhill skiing. Other winter pursuits include x-c skiing and snowshoeing. Sailing and snorkling in the Virgin Islands rank high on her list of favorites. And most people don't know that Sally was a runner earlier in life. She enjoyed 10k races and worked up to a half marathon. More recently, that running has moderated to a healthy walk - in the local parks, on the treadmill and on the golf links.
Sally presides over a beautiful garden at home, enjoys reading, and in some of her most satisfying work she is a volunteer for Juvenile Diabetes Research. Being a good Pole, her favorite food is Kramarczuk polish sausage (especially when cheering at Target Field), but beyond that, she appreciates a wide range of good food and is a master of culinary skills herself. Sally and her husband Neal are serious Golden Gopher boosters, on a first name basis with the head coaches. That Sally - she's a well rounded lady.
Dan has been playing with bikes all his life. He has worked (he might not call it work) in the bike business for 23 years. The last 7 years have been at Hoigaard's where he buys the bikes and services them as head mechanic. Before Hoigaard's he was with Kenwood Cyclrey from '95 to '04 and before that he spent 5 years at Now Sports. He has been intimate with bicycles for a long time.
Dan has a well rounded outdoor life. Beyond his obvious love of bikes, he is an avid alpine skier and skater (on ice and on asphalt) - hockey is an important part of his life. His preferred water sports are sailing and swimming. On the more sedentary side, he'll never turn down a good picnic.
When asked about himself, he was quoted as saying "I am an overweight cyclist, great on downhills, horribly slow uphill. Thankfully it helps for downhill skiing (gravity works)." If weight is an issue, he can blame his professed love of beer and pizza. (But then who doesn't love beer and pizza?)
Dan has been teaching our clinic on bicycle maintenance for years, both here at the store and out in the community. He has trained hundreds of cyclers to become more self-reliant at performing their own basic bike care.
Doc is happiest on the water. He has often said that his last day on earth he wants to be loaded into a kayak and pushed out to sea. His world revolves around kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards and everything associated with them. He buys the boats, teaches the boat classes, works the weekly boat demos, does the boat repairs and most important, he helps our customers find the perfect boat for a satisfying on-water experience. Doc has been the face of Hoigaard's Paddlesports for over 30 years.
His well-known moniker "Doc" evolved at Hoigaard's from his last name, Drone. His name transitioned first to Dr.One and then to the abbreviated "Doc" (you know, single name like Cher or Bono).
He grew up camping with his parents and was lucky to have that imprinted in his DNA. Although he has a business major he gets more joy passing on his love and enthusiasm for the outdoors than he does sitting in front of a computer or in an office (though he does his share of number crunching for Hoigaard's and with his accounting business, particularly around April 15).
He has paddled everything that floats in the store, but he also is skilled in other areas. Hiking, camping, and nordic skiing are all well known to Doc. His interests also expand into more adrenaline pumping pursuits; alpine ski racing, scuba diving, sky diving and kite sailing.
On most days you'll find Chris staffing our apparel department, though he can cross departments and offer sound advice around the store. He's been working his magic here since the fall of 2008. He's a versatile guy who recently became Hoigaard's footwear buyer. His first goal as the new buyer is to increase our focus on technical footwear to support the camping and paddlesports departments. That said, he promises to continue with a good mix of the casual sandals and shoes long popular at Hoigaard's.
Chris has some serious credentials as a camping/paddlesport professional. He has ventured north to the Boundary Waters (and beyond) every summer since 1993. His base of operations since '98 has been the YMCA Camp Widjiwagan on Burntside Lake where for the past 7 years he has been a trip leader, guiding fledglings into remote wilderness settings. We're talking arctic river trips and mountain backpacking treks beyond any communication or access to the outside world - and he hasn't lost a camper (yet). It helps that he is trained as a Wilderness First Responder - he can deal with those little emergencies that crop up from time to time.
When he is not guiding others and if the water levels cooperate Chris is a devotee of whitewater canoeing and kayaking. He can perform a mean eskimo roll. When in town he is a cyclist and bike commuter.
It's rare to see Chris without a cup of good coffee in his hand, so it's not surprising that coffee is the the first thing on his "list of favorites". Beyond coffee he mentions hops (home grown, in his case), portaging (most canoe campers prefer the part between the portages) and the crossbow draw (for those who are "Canoe" literate). His favorite piece of camping gear is the Backwood Bistro Coffee Press.
When asked about his least favorite things he vilifies humidity, macro-beer, inefficiency and potholes. He would go on if we gave him more room.
For hobbies at home he's an avid gardener and cook (using home grown vegies and herbs) and he belongs to the growing cadre of Hoigaard's home brewers, producing quality beers with his home-grown hops. If it's not a cup of coffee in his hand, it's likely to be a pint of home brew.
Brian started at Hoigaard's in September of 2011, accepting the new role of Floor Manager with responsibility for daily floor operations and management. Brian's considerable background in ski industry and retail management plus his on-snow experience make him a perfect fit for the job. His skills as a Master Boot Fitter is the added bonus he brings to Hoigaard's sales floor.
For the past twelve years, Brian has been the General Manager of Pierce Skate and Ski in Bloomington. Before that he held management positions at Galyan’s and The Sports Authority. He serves as a Board Member and Event Chairman for Padraig’s Place/Special Kid Care, and as Director of Adaptive Skiing at Buck Hill Ski Area, he has been instrumental in bringing adaptive skiing equipment and instruction to Buck. He is an avid ski racer, coached by Gaylord Gladwin, who has been attending summer race camp on Mt. Hood for 11 years. Brian is also an active volunteer with the National Ski Patrol and has been a PSIA Certified Ski Instructor for 15 years. Brian has some serious ski credentials!
On the personal side, Brian was born in Chicago, the youngest of six. Early in his career, back when he was "young and stupid" (his words), he worked a fishing boat in Alaska. You'll have talk with him about that once-in-a-lifetime experience! He is a married man who moved to the Twin Cities in 1995 to seek his fortune and fame. It is our good fortune that his path led to Hoigaard's.
After the the snow melts, Brian enjoys inline skating, cycling and travel with family (his wife Eileen, Padraig and Fionnuala). As a former citizen of the Windy City, he developed a taste for pizza, Chicago-style. As is fitting for a member of Hoigaard's staff he prefers to complement that pizza with a good beer. His preference? New Belgian Fat Tire.
We are excited to have Brian’s energy, experience and reputation on the Hoigaard’s Team.
Jim was a good fit for Hoigaard's camp shop when he started here back in 1975. He was already an experienced backpacker, canoe camper, and cross country skier. He already owned a kayak and had seen miles as a bicycle tourer. He was from a family that loved camping (mainly of the car camping variety) and he had been in a scout troop that preferred the Rocky Mountains, Isle Royale and the BWCA over the local scout jamboree.
Jim has experienced Hoigaard's through multiple transitions over the years. Not many employees can remember when Hoigaard's canvas and awning manufacturing was in the back of the retail store. Granted, that was before he started here, but he remembers it - as a Hoigaard's customer, buying x-c skis in the early '70's.
For Jim, that perfect moment as an outdoor enthusiast occurs when your kayak first breaks free of the shoreline and begins its glide across the water. It also happens when your bike wheels first start their roll or when your skis first begin to slide. It's the transition from static to free movement that stands out. (It's kind of a zen thing.) Of course everything that comes after that is pretty good too.
Away from Hoigaard's Jim is an avid baker (hasn't bought a loaf of bread in years), enjoys backyard gardening and amateur bird watching (the nation's #1 outdoor activity). At Hoigaard's he currently divides his time between the computer (maintaining the company website, writing the monthly e-newsletter), organizing special events like the Canoe Derby and working the retail floor where he will assist you in the camp, paddlesports and x-c ski departments.
Bill has been a fixture in Hoigaard's ski & bike shop for 15 years. Working as a part-time employee Bill has made an impact on the retail floor with his organizational skills - this year his goal has been to develop new informative signs for each model of bike and inline skate on display. That's a lot of signs and a lot of information. He always strives knows as much as possible about any given product before he presents it to a customer. Working as an elementary school teacher for many years helped instilled that desire to always learn more, and he passes that knowledge on to you.
His favorite outdoor activity is inline skating. He glides through the Minneapolis parks and participates in the regional inline events. Next in line is alpine skiing, particularly Big Sky's steep & deep. Locally he has been a ski instructor/director at Blizzard Ski School for 20+ years. His other sports are hunting, camping, biking and backpacking - Bill enjoys being active outside. He also enjoys inside time at the gym with spinning and strength training.
When asked about his favorite food, his reply was "Reservations".