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About Us

Coontail's Story

Coontail was founded by the Coon family in 1991 in the small town of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. Since opening, our mission was simple; provide stylish, innovative and high-quality products and back them with exceptional customer service. Since that time we have experienced dramatic growth yet still strive to keep true to Coontail’s heritage.  Coontail is still owned and operated by the Coon family along with our extended family of valued employees. Whether on-line, or at one of their retail locations, our goal is to make your shopping experience as satisfying and enjoyable as possible.

1991 -The Original Coontail Building

Philip Coon had the idea to open a convenience store in the small town of Boulder Junction in 1990 in an existing service station called "Rick's Amoco". He persuaded  Steve and Lisa, who were living in St. John in the Virgin Island to partner with him and his wife Nan and purchase the business. They changed the name of the business to Coontail Corner and off they went.

The first summer they ran the business as it had always been run, as a service station. Steve was changing oil and Lisa was behind the counter ringing out customers and buying alternators and tires.

1992 - Evolution Into A Convenience Store

In the fall of 1991 it was time to transform the old service station into a convenience store. With the help of Jimmy Weston and Lisa's brother Darrell (she only has one) we removed the metal front on the building and added cedar. That same cedar is there today. We also put a gable roof on to go over the existing, very leaky, flat roof. Out went the garage doors and service bays and in came milk, bread and a little bit of clothing.  

1993 - Watersports and Clothing

In the winter of 1992-1993, Lisa and Steve decided to branch out into more clothing and try and leverage Steve's water-sports knowledge with a bit of equipment. Steve's brother Phil had the idea of bringing in kayaks. Although it seemed like a crazy idea at the time it went over amazingly well. Steve would actually drive to Rhinelander to meet the truck to pick up kayaks as the freight truck did not come any further north. They were soon selling kayaks all over northern Wisconsin.  

1996 - A new gas station complex.

In the mid-1990's there was a impending government mandate to update fuel dispensing systems and clean up any contamination associated with petroleum products. They started was a fund called PECFA (Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award) that covered the cost of the cleanup. The work had to be completed by 1998.  

In 1995 the Coon's decided to move forward with the cleanup and equipment replacement along with constructing a new building to house a new convenience store just to the south of the existing store. They broke ground in October of 1996 and completed construction just before Christmas.  

1997 - The Birth Of Coontail Sports

With the convenience store out of the building on the corner, it allowed for expansion into more clothing and equipment. The name (Coontail Corner) also went with the new store so they had to come up something new.....Coontail Sports.

2010 - Expansion To Arbor Vitae

In the depths of the financial crisis Steve and Lisa purchased a building in Arbor Vitae that had been sitting partially completed for a couple of years. It was right on Hwy 51 and gave them the exposure they wanted in order to reach a larger market.  

The building was ideally suited for equipment with tall ceilings and a large showroom. They expanded into docks and lifts as well.

2012 - A New Image

Lisa had always hated with raccoon in the Coontail logo as it did not blend well with stylish clothing. They decided to "nix" the raccoon and go with a new fresh logo and tagline...Coontail, Play In Style.