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Former Soo Thunderbird opens east-end sporting goods store

Kyle Jones combines love of sports and business at Northern Sports Excellence on Trunk Road; 'We don’t want anyone walking out of here disappointed'

After a soft launch last month, a new sporting goods store will officially open tomorrow in the city's east end.

“This idea began to come to fruition two years ago," owner Kyle Jones told SooToday. "I saw an opportunity for something different for myself. I’ve always been intrigued by retail and sports."

Northern Sports Excellence — located at 197 Trunk Rd, Unit 2. — is big on hockey equipment, but also sells gear and apparel for other sports including soccer and the increasingly popular sport of pickleball.

Skate sharpening is available at the store, along with an area where shoppers can test the feel of a hockey stick before making that final purchase by taking shots at an empty net.

The 8,000 square foot business is unique in that it is one of few sporting goods stores located in the city’s east end.

Born and raised in the Sault, Jones has enjoyed playing many sports, listing hockey and golf as his favourites.

He played defence for the Soo Thunderbirds for four seasons and was picked as the NOJHL’s best overall team player for 2004-2005.

He later played hockey and golf for Marian University in Wisconsin.

Having earned a business degree in the U.S., he returned to the Sault and worked in media sales before working with his parents in the restaurant business, then decided to open his own sporting goods business.

“It gives me a sense of joy coming to work every day knowing I’m going to have people walking out of here happy with what they’ve bought," Jones said. "It’s about the customers. We don’t want anyone walking out of here disappointed. That’s my mantra."

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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