Great Outdoor Provision Co., the southeast’s largest independent specialty outdoor retailer since 1972 was acquired by local staff in 2013.  In January of 2013, Raleigh, NC native and founder Tom Valone announced that longtime employees had taken a major equity investment in the company.

The new ownership team is made up of veterans Molly Cherry, Travis Zarins, and Chuck Millsaps, the company’s Minister of Culture who will serve as the company’s new president. Valone remains on as chairman of the board and added “Each of these individuals do a better job than I ever did when I was in their shoes. They’ve been outfitting folks with quality gear for a long time and they love the outdoors and our customers as much as I do.”

“A lot has changed in 50 years but much remains the same,” remarked Molly Cherry, VP of Retail Support. “Our mule-team has over 90 years of cumulative experience. We will continue our legacy to save the wild places in North Carolina.” A significant amount of company profits are given away each year to support local environmental efforts. Not your typical corporate behavior. But Valone is not your typical executive.

“Equity groups kept pitching me to expand like wildfire and then sell-out.” Valone shakes his head. “But that’s not the adventure we intended. This transaction maintains our environmental legacy, protects our employees, and guarantees our loyal customers that Great Outdoor Provision Co. will remain the same great experience they have always enjoyed.

Travis Zarins, VP of Merchandise explained, “Our hand-picked product selection and friendly staff make us different from big-box retailers in the area.” Located in neighborhood shopping centers from Charlotte to Wilmington, the company’s 9 locations total nearly 100,000 square feet and feature brands like Patagonia, The North Face and Hobie Kayak.

“Without question, the greatest asset at Great Outdoor Provision Co. is our people,” responded Molly Cherry, VP of Retail Support. “We will always be a place to not only purchase great outdoor brands, but a friendly place to get information and meet others who are excited about getting outside. We are looking forward to growing this company over the next 50 years.”