John Rich, an immigrant from England, built a woolen mill in 1830. Little did he know what that mill would evolve into.
Today the Woolrich brand name has become synonymous with outdoor apparel.
During the logging era, Rich would visit lumber camps selling his woolen fabrics. The loggers' wives would use the fabrics to construct various garments.
Items that may be found at the Woolrich
store's 31,000 square foot floor are furnitture, home decor and apparel.
Rich also sold items such as socks, coverlets and yarn. All of his merchandise was sold from a mule cart he traveled with.
Three decades later soldiers of the Civil War found themselves in need of warmth.
Rich provided the soldiers with blankets.
Today Woolrich has become a quality store that individuals will travel the distance to shop its 31,000 square feet of merchandise.
"It progressed from a small woolen mill to an apparel wholesaler and manufacturer. At the store, we primarily sell Woolrich apparel and outerwear," said David Becker, store operations manager.
In 1979, the store was moved from its original building to the store that showcases its seemingly endless stock of apparel for everyone, including the traditional outdoor gear, expected from Woolrich.
Other items that may be found at Woolrich are blankets, pillows, bedding, home de'cor, bath accessories, outdoor furniture, wall dcor, area rugs, everyday clothing foot wear and pajamas.
Gift cards may be purchased at the store as well.
Over the years, the new building has experienced expansions. In addition to the merchandise floor, the building is home to an additional 8,000 square feet, totaling 40,000 square feet in all.
The original building is still a valuable part of Woolrich's history and can be seen standing today in good condition.
"Woolrich is very good to its employees. They have a very good benefit package. They also provide training as needed and support the employees with any tools and support they need in order to achieve their goals," Becker said.
According to Becker, what separates Woolrich from other similar retailers is the high quality and the value received for the product.
There is a mixture of about three dozen full and part-time individuals that are employed at the Woolrich store.
The store also received an Excellence in Customer Service award in 2007.
According to Becker, customer service is one area where Woolrich is always strives to be their best.
"We try to be engaged with the customer and help them with their needs and sharing product knowledge. I think our customer service has helped generate our return visits," Becker said.
According to Becker, they receive a lot of return business, including individuals who will travel a considerable distance to buy the merchandise.
Online orders are available as well.
The company as a whole also donates to local charities, one being Relay for Life.
"Basically, we are an enjoyable shopping environment that features the quality of Woolrich. Our feedback is that we are friendly and helpful" Becker said.
The store hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Individuals may contact the store at 769-7401 or by accessing the Web site at www.woolrich.com