PANAMA CITY – Ronnie Groom’s legacy will be kept in the crosshairs at C&G Sporting Goods as the downtown store moves into new ownership.
The groom sold the local business about a week ago. He said that after 60 years in business, it was just “his time to move on”. The knowledgeable staff that the community has relied on over the years for its hunting and fishing needs will be retained during the changeover.
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“I hate to go, but I love the business. We have an enormous clientele and an enormous staff. People interested in outdoor sports have come to the right place – C&G Sporting Goods, ”said Groom.
He added, “I will be 86 this summer. It’s time to move. I’ve been here for 60 years. It’s long gone for me to be gone. ”
C&G is located at 137 Harrison Ave. and began as a company marketing equipment and selling equipment to sports programs at sports schools in Panhandle and southern Alabama. When Groom joined, the business expanded in part to include hunting, fishing, and archery.
New owners Scott Pippin and Zack Sanchez, as well as business partner Nate Taylor, intend to polish the pillars of C&G by focusing on tradition, community and innovation.
“If what we do doesn’t fall within these three pillars, we have nothing to do with it. And that keeps us focused on our purpose, ”said Taylor, a Bay High School teacher who has been to the shop since he was a teenager. “People got injured because of a lot of goods, and that will definitely change in the next three to five weeks. We should stock up on pretty much anything our consumers want or need. ”
The store will be redesigned to promote fishery, maritime and aquatic goods – an addition to the new traffic likely to come with the repair of the St. Joe Co.’s under construction City Marina and Hotel Indigo property under construction .
“So we want to develop with that too,” said Taylor. “We want to be innovative, but we want to keep our tradition. We found a pretty good way to do that. I think people will be surprised what they see when they walk through the door. ”
With a height of more than 3 meters, a female grizzly bear dominates the main room directly behind the entrance. The nameless bear has been with C&G for about 25 years. Taylor said he plans to invite the store’s customers and social media followers to choose a name for them, bearing in mind that she is the manager of the “complaints department” is.
“We’re with Bernice, Beatrice, Jane and Karen – because it says ‘Complaints,’ so ‘just go to Karen’. We could get her her own business cards, ”he chuckled.
It’s that kind of fun-loving, welcoming demeanor that will build on what Groom established at the core of the business six decades ago.
“This has always been a Christian-oriented family business, and it will stay that way. And that’s a great thing. I would like it that way, ”said the groom. “I’ll just point in a different direction and stay busy – catching up on the fishing, hanging out with my friends, and visiting with these guys. They are great guys; I think the world of everyone. “