Central Otago Sports Depot originally opened as a branch of Otago Sports Depot around 1956 in the same location as now...at 25 Tarbert Street, Alexandra. The store is believed to be the oldest retail store in Alexandra still operating at the same site. The store stocked a range of sporting equipment and was able to source additional stock from the parent store in Dunedin.
A series of managers were in place until 1977 when Graeme Middendorf took over the management of the business. He later purchased the business from Otago Sports Depot in July 1981. Graeme and his family operated the business for twenty six more years until 2007 when Graeme's son Stuart, along with his wife Ellen, brought their young family home to Central Otago.
Stu & Ellen continue the story....
The first few years were a massive learning curve, readjusting to life in a smaller rural town, raising two (and soon three!) children and navigating the post GFC economy. We immersed ourselves in this awesome community and life just flew by!
In September 2016, sixty years after the business first opened, the store was expanded to occupy both sides of the existing building at 23/25 Tarbert Street and we continue to offer a wide range of carefully selected sporting & outdoors equipment.
Our emphasis has shifted lately towards ensuring that the products we choose to stock are not just well designed and great value but that they are also kind to our planet. As we order new stock we are considering several other factors; whether they are manufactured here in NZ, or made ethically and sustainably overseas, do they use recycled/renewable/natural materials, how are they packaged and shipped, how long they will last and what will happen to them at the end of their "life"? It's a big challenge in an industry built on volume of fishing lures sold, and with plenty of marketing muscle from big business informing and driving consumer demand, but it is something we are passionate about.
We focus on supporting our Central Otago community through sponsorship and donations, volunteering and supporting local events and initiatives where possible. We appreciate the time and energy other people give to make our community so warm and vibrant and want to continue to support our local area and its people.
We love sharing in the planning of adventures, helping to set up a first time fisher-person or hunter, and sharing the excitement of learning a new sport or hobby. We look forward to seeing you soon!