Velo du Nord: Bike, Wellness & Coffee Shop

New in 2019 is Velo du Nord—a small locally-owned Afton business with an interesting combination of cycling, massage, homemade waffles and coffee! Most of us don’t automatically match those four things up together. But for co-owners Bjorn Selander and Sarah Engen, the combination is perfectly natural. Their ideas came out of their personal history and …

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Aqua-Bound: Award-Winning Kayak and SUP Paddle Maker

You’ll find Aqua-Bound’s kayak and stand-up paddles used all over the world. And they’re made at their factory right next door in Osceola, Wisconsin. I have a special place in my heart for this award-winning company: I’ve been writing for their blog since 2016, so I’ve seen a fair amount of their inner workings. They’re …

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Bending Branches: World-Class Paddles made in Osceola, Wisconsin

bending branches canoe paddle

The folks at Bending Branches, just across the river in Osceola, have been designing and manufacturing world-class canoe paddles since 1982. They’ve since added kayak paddles, kayak fishing paddles and stand-up paddle board paddles to their repertoire, and have loyal customers all over the world. I know this company well—I’ve been writing for their blog …

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Cooke Custom Sewing: Serving Canoe Enthusiasts since 1980

Cooke Custom Sewing makes everything you need to outfit yourself for a wilderness canoe trip: packs, tarps, shelters and canoe accessories. They also make expedition-worthy Mukluks. CCS products have been all over the world including both Poles and the Himalayas. Customers have found many other uses for them beyond canoeing, but canoeing is where it …

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Women on the GrOw: Bloom and Grow through Outdoor Travel

kauai mountains and ocean

Women on the GrOw (yes, grammar sticklers, that “O” is capitalized intentionally) is a local women’s travel business that focuses on personal growth through travel and outdoor adventure. Founder and owner, Tracy Blesi (who currently lives in Blaine), is a travel and adventure nut herself, naturally. After years of planning and leading trips all over …

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