by Madison V. Fisler
Jan. 27, 2014. Farmers Ski Shop might just be the oldest ski shop in Boone, but everything the shop offers, from equipment to tune ups and everything in between, remains timeless.
Farmers Ski Shop opened its doors in 1969 on the top floor of what is now the Shoppes at Farmers Hardware. Owned since its inception by the Greene family along with The Shoppes at Farmers Hardware and Farmers Rentals, Farmers Ski Shop is a family operation to its core.
When Cecil Greene first opened the shop in 1969, Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain and Hawksnest Resort (then known as Seven Devils) were in their infancy and Sugar Mountain Resort had not yet been established. Since the beginning, the shop was one of the best places in the region to outfit yourself for the elements and prepare for a day on the slopes.
In 1976, the shop was expanded to its current location on Depot Street by David Greene in a building that served as Boone’s first Ford dealership and as Boone Town Hall.
More than 40 years later, the same spectacular customer service, huge variety and years of knowledge that made Farmers Ski Shop special in its beginnings still runs through the veins of current owners David and Robin Greene.
Though the exterior of the building looks modest, once you step inside the doors it is like walking through a beautifully constructed lodge filled with ski and snowboard paraphernalia. Apparel and equipment line the walls, and it just keeps going. Gloves, hats, jackets, socks, anything you could possibly want for a day on the slopes you can find in the expanses of the shop.
And don’t let the massive inventory scare you. If you need help, the employees are both knowledgeable and ready to help, and are more than willing to help you find what is best for you.
“We are a full-service shop,” said Robin Greene, owner of the ski shop.
“We have all the gear you could possibly need, and we also do full tune ups.”
This year, the safety gear seems to be one of the best sellers.
“We are selling more helmets than anything,” Greene said.
The shop caters to locals and tourists alike, and students are one of the largest portions of clientele, due to the close proximity to campus.
“We love getting people into these kinds of sports, and we see a lot of students come up here for their college orientation who are interested in learning about skiing and snowboarding,” Greene said. “That is always exciting for us. Newbies are always fun and we love to help them.”
In the years that Farmers has existed, the owners have watched kids grow up in the sports and eventually bring their own kids in to get fitted for their first ski gear.
“We have watched people grow in their sports, from their first pair of boots to one day getting boots for their own kids. That is very rewarding for us. I have some customers every year that we really look forward to serving and a lot of people won’t go anywhere other than us. A lot of our customers are very loyal, and we love them for that.”
Through the rise of the internet, many retailers have experienced major losses in business. Though they have seen a slight change in their clientele over the years, Farmers Ski Shop attributes their customer retention abilities to their exceptional customer service.
“Customer service can really make or break you, and we pride ourselves on ours,” Greene said. “We want to have an answer to every question. We want to have exactly what you are looking for, and if we don’t have it we know exactly where to find it. We want everyone that walks out of here to walk out confident that they were at the right place.”
As such, Farmers offers fittings for all gear to ensure proper fit, tune ups and waxing to ensure that all your gear is meeting its full potential.
As fun as working in the oldest ski shop in the area can be, Greene maintains that the best part is being able to work with family.
“This is a family business, and I love that,” Greene said. “Having this family business is so rewarding, and it is nice to be carrying on a legacy.”
So while it started out as one of the first, it remains one of the best, and Farmers Ski Shop intends to continue with the famous customer service that made the little shop on Depot Street such an integral part of the High Country History.