Owners, from left, Todd Fox, Troy Meisner and Jeff Austin are excited to open their business, Minnesota Joe’s, to the public this Saturday. The store, located at 126 South Broadway Avenue, sells Army surplus items and outdoor gear for outdoor enthusiasts.
Owners, from left, Todd Fox, Troy Meisner and Jeff Austin are excited to open their business, Minnesota Joe’s, to the public this Saturday. The store, located at 126 South Broadway Avenue, sells Army surplus items and outdoor gear for outdoor enthusiasts.
If you're the type of person who enjoys the great outdoors and wants to be prepared on your outings, there's a stop you'll have to make in downtown Spring Valley.

Minnesota Joe's, which features mostly new outdoor gear and Army surplus items, will open its doors at 126 South Broadway Avenue on Oct. 6 to the public. The store is owned by Troy Meisner of Spring Valley, Jeff Austin, formerly of Rochester, but now living in Grand Meadow, and Todd Fox of Rochester. Fox and Austin are cousins and Fox and Meisner have known each other for 20 years. The trio are all good friends and often enjoy going camping together.

One of the reasons they decided to start their business in Spring Valley was because they wanted to help out the community. Fox said when he lived here in the '90s there were quite a few empty buildings downtown. "We wanted to fill a building and contribute to the Spring Valley business community," he added. All three said they are excited to be a part of the community.

Meisner said another reason they decided to locate in Spring Valley was because the building, which was purchased about five years ago, was affordable. Over the years they have spent time fixing up the building, which included new windows, furnace and electrical work. They have spent the past six months really "gearing up for the opening."

Austin listed another reason for their location. "There are a lot of outdoor enthusiasts in this area and it is a great area for outdoor activities," such as camping and hiking.

The trio said no one really sells tactical items for the military and law enforcement around the area anymore and they are happy to fill that niche. In the future, they would like to work with and help support local law enforcement.

Fox said they came up with the name Minnesota Joe's because they feel it's a store Indiana Jones would go to - a store for adventurers, both male and female. "It's a take on Indiana Jones," noted Fox.

The owners have vendors in California, New York and Chicago, among others, that they get supplies from. Fox said these vendors support "brick and mortar" businesses, where the business is actually operated out of a storefront.

Fox said the gear they offer one can take camping but it can be also be used everyday. Some of the items for sale include compasses, rifle accessories, cutlery (which one has to be 18 years old or older to buy), flags, clothes for hunters, camouflage clothing, flight jackets for winter, military style hats and gloves, canteens, MREs (meals ready to eat), camping cookware, angle head flashlights, sleeping bags, backpacks, T-shirts, paracord bracelets they make themselves, and climbing gear.

In the spring the trio plan to reveal their camping department and have more camping gear in stock. They are also looking forward to focusing on the changing seasons and offering new lines and departments within the store space.

Hours for the store will be Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The owners hope to expand these hours in the future. They are also hoping to hold a grand opening, but have not decided on a date and are currently considering Black Friday or a date in January.

For more information about Minnesota Joe's call (507) 346-7773 or find the business on facebook.