Capra’s Sporting Goods has new ownership

Sam Oftedahl, along with his wife, Kirsten, and her parents, Brian and Karla McNallan, completed their purchase of long-established Blaine, Minn.-sporting goods retailer Capra’s on Friday.

Blaine, Minn. — Capra’s Sporting Goods, an outdoors retail institution in the Twin Cities north metro since 1987, has new ownership.

New majority shareholder Sam Oftedahl and previous owner Dean Capra closed the sale on the Blaine-based business Friday morning. Oftedahl’s wife, Kirsten, is a new co-owner of the business along with her parents, Brian and Karla McNallan.

The store will retain the name Capra’s Sporting Goods, and Oftedahl said he will be keeping the operation’s staff, most of whom have been working at the business for years. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transition marks a personal milestone for 33-year-old Oftedahl, who already has 15 years experience in the outdoors industry. He grew up in Columbia Heights and has been a customer at Capra’s his entire life.

“I started in this industry part-time when I was 17 and full-time at 18. My goal has been own a gun shop, but I thought I’d do it later in life. But then Dean and I talked earlier this year, and the deal really got going,” Oftedahl said. “I’m majority owner, and this will be my baby.”

Oftedahl’s LinkedIn profile reveals extensive experience in the business of the out-of-doors, including working retail sales for Gander Mountain earlier in his career, a stint as a pro-staffer for Ruger Firearms, and vice-president roles with Alliance Outdoor Group and Xpedition Enterprises. He’s currently managing partner with Tier1 Sales, an outdoors branding and marketing company. When he’s not working, Oftedahl and his wife raise four kids on a farm outside East Bethel.

Readers might recognize Oftedahl as one of the co-hosts of the “4 Outdoorsmen” radio program Sunday nights on BOB-FM. Oftedahl plans to host some live broadcasts of the program from his shop.

He says he’s excited about promoting the business in new ways and to wider demographics – including burgeoning numbers of youth hunters, anglers, and shooters – and with inventory levels improving post-pandemic, Oftedahl sees growth opportunities for traditional retail sales.

“The business has grown over the past 30 years, and I’m pumped to keep pushing it forward,” he said. “We’ll be doing a lot of promoting via social media and traditional advertising, too. We’re going to go deep.”

Dean Capra’s father, Ted, started Capra’s Marine Electronics, a company that sold and repaired depthfinders and trolling motors, in 1980. Seven years later, in 1987, he opened the doors to the retail store. Through the years, the company also owned or worked with other outdoors brands including the Shore Lunch fish breading and developed a fishing television show.

A professional angler and Freshwater Fishing Hall  of Famer, Ted Capra passed in 2017 at the age of 80. His son, Dean Capra, has been the sole owner of the business and called Oftedahl “the right man for the job” to take the store into 2023 and beyond.

“I’ve known Sam as a customer. He has a lot of integrity, and I think he’s going to grow the Capra name,” he said. “He’s aggressive, younger, and savvy with new technology and social media.”

Capra said he expects to continue working in the outdoors industry and consult at the store.

“I do not want to be out of the game, but I don’t want to be responsible for all the day-to-day anymore,” he said. “I’m certainly going to be along for the ride with a front-row seat, and I’m excited to see how it goes.”

And without a retail shop to open every day, Capra said he expects to spend additional time tournament fishing. He and his brother, Tony, fished a circuit together this year, and he’s looking forward to more pro fishing next year and beyond.

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