Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

March 4, 2013

Bait shop owners say goodbye

GOSHEN — After 34 years, a local staple among hunters and fisherman, has closed its doors.

Travel Tender, located at 1310 Lincolnway East, Goshen, closed Feb. 24 on owner Ernie Borntrager’s 72nd birthday. The time was right to retire, he said.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said.

Borntrager and his wife, LaVerda, have run the store since they took it over as an recreational vehicle supply store in 1979.

The couple, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in June, plan to visit their children in Tennessee, Georgia and Illinois, as well as travel to Alaska after decades of managing the bait and tackle store.

“It’ll be nice to go visit (family) together, instead of one at a time,” Ernie said.

Since the store closed, the couple has been working with an auction house to sell off remaining inventory later this month.

Ernie and LaVerda credit their customers for allowing them to keep the store going for as long as it did.

“We really enjoyed it, great customers,” Ernie said. “They’re all sorry to see us go, but they are happy for us.”

Throughout their years in Goshen, Ernie said the store was only closed three days a year; Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.

The nondescript store managed to continue to serve sportsmen, despite competition from larger chain stores moving into the city.

“Well when Walmart (came) in, we about lost it then. They tore us up real bad, but we switched to catering to the bass fishermen, that’s what saved us,” Ernie said. “Our customers tell us the bigger corporations aren’t personal.”

“The fisherman like to come in, chat and visit and swap stories,” he said.

For the Borntragers, the customers came first. Ernie said he built the business based around what they wanted, not what he wanted.

“Ernie had a great rapport with the whole community,” LaVerda said. “We’re really going to miss them, because we’re kind of like a family.”

“Rarely do we go anywhere; groceries or a restaurant or wherever, that there isn’t someone who doesn’t wave or say hi and want to talk with us,” she said. “We’re going to miss that, but it’ll be nice to slow down.”

Ernie said the business got in the way of his own desire to enjoy the products he was selling.

“The fishermen want to go out early in the morning and then late in the afternoon, so it’s time consuming,” he said.

“I enjoy fishing and hunting,” he said. “But then I realized that I don’t get to do it as much when I’m standing behind a counter.”

“You get grouchy standing behind the counter, listening to all these guys going fishing,” he joked.

Managing the small business has been rewarding for the pair, but seeing the store come to an end hasn’t been easy.

“As it gets more empty, the sadder I’m getting, it’s been such a big part of our life,” LaVerda said.

“I hate to leave,” said Ernie.

The pair agreed that leaving behind their customers will be the hardest part.

“(Customers) would say ‘we could come here and get everything we needed’ and now where are they going to go,” LaVerda said. “There just isn’t another place for them to go, so that does tug at our hearts.”

“It’s a two-way street,” she said. “We appreciate them and they appreciate us, and that’s sort of the bottom line.”

1
Text Only
Business
  • RVIA will open office in Elkhart May 1 ELKHART — The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association will open its regional office in Elkhart May 1. The lobbying and marketing trade organization for the RV industry has its offices in Reston, Va. and the board of directors voted in March to open a

    April 24, 2014

  • BIZ GN140424 automakers china image Automakers scramble to woo young Chinese BEIJING -- At age 32, Jason Jia already is the kind of customer luxury automakers are seeking as competition grows in China's lucrative but crowded market. The energy industry consultant has traded up from a Volkswagen Polo to a VW GTI. Now, as he st

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN0424 infuse salon Infuse Salon relocates in Middlebury MIDDLEBURY — Infuse Salon in Middlebury has been around since 2009, under new ownership since 2012 and recently launched a website that allows customers to book appointments online. So Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the salon’s location along U

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seed corn company expanding Howe facility HOWE — An agriculture company will invest $4 million to expand its local facility. Acccording to the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp., Gro Alliance will add a warehouse and six new corn dryers to its seed corn operation near Howe. Additiona

    April 22, 2014

  • BIZ GN0423 economy image Spring lifts U.S. economy WASHINGTON — Spring's thaw is reviving the economy, too. A recent batch of government and business reports show a U.S. economy emerging from winter's deep freeze. Economists had expected the growth to accelerate in 2014 after two years of slow and

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS GN140421 jobless rate Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent

    Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN0421 digital life review image Windows Phone advances with 8.1 update NEW YORK -- Microsoft's new Windows system for smartphones addresses many of the shortcomings in previous versions. Before, voice search lacked the natural language interactions of Apple's Siri and Google Now. The updated Windows Phone system has Cor

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140421 small business image Mentors help minority companies NEW YORK -- Mel Gravely says his construction company might not exist today if he didn't have mentors to guide it. Gravely's company, TriVersity, joined a program called a minority business accelerator even before he bought a controlling interest in

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN0420 car talk image Beetle marks 65th year since entry into U.S. Sixty-five years after the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in the United States as a distinctively shaped, little car, the Beetle keeps attracting buyers with its more-spacious-than-ever, flexible interior, turbo engine power and modernized iconic lo

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN0420 tech talk image Mistakes businesses make with their home page Mistakes businesses make with their home page

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results