Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle was originally established in 1981, but was purchased by Josh Stevenson in 2004. Josh had first started working at Blue Ribbon when he was 14 years old and when the store went up for sale after his graduation from the University of Minnesota, he jumped career tracks to make his lifelong dream of owning a fishing store a reality.
A number of years ago, Josh booked a fishing guide trip (www.mightymusky.com) with the Hockey Operations department of the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club. That day on the St. Croix River, he met his soon-to-be wife, Laura Kinzel, who was the Executive Assistant for the department at that time. Since getting married, Josh and Laura have worked together tirelessly, developing new skills and pursuing new opportunities to make Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle the best it can be. Josh works long hours tending the store in the winter months and even longer hours during the guiding season, both on the water and in the store. Laura has taken on website content management, bookkeeping, and is also helping with product fulfillment for the online store. There are always plenty of challenges for a small, family-run business, but Josh and Laura are fully invested in the fishing industry, and are hopeful that future generations will continue to appreciate the natural resources that we as anglers are fortunate enough to enjoy.
Keep an eye out for pictures of their daughters, Anabelle (2012) and Emma (2013), as they learn their way around a boat…and before long, a baitcaster!