Spurlow’s Archery Pro Shop has a reputation that goes as high as it does far.
For example, there’s an airline pilot who, when his itinerary takes him to Florida, has taken a quick side trip to Frostproof to visit the local business, which recently outgrew its original Wall Street location.
Other hunters come from Georgia and beyond for the work done by Bobbie Spurlock and his business partner David Brimlow, who opened their first store at the corner of Scenic and East Wall seven years ago.
“We have regulars all the way from Georgia that fly into Avon Park,” Spurlock said. “We have complete Florida, and we deal with target archers from out of country. So say a guy from Argentina is coming to Disneyworld with his family, and he’ll say ‘I want you to have this, this and this for me when I come by.’ We have a lot of that clientele.”
They didn’t move far, just down the block and to the other side of the street at 30 East Wall (the former Frostproof Hardware store), where they have much more room to service their far-flung customer base.
For instance, the new location allows them an expanded shooting range, both longer (20 yards) and wider (six lanes), so equipment can be tested at a more appropriate distance.
“Everything about the store is bigger and better,” he added.
Both actually compete in pro archery events too, which means they have first-hand knowledge of what their contemporaries are looking for.
“We shoot the tournaments. We live that. We know what it’s all about,” Spurlock said.
He noted that they get referrals from manufacturers and even other archery shops because of their background and knowledge.
“It’s kind of like taking a Lamborghini to a Ford dealership and asking them to rebuild your engine. They’re going to send you to the Lamborghini dealership because they know all about it,” Spurlock noted.
He said the pair has had a simple reason for their success so far.
“Just doing the best work in the industry,” Spurlock said. “Anything to do with archery, we are. That can consist of a $200 recurve to a $4,000 target bow for an Olympic archer.”
He indicated that about 90 percent of their customer base is hunters, and the other 10 percent target archers.
Spurlock said that people often didn’t know much about archery hunting and shooting, but that awareness is growing.
“Lately yes, because of everything that’s been coming out in movies and the media, like The Hunger Games and The Avengers,” he said.
The store is a boon to Frostproof in several other ways as well.
“About 99 percent of our business is you have to walk through the door, because a lot of this product is restricted. You can’t sell it on the Internet,” Spurlock explained.
“The first thing they need to do is find a gas station so we tell them where to go. And they need something to eat, so we tell them where to eat. It’s not a five minute thing where you just grab a grocery cart and go.”
The store is open 12 noon to 7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. The phone number is 635-0240. They also have a website, www.spurlowsoutdoor outfitters.com, and they are planning to have a grand reopening in a few weeks.