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Rocky Mountains

Why the owners of Chopwood Mercantile in Crested Butte are selling

Travis Underwood and Lisa Cramton, who launched the specialty shop six years ago, are transitioning out of the retail game and looking for someone to buy the business.

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The owners of a small but beloved specialty outdoor retail shop in a Colorado mountain town are looking for a buyer to take the business off their hands as they transition out of retail.

Travis Underwood and Lisa Cramton, the husband-and-wife duo who have owned Chopwood Mercantile in downtown Crested Butte for the last six years, have listed the store with Steve Hitchcock, a commercial broker with Touchstone Business Advisors (and former outdoor industry professional with Marmot and Patagonia).

The asking price for Chopwood Mercantile is $350,000, according to the listing. The store’s gross revenue is $650,000 and it generates cash flow of $190,000 (which refers to the “seller’s discretionary earnings”). Chopwood’s $140,000 worth of inventory is not included in the sales price.

“This is a small business that a couple can run, or a single owner with just a few staff, and make a nice living in a really wonderful place,” the listing reads. “Sellers are motivated to sell promptly and have priced this well below the price that could be achieved with a longer time horizon.”

When reached by email this week, Underwood said he and Cramton launched Chopwood as a “concept to rethink outdoor retail by bringing a mercantile aspect to the outdoor retail space. It has been an amazing and rewarding journey building the brand with a loyal following in these short six years.”

Read more: Turtle Fur hits the selling block

OBJ has featured the store before. Last month, we highlighted a clever campaign that Chopwood created to promote conscious camping for visitors to Crested Butte and the surrounding Gunnison Valley.

And in September 2017—in perhaps a prophetic post that came four years too soon—Underwood himself wrote an opinion piece on why he was then thinking about selling the store. The sale didn’t pan out at the time, but now the couple has decided to unload the shop as they transition to new careers, Underwood told OBJ.

He is pursuing a career in aviation as a pilot, which is what he went to school for in the late 1990s, and Cramton is pursuing an opportunity in the bike industry. “That is prompting the sale,” he added. 

The chance to own Chopwood Mercantile comes at what could be an opportune time for a potential buyer. The store generated record revenue in 2021, and this year’s sales total is outpacing 2020 revenue, which, in turn, was 30 percent above 2019 sales.

“Now that we have navigated Covid,” Underwood said, “Chopwood Mercantile is well-positioned for the next owner.”

Watch this space for details on the shop’s new ownership, plus more coverage on the changes taking place across the outdoor retail landscape. And look for more coverage of industry M&A in Outside Business Journal—including trends and tips for buyers and sellers alike—in the coming weeks.