Frazee's Backyard Station defines small town retail

  Roger Boe is the owner of BackYard Station, a downtown Frazee retail destination.

Roger Boe is the owner of BackYard Station, a downtown Frazee retail destination.

Roger Boe showed me around his downtown Frazee gift shop the other day. He talked about the products he carries and why someone would have a hard time finding a “made in China” sticker in his shop. This knife is made in Iowa, this bird feeder came from out east, and buyers of that heavy cast iron frying pan now have themselves a family heirloom.

And yet the most amazing story is that little Frazee shop is one of the top sellers of the Yeti line of insulated coolers in northern Minnesota.

Roger has owned the BackYard Station gift shop for more than a dozen years. In fact, he’s worked in retail for most of his life – ever hear of Woolworth’s?

For this first-time visitor, Roger was a gracious host but he’s also a retail realist. He’s been a victim of store closures before and he feels for those affected by recent closings. Yet Roger keeps customers coming in the doors, often from long distances. What’s his secret?

For one, I think it revolves around his product knowledge. He knows the companies that make the products. “They’ve been in business since…” was heard more than once.

Yet for me, the most surprising fact is that the BackYard Station competes on price. Feel free to compare his prices to Amazon.

Chances are you found a better deal in downtown Frazee.

Scott Kiemle