If there was a Stanley Cup for the independent outdoor retailers of North America, you could say St. Louis-based Alpine Shop just took home the big prize.

At the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Awards Banquet held on Saturday, June 8, at the Knoxville Convention Center, Alpine Shop took home the Retailer of the Year award for the first time in its history.

The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance (GOA) is an active network of 70 independent retailers across the nation working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. Alpine Shop has been a member of the organization since 2002.

Owner Russell “Holly” Hollenbeck, who purchased the store in 1978 and has run it ever since, fought back tears as he accepted the award with his wife and Alpine Shop co-owner, Lisa Hollenbeck. “My goal has always been to get up in the morning and be excited about going to work,” he said. “And have everyone who works for me feels the same way.”

Alpine Shop received the honor based on voting from the entire membership of the GOA.

Alpine Shop is also one of three finalists in the Retail category for the 2019 Inspiration Award from Outdoor Retailer, the largest U.S. trade show and business event for the outdoor industry. That award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in Denver.