Going to work each day is a pleasure for Bob Hoffenbacker and Tom Campbell now that the two men have successfully opened Bob & Tom's Big Boar Guns, a gun store and pawn shop, across from the Potato Museum on NW Main St. in Blackfoot
Hoffenbacker, who is from Idaho Falls, and Campbell, who is from Blackfoot - both avid outdoorsmen - are friends who shared retail experience working at Sears together. The two men saw an opportunity to fill a niche in the Blackfoot area by opening a store that sells a variety of new and used and gund, plus all gun accessories, and is a place to pawn for a little bit of cash.
Since last fall, the two men have put a lot of labor and plenty of elbow grease into cleaning and remodeling the former antique store "Little Bit of Nostalgia." The gun shop, which opened last week, now boasts a new rustic, Western look with old barn wood walls, hardwood floors and galvanized metal ceilings. Hanging on the walls throughout the store is an impressive array of taxidermy heads including an African Black Mane Lion.
Campbell said the taxidermy pieces come from people in the community and around the state, including some from the late Elgin T. Gates, the world renowned trophy hunter who lived in the Idaho Falls area.
"We are very excited to offer this nice, clean friendly shop to the community," Hoffenbacker said. "We believe the Blackfoot area is big enough to support our business and we have things that people need, besides guns, such as black powder supplies, scopes, knives, targets and cleaning kits. Now folks won't have to drive so far to get things."
The men say the name Big Boar was selected with "big" meaning a "big bear" and "boar" meaning the "bore of a gun."
Campbell, who was instrumental in getting the taxidermy displays in the store, said he is considering doing some taxidermy shows at the store this summer.
"We're not completely done; there are still things to do and we are working as we go," Campbell said. "We are just so excited to be open for business and are looking forward to doing some fun events here in the future."
Hoffenbacker spent 24 years in the Idaho National Guard and has served two deployments in Iraq. He is currently active as a first sergeant in the Idaho National Guard's 148th Field Artillery. He said he hopes to retire from the military before he gets deployed overseas again.
Bob &Tom's Big Boar Guns is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. For more information call 785-4862.