Four years ago, Rachael and Tony Naerebout considered filling the void within the county made by the closing of Canada Bait Shop.
It wasn’t meant to be at the time, Rachael Naerebout said, but after she and Tony moved to their current house three-quarters of a mile west of Old Mill Rd. on 230th Rd., she felt it was meant to be.
The Naerebouts began paperwork for the Bait Bucket in January, receiving help through the county’s economic development department and gaining final approval from county commissioners April 15.
“I don’t know what to do with myself now, because we just rushed into everything,” Rachael said, laughing. “It was kind of crazy there for a few weeks, and all of a sudden the power was hooked up, the refrigerators came in, and I had bait.”
She said they moved with such haste because they wanted to have the shop set up by fishing season, but a lot of hustle was required to order equipment and merchandise and set up credit cards and phone lines, amid construction. The shop still needs painting before all work is complete.
Rachael says it is easy to run the shop such long hours because it is next to her house.
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“It’s not like there’s a constant flow of customers, so I could be doing laundry or dishes,” she said. “I just want to hang out at home and do something fun.”
The Bait Bucket offers fishing and camping supplies, as well as food and drinks. Hunting and trapping items may be available during the winter.
Naerebout said opening the business has helped give her ideas of other items the shop needs.
“One lady asked me for cooking oil,” she said. “I never would have thought to have some before, but if you’re camping, why not?”
Now that business has opened, she said she is most excited about potential business on Memorial Day weekend, but is more grateful for those that helped spread the word while the shop was starting up.
“It was a good idea in my head, but getting there was a whole other thing,” she said. “I’ve had a ton of help and advice from all over the place.”