Pelkey’s Archery began in 1975 due to the deep passion of bows and arrows. George Pelkey attended the World Archery Center, previously known as Teela-Wooket Camp, when he decided to share his passion with his friends and the community. In 1983 Pelkey’s Archery grew into a 24 x 36 sq. ft. building, and Pelkey slowly increased his inventory from there. George’s son, Ron Pelkey, graduated from Clarkson University, and shortly after in 1991 the father and son duo doubled Pelkey’s inventory and added a 26 x 30 sq. ft. portion. What started as a part-time hobby has grown into a very successful pro shop with a foundation based on, “Customer is King.”
An increased demand of year-round shooting lead George and Ron to create a 10,000-sq.-ft., 2-story building with an indoor range and a 90-meter outdoor shooting range. The current building features almost 5000 sq. ft. of sales items, 3000-sq-ft used for a 12-lane indoor shooting range, and about 400 sq. ft. dedicated to fletching arrows and building custom-made arrows. Pelkey’s Archery’s staff has a golden rule, “Treat others as we would like to be treated,” which makes their service supportive, caring, and enthusiastic about the sport. They are committed to providing the same service that began in 1975, and live by their motto, “Service is our Business, Teaching is our Passion!”
Inside Archery had the pleasure of going behind the scenes of Pelkey’s Archery with owner Ron Pelkey at their headquarters in Saint Albans, Vermont. George Pelkey retired from the archery shop in 2006, but it still remains loyal to their fundamental values that make Pelkey’s a friendly yet knowledgeable archery shop. Ron mentions that the biggest change in this journey was the addition and incorporation of the indoor and outdoor shooting ranges. Pelkey’s Archery has focused on making this a family-friendly activity, and teaching children the love of archery. This brought Pelkey’s into the recreational side of archery, which has benefited their shop in many ways especially in the off-season. It has allowed Pelkey’s Archery to remain a full-time shop with full-time employees year round.
Not only has it benefitted the shop, but the children as well. Now Pelkey’s offers JOAD and other afterschool youth programs, exposing kids to the archery world. It also helps spread the word about the shop, and keeps the kids dragging their friends and family members in. The great thing about archery is that nearly anyone can learn to shoot and how to shoot well. It is a great sport, even for those who are “less athletic” than others. Pelkey’s has also had the opportunity to teach many different disabled individuals to shoot, and it turned out to be a wonderful learning experience for both the students and the teachers. Ron mentioned that archery is a great sport to help teach discipline and is a great source of confidence. Everyone can experience the instant gratification that archery offers after flinging a few arrows.