Originally founded as Dunham’s Bait and Tackle in 1937 by Ron Dunham, this Troy, Michigan, based sporting goods company began when Dunham asked his wife to try to sell a bathtub full of minnows on the side of a highway for bait. When Ron returned, Ethyl had made $18. From a humble beginning of selling bait, this company has grown to become one of the largest chains of its kind in the Midwest.
After their son died in the Korean war in 1953, the couple lost interest in the business and sold it to Ben Hardesty and two of his business partners, who sold sporting goods in New York. Hardesty wanted to keep the name because he believed it already had a good reputation behind it.
Today, Dunham’s Sports has more than 230 locations in 22 states. The original store burned to the ground in 1946, but the company simply rebuilt a larger store.
The company specializes in all types of athletic equipment and gear, footwear, clothing, firearms, and digital guides. Dunham’s Sports has 2,000 full-time employees and annual revenue in 2013 of $140.7 million.