Back in 1981, Don Kotula began selling log splitters out of his garage. A former heavy-duty equipment salesman at Ziegler, Kotula thought he might do better on his own, selling items that he believed people really needed.
Soon, Kotula had so much business that family members need to help him fill orders. Kotula opened his first store in Burnsville, Minnesota.
In 1991, Kotula began manufacturing his own tools and equipment under the NorthStar brand. Sales of NorthStar products make up a full 20 percent of company revenue.
In addition to Northern Tool, the company owns the Golf Warehouse and the Sportsman’s Guide, acquiring both of these companies in 2012.
Northern Tool maintains a corporate office in Burnsville, Minnesota.