Beginnings: Clinton, Ontario
In 1934, Ellwood Epps opened his first retail outlet in Clinton, Ontario. Prior to World War II, Mr. Epps provided servicing and sales of bicycles and motorcycles. But in 1937, shortly before the war began, the business focus shifted to the sale of firearms.
In 1960, Ellwood Epps opened a second retail outlet located on Highway 11 North, approximately 15 kilometers north of the city of Orillia. This site was joined in 1971 by a third store in North Bay. However in 1977 both the original Clinton location and the North Bay store were closed, leaving the Orillia site as the sole bearer of the Ellwood Epps name.
Serving Orillia, Barrie, and Simcoe County since 1960
From 1950 to 1975, Ellwood Epps was the premier mail-order outlet for sporting goods in Ontario. The company produced an extensive annual catalogue that is still prized by collectors today. The catalogue provided the ability to order and ship virtually any item in the inventory to buyers from every Province and Territory in the country.
Since 1995, Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods has been owned and operated by the Winkel family. In 2008, the fishing part of the business was moved from the main Orillia site to a second store located half a kilometre down the road. This allowed the main store to dedicate more room to the ever-expanding selection of hunting and firearms-related materials, while the new site could focus upon every aspect of fishing.
In 2001, Ellwood Epps joined the digital age with the creation of a website, allowing them to bring their business to a worldwide audience.
Ellwood Epps Today
Today, Ellwood Epps is known from Australia to the United Kingdom as a high-calibre source from which to purchase not only firearms and ammunition, but reloading accessories, clothing, hunting gear, and every sort of add-on and option available. The knowledgeable staff of 23 full- and part-timers continue to stock an impressive array of parts for both modern and obsolete firearms, and can order in virtually any part not found in stores.
The on-site gunsmiths can repair most broken firearms, or install after-market options such as muzzle brakes or other accessories to make any firearm your very own. From stock refinishing to bluing services, just about any gun can be made to look as good as new — sometimes even better!
True gun lovers, they even carry antiques such as flintlock muskets and pistols, Old English side-by-side shotguns, and all the accessories required to enjoy shooting these old beauties.
The main location also carries new and used archery equipment from Excalibur, Martin, Browning, and a number of other manufacturers, while at the fishing store you can find a broad selection of tackle and equipment from companies such as Shimano, Rapala, Normark, Berkley, Shakespeare, and many more.
Sadly, Ellwood Epps himself passed away in 2002, but his legacy continues to live on in the passion, character, and professionalism that surround every aspect of business in the store today.