About Us

Our History…

Woody and I share a background in retail and a love of the outdoors so in the summer of 1995 began the very long process of research and business plan writing to see if we had any chance of making a go of an outdoor retail store.

On April 1st of 1996, Little River Trading Co. opened it’s doors.

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By June, we hired our first staff member, a freshman at Maryville college and local hiker, Adam McCall. In September of the same year, we made a very important hire for our business, Jody Brown. Jody has moved on now but we appreciate his time with us and wish he and his family well. Many staffers have come and gone. It’s always interesting to hear from them and see what they are doing now.

We moved from our original start up location (the old coop building) next to Fort Craig school to our current location in February 1999.

That fall we decided to expand into the bicycle business into the small room extending from the building. You may remember it as Chain Reaction. Tim Patterson joined us as we prepared to expand our bike shop, and in June of bike shop, we opened CYCOLOGY BICYCLES in the newly built 5k sq ft building attached to Little River Trading Co. Tim, a long time member of the cycling community in East Tenn., has raced, toured, taught, worked on and built just about every kind of bike that is out there. You can feel confident in Tim’s advice on anything to do with cycling. He has taken over as Service Manager for CYCOLOGY BICYCLES.

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Dave Penegar joined us in the Bike Shop to begin with. Dave quickly established himself in sales, inventory management, staff training, and more. His background on the outdoor side includes time spent with Blue Ridge Outdoors in Knoxville and as an inside rep at Patagonia. He loves to spend time in the woods. His bicycling experience spreads from Randonneuring to mountain biking, road riding,building and of course servicing bicycles. December of 2015 Dave was promoted to General Manager of the company.

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Having the two outdoor business that compliment each other as a destination in Maryville is a dream come true for us. We often say that if we can’t be somewhere outside, then it’s the next best thing to be at the shop surrounded by such great people and all the gear!

February 2014 saw a major addition to our campus…we opened The Switchback Craft Beer Tavern inside CYCOLOGY BICYCLES. Jason Embler, our inventory manager and beer buyer, selects the newest and tastiest brews. So you have a craft beer tavern inside a full service bike shop beside a fully stocked outdoor shop! #dontcuttheswitchback!

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October of the same year we opened our 2nd Maryville location. Little River Trading Co “lifestyle” store opened in the Target Shopping Ctr between Aubrey’s and Calhoun’s, 725 Watkins Rd. Maryville 37801. An exciting new trend was happening in the outdoor industry, we felt a stand alone “lifestyle” store would help spread the outdoor vibe! If you haven’t been to the new shop, stop in and check it out.

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Since April of 1996 we have shared our love of the outdoors we hope you stop in and see us soon. Cheers.

Community Partners

Community is a place or group of people who share a set of ideals…we are happy to say that East TN is both and we are proud to be a share a community partnership with these…

Clubs | Advocacy Groups | Educators

East Tennessee absolutely endears the “volunteer” spirit with the number of people that give financial support, give of their time and talents to any number of advocacy groups, and clubs.
Whether you are partial to the National / State Parks, nearby waterways or educational institutes, there are plenty of opportunities to be engaged.

The people who organize and maintain these groups do so from a sense of purpose. Much of the trail maintenance in the area Parks/Forests is done by volunteers.

Stewardship

“Do the best that you can, where ever you are, with what ever you have.” Unknown

Along with our Community Partners, we choose our vendors with stewardship in mind.

Camelbak has transitioned from just an outdoor activity reservoir company to one that has helped to remove mikes of water bottles from our landfills. Here is something everyone can do…”ditch the disposable”

Many vendors use recycled material. Vendors will usually point these out, they like march 2014 rtc logo tto be considered environmental too. We partner with them on the products for our area where we can. sustainu-logoOur shop logo t-shirt program we get from a company called SustainU. They not only produce their t-shirts from 100% recycled material, they are made in the USA.

Probably the most well known outdoor company in the outdoor industry for their environmental stance is Patagonia.

Well known for their well designed and well built clothing, they are also are the company many look to for setting the bar for sustainable environmental practices.

Their Light Weight Pull-Over Synchilla® Snap-T®, a core item, is made from recycled soda bottles un-usable worn garments.

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