Local men take the reigns at Borch’s
Walk into Borch’s Sporting Goods in Marshall and you’re likely to feel right at home.
Chances are good you’ll be greeted by one or more folks you’ve known a long time, right here in Minneota.
Not only have Minneota graduates Steve Sussner and Mike Dalager been a mainstay of the popular store, but several clerks from Minneota, have and are still working at Borch’s.
“Mike, Steve and I all own a portion of the business, and they are in the process of buying me out,” added Chad Wyffels, a Marshall High School graduate who has been with Borch’s for 42 years.
With Wyffels deciding to lessen his load as president of Borch's Sporting Goods, Dalager and Sussner are taking on larger role.
“I still plan on working for a few more years, but I wanted the freedom to come and go when I want and not have to work weekends and nights,” said Wyffels, who bought Borch’s (formerly Poor Borch’s) in 1987 and then had the facility built at the present location in 1997.
Dalager, a 1997 Minneota graduate, studied Business Finance at Southwest Minnesota State University before joining Borch’s 20 years ago.
“I grew up showing horses competitively and was asked if I would be interested in working in the Western Department (at Borch’s) my senior year of high school,” said Dalager.
“A year later, we put in a computer system and I was asked if I would head that up. So I was able to work a lot through college.” After graduating at SMSU, Dalager took over as Office Manager and mainly, “handled the behind the scenes things”.
Sussner graduated from Minneota in 1999. He also attended SMSU, majoring in Sports Management with a minor in Business. He has now been employed at Borch’s the past seven years.
“I worked for Steve DeSutter at Gene’s Sporting Goods in Minneota out of college,” he said.
“And when he sold to Lids Team Sports, I worked for them for a couple of years.” Sussner admitted he didn’t care for the corporate type of business at Lids.
“I enjoyed the customer service that a smaller sporting goods store provides, like Gene’s and now Borch’s,” he explained. “Chad was looking for a sales rep and gave me a call. Seven years later, I’m still here.”
Wyffels is pleased to have both Minneota graduates on board at Borch’s Sporting Goods.
“Mike and Steve are both very responsible and quality people with good work ethics,” Wyffels noted.
“They come from good families that have instilled good work ethics that they now have. They both have a great opportunity to bring Borch’s to the next level.”
Borch’s Sporting Goods, which has 25 employees, now has accounts throughout southwestern Minneota, as well as portions of eastern South Dakota, central Minnesota and the Brainerd area.
“We have a wide variety of accounts in all sports,” said Sussner.
“And we are grateful to all of them.”
Wyffels, Dalager and Sussner are all sports enthusiasts. Wyffels played college football for four years at SMSU.
Dalager played basketball for Minneota, but an injury curtailed his prep football career. That injury, however, is what led him to eventually becoming a volleyball coach.
“I would drive my sister to volleyball practice when Sandy Smith was the coach,” said Dalager.
“She asked me to hit some balls to the girls and that’s basically how I started to get into the sport.”
Dalager was the head volleyball coach at Yellow Medicine East for two years, as well as an assistant volleyball coach at SMSU from 2003-2016.
He has been involved with the SMSU Junior Olympic five-team volleyball program the past three years as director. Sussner played football and basketball at Minneota.
He was the junior high baseball coach for two years at his Alma mater, and has been an assistant football coach at Minneota for the past 18 years.
With Wyffels reducing his workload at Borch’s, Dalager has taken more of an active role on the retail sales floor, while also helping with purchasing.
Sussner manages the sales portion of the business which includes equipment and apparel, and sells the products to schools while also setting up online stores.
Borch’s has continued to expand its operations over the years and now offers screen printing, embroidery and heat transfer to its apparel items, as well as selling equipment for most sports.
“Probably the biggest changes I’ve seen here since I started is the pace and volume of apparel we print,” Dalager noted. “The days when teams would order 100 t-shirts are non-existent,” said Sussner.
“A majority of the team apparel is done through our online stores now. We set up a store for a school and/or sport, and customers go online and order what they want. It’s been great for the coaches and for us.”
When asked what they like most about their jobs, both revealed their pleasure with working with the patrons of Borch’s.
“I like to help things run as smoothly as possible, and being able to service to provide quality service to our customers,” said Dalager.
“I enjoy the relationship with the schools and coaches,” Sussner said.
“I love going out to schools and talking to the AD’s and coaches.”