Matt Liebsch has joined Pioneer Midwest, located in Osseo, Minnesota. Liebsch, a graduate of Osseo High School, returns to the Nordic ski shop where he was first employed in 2002. “This is a homecoming for me,” said Liebsch. “I grew up attending Osseo schools and skiing for Osseo High School. Joining Adam at Pioneer Midwest is a tremendous opportunity. I know we can serve the needs of both high school racers and citizen skiers, from beginners to master skiers.”
Adam Johnson took over ownership of Pioneer Midwest in October of 2014, where he had previously served as retail manager. He bought out John Boehme, who with Joe Woodbury, founded Pioneer Midwest in 1980. The shop is best known around the metro for the annual ski swap and sale the second Saturday in November, started by Boehme and Woodbury.
“When I took over as owner, I significantly expanded Nordic inventory and eliminated the downhill and snowboard part of the business,” said Johnson. “My experience, interest, and expertise really dictated the change, and our Nordic sales have grown substantially the last two years. Bringing on Matt will take Pioneer Midwest to the next level. I’m thrilled to have Matt as a member of our Pioneer Midwest family.”
Liebsch is well known in Nordic circles, both from his elite racing success and his knowledge and expertise with respect to Nordic skis. “I am excited to bring my racing experience back home as a member of the Pioneer Midwest team,” said Liebsch.
Johnson has made several changes at Pioneer Midwest since 2014. He doubled his ski inventory and added the Madshus line. By eliminating downhill and snowboard products, he has significantly expanded Nordic apparel and expanded wax lines from three to ten. A full array of backshop services are also offered. “We believe every customer is special, from beginner to expert, and our business model is to inform and educate our customers so that they can make their retail choices without sales pressure,” said Johnson. “Getting skiers fit on the most appropriate equipment, not necessarily the most expensive equipment, is our goal.”
In addition to expanded Nordic products, Pioneer Midwest added paddle sports, wilderness camping gear, and outdoor footwear when Johnson took over ownership. The shop features Northstar canoes, Eddyline kayaks, and Pau Hana SUPs; Big Agnes, MSR, Granite Gear, Grand Trunk, and GSI camping gear; and Keen, Chaco, Salomon and Vasque footwear.
“Welcome Back, Matt”, an event welcoming Liebsch back to the Osseo area, will be held at Pioneer Midwest on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 6 to 8 pm. Beverages and appetizers will be served and is open to all. “As a new team member, I look forward to seeing Pioneer Midwest customers in the shop and on the snow. I am especially interested in spending some time pursuing coaching opportunities.”