Holyoke Sporting Goods was started in 1928 and stayed in the same location until January 2005. Back in 1928 James Cleary owned the business and rented a storefront in downtown Holyoke. Cleary owned the business until he passed away in 1954. At that time Ernie Brunault bought the business and went on to become a hero to many poor Holyoke kids. No kid ever left the store for lack of money! Ernie would instead change the price to whatever the youth had and in many cases just gave it to the youngster and asked him to pay it back later. Sometimes later was years later but Ernie didn’t mind.
In 1984 Ernie’s daughter Betsy started working for her father and came to know the business. She found out very quickly that team sports was still a “man’s world” and that she had to be better at what she did than her male competitors to “get the business.” In 1994 Ernie decided to retire and sold the business to Betsy. Since then, Betsy has been carrying on, changing things as the times changed.
Much has changed since then but Holyoke Sporting Goods continues to supply local teams, schools, organizations, businesses and individuals brand name sporting merchandise at competitive prices. In 2000, HSG. joined the Athletic Dealers of America, a national buying group located throughout the United States. This association with the A.D.A. along with being an established business since 1928 has given HSG the clout needed to seek out new vendors and get the most favorable pricing from main line sporting goods suppliers.
In January of 2005 the business found it necessary to move their location, where it had been for almost 78 years, to a different location within the same city of Holyoke. The new location is right off of Interstate I-91 and located in a prosperous section of the city. Although the move was sad leaving the old store, it has sparked an increase in business due to its location and dedicated parking lot.