2019 Trailblazer: Cory McCall

 In Trailblazer 2019

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Cory McColl

Cory McCall, 37

Outdoor 76, Franklin

A native of Macon County, McCall sold real estate in the region for five years after graduating from Western Carolina University in 2004. He concluded expanding interest in outdoor recreation wasn’t being well-serviced by local merchants. So he and Rob Gasborro, a former civil engineer, started an outdoor equipment and apparel store. It was at 76 E. Main St. in downtown Franklin in 2010 and served hikers, paddlers, climbers, campers and anglers. They’ve moved to a bigger site that includes a taproom and added stores in Cherokee and Clayton, Ga. Outdoor 76 is perhaps best known for helping hikers from the nearby Appalachian Trail find more comfortable footwear. Creating a niche in retailing is no snap, but Outdoor 76 is working, McCall says. “We constantly reinforce to our employees the importance of customer service and the knowledge we are able to share.” That includes McCall, a collegiate cross-country and track athlete who now spends more time on his mountain bike, looking for waterfalls and trails that most visitors pass by.

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