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Sault Ste. Marie business owners honored for giving back to the community

SAULT STE. MARIE — The owners of a local outdoor gear shop, cafe and pub were honored Wednesday for their story of inspiration and contribution to the area.

Ken and Wilda Hopper, owners of Bird’s Eye Outfitters and Adventures, received the honor in Kalamazoo at the 2024 Pure Michigan’s Governor’s Conference On Tourism.

They opened Bird’s Eye in 2016, focusing on outdoor gear and adventure. Since then, they have continually adapted to the community’s needs.


They have taken on many outdoor projects, including the Ashmun Creek trail system, the OUT House Consortium and creating a network of volunteers in the Eastern U.P. The Hoppers said they hope this award inspires others to better their community too.

“It gives other people the opportunity, or hope, to do the things that they want to do, to understand that it has an impact on the community, on people who are watching and that their story could inspire others,” said Wilda Hopper.

The Hoppers were nominated by the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau and selected from among nominees across the state.

They said they have many more ideas up their sleeves to promote the outdoors in the E.U.P.

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