Monona, WI – Rutabaga Paddlesports received an accolade from Outdoor Insight magazine as one of the top eight “One Store Wonders” of the independent retailers in the United States for outdoor specialty stores. The “Great 8 in Outdoors 2015” article was published in the July 2015 issue.


Rutabaga Paddlesports is a 7,000 square-foot store located at 220 West Broadway in Monona. The store has been open since the early 1970’s. Darren Bush, the owner, stated, “We’re unusual in that we’re located on the water, which is purposeful. A lot of shops do paddle demo days, but with us, a customer can walk in, get a few different ideas of what might work for them, then get on the water and know what works best.” Bush started working at Rutabaga back in 1990 and bought the company in 2002.


In addition to the retail store, Rutabaga Paddlespors offers a wide array of outdoor programs to introduce people to paddling. Rutabaga Outdoor Programs puts over a thousand people on the water every year. They also produce Canoecopia, the world’s largest paddling consumer show at the Alliant Energy Center.

Rutabaga sells camping gear, snowshoes, clothing, and sports technical wear, but 90 percent of its sales are paddling related. The store was also voted one of the Top 50 Places to Work in the Outdoor Industry by Outside Magazine in 2010, one of only two specialty retailers. They also won the National Paddlesports Retailer of the Year award a record nine times.

“Rutabaga is one of our cornerstone businesses here in Monona and the fact that they are locally-owned is a huge bonus. People come from all over the Midwest to shop here and they’re a perfect fit for our waterfront community,” stated Kristie Schilling, Executive Director of the Monona East Side Business Alliance.

More information on Rutabaga Paddlesports can be found at The “One Store Wonders” article in Outdoor Insights can be found at

Rutabaga Paddlesports employs 25 people and is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Monona East Side Business Alliance is a private, not for profit, membership-driven organization comprised of approximately 300 businesses, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. For more information, visit or contact Kristie Schilling, Executive Director of the Monona East Side Business Alliance at (608) 222-8565 or