Dan & Neat’s keeps reeling in customers - Republic-Times | News

Dan & Neat’s keeps reeling in customers

By on October 10, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Anita and Dan Miller have owned Dan & Neat’s Live Bait & Tackle for 17 years. They have managed to keep their store successful when many bait and tackle shops have gone out of business. Their shop is located at 417 Park Street in Waterloo. (James “Tal” Moss photo)

Dan Miller and his wife Anita shared a love of fishing, but they found their hobby inconvenient at times due to the lack of a bait and tackle shop in Waterloo.

So, despite Dan working in the labor industry and Anita driving a school bus, they started one of their own.

“Now we’re here all the time and we can’t fish,” Dan said with a laugh.

The couple opened Dan & Neat’s Live Bait & Tackle in 2001. They received help from Dan’s grandparents, who once owned a bait shop of their own, but they worked the 10-foot-by-10-foot store by themselves.

When it first opened, the selection was not what it is now, with the store selling only live bait and a few hooks, floats, lures and metal buckets.

“We carried just basically bait and the bare essentials,” Dan noted. “Now we carry even boating supplies, from gas tanks to seats.”

As the customer base grew, however, so did the inventory. Now the store boasts an enormous variety of lures, hooks floats, plus new items like boating supplies and more than 100 rod and reel combinations.

To accommodate all that inventory, with most of those products coming after customers requested them, Dan & Neat’s has more than doubled in size since its genesis.

“In the last 17 years, there’s probably been three or four (bait shops) that have closed up,” Anita, who is nicknamed “Neat,” said. “It’s a hard business. It got bigger than we thought it’d be.”

Throughout that growth, the couple said they have kept their customers first…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the October 10, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times.

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James Moss