Our Story


Webster’s New World Dictionary defines tradition as “the handing down of stories, beliefs, customs, etc. from generation to generation.”

From what it once was to what it has become today, it’s obvious that the founder of Jay’s Sporting Goods, Jay Poet, was a firm believer in the tradition of family, as well as the traditional values of treating his customers with a certain degree of respect he felt should be part and parcel of the business whenever someone shopped at Jay’s Sporting Goods.

Jay’s quest to fulfill his dream of developing a first class sporting goods store began nearly thirty years ago, in a small garage on 7th Street in Clare, Michigan. The year was 1968. A shooter and lifelong hunter and angler, he sold a fair amount of guns, ammunition and reloading supplies, seeking to fill the void left by the disappearance of the small town gun shops where every customer was known by name, and their favorite ammunition was always in good supply. But, it was a very tough beginning at Jay’s Gun Shop. About that time, Jay said, “It was hard work. I was putting in 80, 90 hours a week”. That his approach quickly gained acceptance was evident by the response to their direct mail. Arlene, Jay’s wife, hand-typed every envelope in their living room and continually mailed flyers to their growing list of customers with seven year old son Jeff and infant son J.J. underfoot.

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  • Where it all began.

    Jay’s started in a 1 car garage in downtown Clare on 7th Street.

    The garage Jay's dream stemmed from.

  • Jay’s moves from downtown Clare

    In 1987 we move our location from downtown Clare onto Old 27 one mile North of Clare.

  • Jay’s second location opens in Gaylord Michigan

    150 Dale Dr Jay's Gaylord

  • 40 Years in Business

    Arlene (Jay’s wife) stands in front of the staple Clare location to honor 40 years in business.

    Arlene co-owner of Jay's standing in front of the staple store in Clare

    To read the full story click HERE


  • Jay’s in Gaylord gets a fresh start

    Our Gaylord location gets a new home. It moves 2 miles north to a newly remodeled Kmart where it doubles in size from it’s previous 40,000 sq. ft to an impressive 90,000 sq. ft building.




  • Mon - Fri - 10AM - 7PM
  • Sat - 10AM - 6PM
  • Sun - 11AM - 4PM

Closed All Major Holidays

New Years Day
Memorial Day
Independance Day
Labor Day
Rifle Opener


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