“I always grew up real outdoorsy, hunting and fishing,” Yeates said. Yeates has been a part of the business since 2000.
In 1989, former owner Ray Box started Gruene Outfitters with one rack of Patagonia clothing and a boat-building operation in the building that once housed Gruene Brother’s Garage.
Box hired Yeates while she was a student at Texas State University, then named Southwest Texas State University, and encouraged her to learn about every facet of the business.
When Box decided to sell the business in 2006, Yeates bought it without hesitation. “I knew how to do it all,” Yeates said, “so taking it on was nothing outside of the financial burden.”
Since then, Yeates has grown the business to include more brands, and she expanded the fly shop to offer gear that is especially curated for fishing in the Texas Hill Country.
“The beauty of us here is that we’re just focused on this river,” Yeates said. “Serving the local customer is what we’re all about.”
It was this desire to better serve the local community that led Yeates to open The Pomegranate in 2016, Gruene Outfitters’ sister store located next door in an original Gruene home. The business offers women’s and children’s goods from both local and nonlocal companies.
“We do go out of our way to find things that you can’t find online,” Yeates said. “We will track it down until we have it in the store.”
Yeates and her team focus on finding brands, such as Patagonia and Yeti, as well as local providers that have a larger impact on their communities and the planet.
In the coming years, Yeates said she hopes to become more involved in the community through fishing lessons and nonprofit partnerships.
“As long as you are giving away, you are blessed,” she said. “And we have been really blessed here with this little town and the locals.”
1629 Hunter Road, New Braunfels
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.