About Us and The Great Outdoors

We're 20 years old in 2020!

The Great Outdoors started out in May 2000 in a little 12' x24' log cabin in a parking lot on Main Street. Suzanne had a hunch that a lodge home and cabin decor & furniture store was just what our local area needed. That hunch was spot-on and her business grew quickly! Five months later, they purchased an old gas station down the street, renovated it and moved in. For two decades, locals and visitors have stopped in to shop for Northwood furnishings to make their homes and cabins comfortable and cozy.   

We love handmade and locally made products!

Suzanne works with local artists, woodworkers, and crafters to bring in unique, quality items. You will find furniture made by the Amish and Menonites, Wisconsin and Northwood-themed items and rustic decor. Many homes, cottages, and cabins in the area are decorated with handmade items from The Great Outdoors! Folks discover the store, find something they love and stop back to shop for more. 

And, if Suzanne doesn't have what you're looking for in stock, she will find it for you!

We're local folks

A few fun facts about us (Jim & Suzanne Crotteau):

  • We're both local and have lived here all our lives.
  • We have two awesome daughters, Brianna and Jamey.  
  • We love dogs, especially our two Labs.
  • We love hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and being outdoors with our girls and Labs.
  • We have a sugar shack, Crotteau Sunset Maples. With the help of family and friends, we make homemade maple syrup every spring. 
  • We love sports but, most of all, we love the Wisconsin Badgers. the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers. 
  • We both have strong entrepreneurial spirits, believe in small businesses and supporting our communities. 
  • We also own Lake Country Marina in Chetek and Lake Country Small Engine Repair in Rice Lake.