Outdoor Adventures Made Easy With These GROW Products
JR Lures, Kearney
Anglers looking to snag a few more bass this summer should try out JR Lures, a Nebraska-made product created by a Kearney teen-ager.
Justin Hoeft began making lures at age 8 and launched his lure business at age 15 as part of his FFA supervised agricultural experience.
Hoeft will now be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall. His summer plans include launching a website for JR Lures and expanding his social media marketing efforts to help more fisherman find success this summer.
Justin’s lures were originally meant to catch bass, but they are successful in catching walleye and a few other species as well. Each one is hand-made and uses a flattened penny in place of a normal spinner blade. The lucky penny adds shine in the water.
Justin said his lures are unique because the spinner is jointed in the middle, which allows for more bending and creates motion and vibration.
“It creates a different type of motion and flashing that the fish aren’t used to seeing in the water,” Justin said. “That little bit different pattern can pull a lot of success.”
He enjoyed designing lures so much that it has led him to study mechanical engineering. He enjoys the challenge of designing products that are both functional and efficient.
Justin makes nine different lures each with unique names, such as “All I Got Was This Crappie Lure,” the “Bite Me” lure and “Dad’s Lucky Lure.”
JR Lures are available at the Kearney Archway Monument, Cabela’s in Kearney and in GROW’s Buy Nebraska store in Kearney and on GROW’s Buy Nebraska website.
Nature’s Coffee Kettle, Omaha
Nature’s Coffee Kettle is a brew-in-the bag coffee pot for hunting, camping, fishing and recreation.
Matt and Jenny Hustedt created the product more than 10 years ago to make it easier to enjoy fresh-brewed coffee in the great outdoors.
The company’s vice president of sales, Al Mayville, said “the Hustedts ‘are an outdoor-type family, and they both love coffee.’” They combined their interests to create Nature’s Kettle Coffee, which is now sold across the United States.
Matt’s background in packaging came in handy with the new product. The coffee is packaged in a flat pack bag that weighs less than 2 ounces and has a filter pack with fresh ground coffee inside. Customers just add 32 ounces of hot water to the bag, wait for the water to seep and brew the coffee for 5-7 minutes, and then pour and enjoy.
For hiking and adventure enthusiasts, the coffee bag takes up less room in a backpack than lugging around a coffee pot or French press.
“It’s an excellent product to make your morning an extra special one when you are out camping or participating in any outdoor activities,” Al said.
Nature’s Kettle Coffee comes in several flavors: French Roast, Guatemalan, Mountain Blueberry, Brazilian Hazelnut, and the most popular flavor, 100% Colombian Coffee. And, for those who aren’t coffee connoisseurs, there’s Black Tea Kettle with Orange Pekoe and Hot Chocolate kettles.
The company also makes refill packs that make the kettle reusable allowing customers can pack even lighter when headed out on a hike. The kettles are designed to reduce space and waste, making them more environmentally friendly and economical.
Nature’s Kettle Coffee is available in the Buy Nebraska store in Kearney and on the Buy Nebraska website through GROW Nebraska.
Care Co. Product Outdoor Blanket, Omaha
Camping enthusiasts and parents of baseball and softball players are raving about Care Co. Products new waterproof outdoor blanket.
“They are fun, and everyone likes them,” owner Jim Soucie said. “They are particularly useful at Little League games when the wind and rain comes up.”
The 71-inch by 55-inch blanket is large enough for two people and features a soft fleece on one side and a waterproof material on the back. Jim’s most popular blanket is black and red and features the outline of Nebraska with the words Home Sweet Home on the fleece side.
It has a flap that seals the blanket when it’s folded, and companies can have their name or logo printed on the flap. The personalized “home sweet home” blankets have been especially popular with real estate agents using them as gifts for new homeowners.
Jim, a former photographer, started selling the blankets in late 2018. Grocery stores and other vendors, including GROW’s Buy Nebraska store in Kearney, are already selling the blankets across the state. Some vendors are waiting until Husker football season to start selling the blankets, which can be brought into Memorial Stadium if they are draped over an arm or shoulder.
Jim said the blankets are versatile, and it’s fun to see the ways customers have used them: camping; picnics; RVs; covers for truck beds, trunk and SUV beds for messy loads; gear, motor cycles, or 4-wheelers covers; fishing; hiking; boating; hunting; bicycling; 4th of July parties; lake homes; swimming; scuba gear; outdoor concerts; bleachers and outdoor sporting events; tablecloth; overnight firewood cover; sunbathing; protection from chiggers; college student gifts; souvenirs; fundraisers; banners for state meets; and a place for “Rover.”
For more information about Care Co.’s outdoor blankets, visit https://members.grownebraska.org/list/member/care-co-products-10560