SEASIDE — A new outdoor apparel business in Seaside has a tie to local history. Its name was inspired by the Tonquin ship owned by John Jacob Astor, who established the Fort Astoria fur trading post in 1811.
A year and a half ago, owner Jason Johnson relocated to Oregon from North Dakota, near a historically significant stop in the Lewis and Clark expedition.
“I feel like we followed the Lewis and Clark Trail,” he said.
The new business aims to offer high-quality backpacking, hiking and emergency preparedness gear.
“Ultimately, it’s to bring more stuff to Seaside so people don’t have to go to Portland,” Johnson said, adding that Tonquin Trading carries unique brands and items that could be hard to find in Portland.
As Johnson got ready for the store’s grand opening earlier this month, racks were filled with coats, backpacks of various sizes, and hiking clothing and shoes. The shop also offered solar-powered chargers, freeze-dried food, cookware, water purification systems and other products that could be used for both backpacking and emergency preparedness.
Johnson’s goal is to create video tutorials that explain the store’s products to customers.
“It’s about knowing what you’re going to get and how to use it,” Johnson said. “The more we dig into the business, the more we want to field test the products in the store.”