Cumberland Mountain Outdoors is much more than its name would suggest. This local business, located in Hytop, has a deli, archery range, deer processing, and outdoor supplies. The store opened in December 2016.
Jon and Mel Smith had always wanted to own their own business. Their original idea was to open just a feed and outdoors store. They both enjoy the hunting, fishing, and being outdoors. That plan changed when they bought the store at State Roads 79 and 146. Jon said the store had always been a hot spot for hunters when the previous owner had it. When he and Mel bought place, people in the community begged them to add a deli. Jon never thought the deli would become as successful as it did. They have gotten people from Birmingham, Huntsville, Tennessee, Georgia, and all over the place to try their famous burgers.
“We wanted an outdoors store with a restaurant inside,” said Jon. “We actually got a restaurant with an outdoors store inside.”
They started out with pizza, but added burgers when customers would come in and tell them they had to do burgers. Jon’s brother is a food rep, and thought that adding burgers was a great idea. They got a recipe from Jon’s brother, and it turned out to be one of the best things they did. They use 100% USDA Angus beef for burgers because they wanted to make sure everything was the best it could be. Jon said they never settle for second when it comes to ingredients. Their burgers only have one size: Large.
“We make sure you don’t want any dessert when you’re done,” said Jon.
Cumberland Mountain Outdoors is a “packed house” during lunch. They receive many call-in orders for dinner, and sell a great deal of pizza on the weekends. They also serve breakfast.
Cumberland Mountain Outdoors specializes in archery, but they deal with mostly everything that involves hunting and fishing. The only things they do not sell are firearms. Jon said he never thought they would sell fishing supplies on “this little mountain, but we sell a ton.”
Jon used to cut meat on the side with a friend and the friend gave him the idea of offering deer processing. The deer processing has been one of the most popular parts of the store. They opened the deer processing part in October 2016, because it was easier to get started. In 2016, they processed 400 deer. They processed 650 in 2017. Last year, Cumberland Mountain Outdoors processed 800 deer. Jon said it has been a major addition to the business.
The archery range has 25 to 30 3D targets and five block targets. Jon said they have a pretty big crowd during the summer months.
Jon and Mel have lived in Hytop their entire lives, and Cumberland Mountain Outdoors is a direct reflection of that. The walls are covered with mounted deer from either Jon or others in the community. The store has mounted fish from family members, and even a raccoon from his grandfather. He said the best part about owning the business is getting to meet everyone that comes in. He became good friends with a guy from Pennsylvania who had come to the area to turkey hunt. The guy was staying in a cabin nearby, and he came to Cumberland Mountain Outdoors for every meal.
He and Jon ended up turkey hunting together by the end of the trip. They stay in touch, and Jon is making plans to go up to Pennsylvania to hunt. He said all the friendships he has made have been great. Every year, Cumberland Mountain Outdoors hosts a Big Buck Bash. They have vendors, sale process in store, food, archery tournament, cornhole tournament, and live music. They also invite a hunting celebrity. This year, Eddie Salter came to the store to speak to the crowd.
Jon and Mel are always trying to grow their business. They are working on putting together a land management company that would help people put out food plots, build roads to hunting clubs, how to grow bigger deer, or how to get more turkey on the property. They are trying to buy a store across the road to expand the business. If that happens, they would be able to seat 100 to 125 people in the restaurant and they would sell firearms. Jon said they try to add things every year, and they are always trying to grow.
Stop by Cumberland Mountain Outdoors to check out the unique store, and be sure to try one of their famous burgers. For more information, call 256.587.5555 or visit Cumberland Mountain Outdoors on Facebook.