Redwood Trading Post began in a Quonset hut down at Five Points, near El Camino and Woodside Road, in 1952.
Located on Main Street Redwood City, California, the store was known as Redwood Surplus. Joseph Weber purchased the business in 1964, and devoted his career to creating a source for specialty outdoor gear. Redwood Trading Post moved to 1305 El Camino Real in 1974, a building that was shared with Midas Muffler. In 1984 Midas Muffler moved out, and Redwood Trading Post expanded, taking over the entire building.
The Webers are a do-it-yourself-family, and along with little outside help they managed to renovate and outfit the expanded location. What a task that was! There were walls to be torn down, shelves to be built, lighting to be wired, racks to be designed, and fixtures to be painted. Piece by piece, the store was put together.
Redwood Trading Post is a true family business. Over the years, Joseph's three sons, Larry, Randy, and Ron joined him at the shop. By 1982, the three Weber brothers shared joint ownership of the business. The three brothers took over the operations of the store, while Joseph kept the books and their mother, Tessie, headed the cash registers. In 2003, Joe realized he had much more interesting things to do and completely turned Redwood Trading Post over to the care of his sons.
In 2016, RTP moved–TWICE. During the spring of 2015, the owners of Redwood Trading Post were notified that the store’s location on El Camino Real had been purchased by a development company, and the building would soon be demolished, replaced by a 7-story apartment complex. Thus, RTP would need to find a new a storefront–not an easy feat in a quickly growing city with ever-climbing rent prices! Thankfully a new location was secured, and RTP would be able to relocate, just as soon as necessary renovations were completed — about a four-month-long process. Unfortunately, there were only two months before operation would need to cease in its longtime retail storefront. Under less-than-ideal circumstances, RTP considered the options: would it be a better decision to close the store for two months and re-open in the new location, risking losing loyal customers and staff? Or, would seeking out an interim retail location allow an opportunity to better serve customers and retain employees?
Redwood Trading Post chose to remain open and essentially move twice; operating out of a small pop-up location with limited inventory until construction on the new building was completed two months later, from January until March 2016.
Despite the location changes, having a storefront accessible to the public allowed for open communication between RTP and its customer base, with the help of social media and website updates. As a result, customers could continue to rely on RTP to provide stellar customer service and top-quality outdoor gear, even though the physical storefront location had changed.