Over sixty years ago Norm Coghlan founded Coghlan’s Ltd. with the Camp Stove Toaster, establishing the foundation for what would become the largest single brand of camping accessories in the world. Prior to forming his own company, Norm Coghlan sold lanterns, camp stoves, and parts primarily to the hardware market in the United States and Canada.
In 1959, he bought a small service depot in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and operated it as a private company. At that time, the newly born Coghlan’s Gas Appliances concentrated on the natural gas heating market that was growing in Winnipeg. Norm Coghlan also added camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags and air mattresses. Many campers would come in to the store to get their camp stoves and lanterns serviced, and at the same time they would buy or rent other camping equipment.
Customers who came to the store wanted a way to make toast on their pump-up gasoline camp stove. Norm bought this product from a U.S. based company and they sold very readily in Coghlan’s retail store. After inquiring with the toaster manufacturer, Norm found out that the toaster was being discontinued, he bought their entire inventory, rented a storage facility and this began Coghlan’s distribution of camping accessories; facilitating people’s outdoor enjoyment across the globe.As popularity grew for accessories over the years and the line expanded, we added a central warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota, in addition to our Winnipeg, Manitoba warehouse – eventually shipping to over 40 countries worldwide.