Goose's Scuba Shack
In 1983, a father and son dive team recognized the need for a quality organization to supply diving equipment and a professional level of diving instruction to the south suburbs of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. That father and son team was Blake and Doug Gossage. With that need and vision, Goose’s Scuba Shack became a reality.
Both Blake and Doug were accomplished divers before opening Goose’s Scuba Shack. Both enjoyed diving in the local quarries, Lake Michigan and other bodies of fresh water in the local area. They also enjoyed their experiences in the Florida Keys and Cozumel, Mexico; these being some of their most memorable.
In addition to the store, Blake was employed at the Ford Motor Companies Stamping Plant located in Ford Heights. Blake was holding a position within Plant Management at the time. Doug was attending the University of Northern Illinois in DeKalb. Doug was studying General Business and Oceanography. It was during this time, on a trip to Florida, that the both of them attended a PADI Sponsored Instructor School. Blake would achieve his ranking of PADI DiveMaster. Doug would go on to achieve his certification of Open Water Instructor. Ultimately, Doug would become a PADI Master Instructor.
The “Scuba Shack”, started at a location in Flossmoor, IL in 1983. This the day after Doug returned from his Open Water Instructor Certification. They were hot to get this dream moving. In the early days, the store was actually decorated in an island motif; complete with palm leaves built into the Scuba Shack and displays. Hence, this is where the “Shack” part of the name comes from.
From the very beginning, Blake was responsible for the technical component servicing, regulators and other scuba repairs. With those repairs, Blake also maintained the compressor for Goose’s Scuba. After Blake’s retirement from Ford, he would become a more permanent face in Goose’s till his unfortunate passing in November of 2009. Doug managed the store and handled all divers’ training. With their dedication to the diving community, they developed an extensive customer base.
The 1980’s would prove to be a busy time for Goose’s Scuba Shack. As their clientele continued to increase, they had seen a need to add adventure travel for their customers. Thus they sponsored diving excursions around the world. In 1985, Goose’s Scuba Shack would also move to the first of many locations in Lansing, IL. Many people remember those stores and the famed Goose etching that is still with us today in our current location. The newest member of the Goose’s family would also come onboard during the late 80’s. Karen, Doug’s future wife, would become an Open Water Instructor and Sales Person with Goose’s Scuba Shack.
The 1990’s would see a continued growth for Goose’s Scuba Shack as they increased their Instructor Staff. Various store managers would also come in to help run the store as Blake, Doug and Karen would lead dive trips around the world.
In 2003, Goose’s Scuba Shack will move one more time to our current location in Dyer, IN. While it has been a long journey from the original location in Flossmoor, Goose’s store staff and Instructors are still there to provide for the needs of the diving community in the Southern Suburbs of Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
Stop in and see us, we look forward to diving with our friends soon (and soon to be friends).