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From 'Deadliest Catch' to coolers: Former crabber now an entrepreneur in Nampa

Posted at 5:20 AM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 14:13:02-04

For fans of the Discovery Channel's heart-pounding show Deadliest Catch, Captain Scott Campbell is a familiar face. Campbell spent four seasons at the helm of the Seabrooke on the popular show, though he was a crabber long before the Discovery Channel discovered him. "My dad fished for his career," Campbell tells 6 On Your Side, "so the only time I really got to see my dad is when I'd go up in the summers and spend time with my dad on the boat....By the time I got through my first season, I wanted nothing else but to be a crab fisherman."

These days, though, life looks like a little different for Campbell. He was forced to retire from crab fishing due to a back injury, so now he's navigating the often shark-infested waters of the business world from right here in the Treasure Valley. Campbell is the CEO and owner of Cordova Coolers, a line of foam-injected roto-molded coolers that Campbell developed and now manufactures from his warehouse in Nampa.

He recently moved his entire operation to Canyon County from Washington state, after realizing Boise was a great place to grow a business. Campbell says, "We'd always loved the Treasure Valley every time that we came here, so wanted to start our business here and work at bringing the manufacturing in."

But all of this begs the question of the former crab fisherman: why coolers? Turns out, it was all done on a bet! Campbell had purchased a Mastercraft boat that had a less-than-stellar cooler installed in it, which he laughs, "Didn't hold our beer cold!...You gotta have your beer cold when you're out on the water and it's a 106-degree day." So his friends dared him to try and make a better cooler, and Campbell did just that. Besides having a nice long ice-life, his Cordova Coolers also include unique properties like a lid-lock system, top mount latches, and built-in bottle openers.

And get this: when the company that originally sparked the whole thing, Mastercraft boats, heard about Cordova Coolers, they wanted in. So, says Campbell, "From 2016 forward, all the Mastercraft boats have the option of having our cooler put into them."

So, while it may be a far cry from the waves and wind of the Bering Sea, Campbell says he's happy to be keeping things cool in a place where business is hot." The growth rate of Boise is just exploding," Campbell told us, "so we wanted to get in before the growth and take advantage of that as people are moving in and be able to grow with the community."

If you want to take a closer look at Cordova Coolers for yourself, you can find them locally at D&B Supply, Legacy Feed and Fuel, Dead-on Archery, and Independence Shooting Range. You can always shop them online too by clicking here.