Meet the strangest business in all of New Jersey

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

So a few couples were hanging out and having some beers one night and then they decided “hey, why don’t we throw a hatchet at a tree?” And so a business was born. Welcome to New Jersey.

Stumpy’s Hatchet House began operations in May this year and has been gaining national attention for its unique…uh…service to mankind: Hatchet throwing. With beer. No questions asked.

At Stumpy’s you’re given a hatchet, safety training and a lesson for just $40.  And then you’re off to compete with your friends, office mates and other people who have an ax to grind…or just to want to work off life’s anxieties by throwing a hatchet at one of eight stationary targets for hours and hours.

On the blog of radio station New Jersey 101.5, radio host Judi Franco wrote she sent her son (grown, I’m assuming) to check out the place after she had interviewed the owners on-air and “…according to him and various other sources, it’s a blast! Not to mention a great way to get out your aggression on a Saturday night!”

Lauren Larson, a writer at also recently checked out Stumpy’s with a few of her friends on a Saturday night and concluded there’s a “predictable catharsis to a successful throw. It’s like sinking your bean bag in cornhole, but 200 times more satisfying because your bean bag is a murder weapon.” I’m not sure what she means by all this, but I think I get the point.

The two couples who own Stumpy’s – Stuart and Kelly Josberger and  Mark and Trish Oliphant, offer very detailed safety training so much so that Larson insists “it would be hard to accidentally kill someone with one of the hatchets at Stumpy’s.”  Phew.

Throwing hatchets to relieve stress?  Considering the times we live in, it’s a strange and great business idea.  But has anyone seen their insurance agent lately?


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