Aviation Collectables Retailer Forges Unique Niche

Downtown St. Paul-Based DGPilot Has Plenty To Offer


January 1, 2022

Tim Hennagir

Donnie Gardner said Saturday is typically the busiest in-store day for his collectables business. DGPilot Aviation Collectibles & More's target market varies as it includes everyone from young aviation enthusiasts, to retired airline pilots.

Donnie Gardner is expanding the world of aviation retail one market niche at a time. He credits his dad for providing the creative spark behind DGPilot Aviation Collectibles & More, located in downtown St. Paul. "My dad is a huge aviation enthusiast, and I didn't realize

this until a few years back," Gardner explained. "I was visiting with him in Kansas City where I grew up and he pulled out his personal collection of diecast aircraft. He must have shown me 100 to 200 aircraft."

Gardner hadn't collected a model airplane in years, except for the aircraft he had personally flown. He's b...

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