Thursday, July 3, 2014

Big or Small?

I just had my last day at work today before starting a new job and I'm quite sad over it. I've worked at a little feed store for almost a year and they just sold it to a big feed/hardware company so it will be closing its doors after 84 years...

I'm surprised I'm so put out about it, but I guess it's because of several reasons. First of all, I absolutely loved my job there. I loved the store, my coworkers, the customers. Loved it. Secondly, while all of the employees will now be working at the big store that bought us out, the manager will be retiring. He was planning on retiring anyways next year, but it's just really sad that it's so sudden and early! I'll miss him the most. He is hilarious and always made work fun. He knew basically everything there was to know about everything we sold and was our go-to for any questions. Thirdly, I grew up in a small family-owned feed store. Literally. My parents are feed store owners in our home town. So it's really sad to see a similar store to my parents' closing down.

Being dorks with my favorite coworkers

All day today customers were telling us how disappointed they were that we were closing. And it's weird to think that there's not going to be a small feed store in town any more, there will only be the big chains left. I've never done any of my feed shopping at a big store before. I'll go into some for random little things that I can't find at the small businesses, but I'd much rather support the little guys. They have much better customer service, I love how "homey" the small stores feel to me and all of their history. I love hearing the stories of customers who used to come to the store with their parents when they were kids and are now bringing their children with them. A lot of times they're cheaper than the big guys or carry things I can't find elsewhere. At the very least they could special order things for me.

It made me think, where do you guys shop? Why? Better selection, prices, customer service? More convenient, better atmosphere or is it the only option? I'm curious to see if most people shop at the big chains or the little guys, though I have the feeling that there are very few of the little stores around any more.

It's definitely the closing of a chapter and opening of a new one. I have my first training day at the new store tomorrow. I'm already overwhelmed by the amount of products that they stock! It will be different for sure. Especially because I'll be working full time this summer so it'll be fun juggling work and the horses!


  1. My barn, and the boarders at my barn that have other horses at their own houses, all buy their grain from the small local feed mill in town. There's a little hardware store attached to it so you can't really get much else unfortunately. When I was living in NY, I'd always buy from the little feed store in town instead of TSC. Better prices, better options, and a great owner.

  2. We don't have any big chains here (well Walmart doesn't count cause I would never buy their feed lol).. i typically buy at our local feed store or the "bigger" tack store if I am out there for some reason- but normally the local feed store.

    Sad that they are closing after 84 years!!! :(

    1. Interesting that you don't have big chains! We have two big feed chains, plus two different pet store chains, plus some local stores are starting to stock livestock feed so it's becoming increasingly hard for the little guys to make it.

  3. So sad to hear they will be closing! I'm always a fan of supporting the true local stores around us, however at my current facility everything is provided for us.

  4. My favorite feed store is a small, family owned business. I pay a little more there, but I love that they know me when I walk in, and are always happy to help and answer questions. The only time I go to the bigger store is if I need something the family owned store doesn't have.

    84 years is such a long time... it's a shame they're being bought out.

  5. My trainer buys feed and supplements through a local Mom & Pop. While I love them and stop by whenever I can (strange hours- 7am- 2pm) I find that they always seem to be out of stock on the items I need. From a convenience standpoint it's hard not to shop online from a retailer that I know has the stock.