31 YEARS IN BUSINESS!
April of 1984 Denise and I had this brainstorm to start a Feed Store on our property. We got all the necessary permits and we were off to the races! In this month’s newsletter we promised to continue where we left off last time so here are some more fun facts about our business:
Denise actually drove a flatbed truck up to Mallard Creek Shavings in Rocklin, picked up 120 bales of shavings each time and learned how to tie
the loads herself. One time a gentleman offered to help her tie down. She told him the only time she ever lost anything off the load was when
she didn’t tie it herself and explained to him her husband (me) told her to make sure there was a rope across each bale on the outside edge
of the stack! Today we get at least 1100 bales a week in. When we have a wet winter we often times get over 3000 bales a week in to keep up
In the early days I held down a full time job while Denise ran the store. I would run deliveries after hours that many times took until 8 or 9 in the evening. For larger deliveries my brother would go with me and we were given the “Midnight Hay Haulers” nickname! My brother was very generous in allowing me to use his truck as well as mine for doing deliveries. In those days our truck was an older vintage that would break down on occasion and his truck was invaluable to us in helping keep up. It was not unusual for us to work into the evening then pull the truck into the shop and change the clutch or perform some other repair!
When we started we didn’t even have a forklift! Everything was loaded and unloaded by hand.....whew! Back in the early days 100 lb sacks were not uncommon. I had one customer that would order 4 tons of 100 lb bags and we packed them all into his barn by hand!
We used to buy feed from a feed mill in Lincoln, Lincoln Feeds. They are long since gone but at the time they made a quality product at a fair price! Elk Grove Milling was one of our earliest mills we bought from and we continue to buy from them today!
When we first opened our driveway didn’t have a gate. One evening about 10pm a woman drove in and turned around on our lawn. I went out to see what was going on?? She asked “are you open?”
We fondly remember some of our first customers. One told us something we always applied in our business, “don’t ever expand until you are bursting at the seams!” If he were still alive he would be pleased that we always followed his counsel!
Our first vet supplies order was less than 300 dollars. The sales person patiently worked with us to give us the best mix of inventory we could get for that dollar amount. Even back then he had difficulty holding the order down to 300!
I have always wanted to clear this one up: often times during the fair season remarks are made about how much money we make from the kids feeding their fair animals. When you take into account that we attend four major auctions every year buying Junior Livestock Auction animals we actually don’t make anything off the kids, in fact we probably go into the red! So why do it? First and foremost it’s fun! Second, the meat is premium! Our business benefits too.....how? The livestock producers in our area very much appreciate us supporting their industry and they in turn support us! Everything goes full circle! Well, didn’t take long to fill up this page. Hope you enjoy these tidbits of information! Thanks for being our customer!