Family Farm & Home took down the ‘coming soon’ sign and replaced it with an open sign on Wednesday, Aug. 1, in the Chelsea Shopping Center.
For the Michigan-based company, the Chelsea location is its 23rd site, said Bryan Solowczuk, the store manager.
“What sets us apart is our customer service,” Solowczuk said of the dozen full and part-time employees at the 40,000 square-foot store in the former Pamida space.
Visitors will find aisle upon aisle of dog, horse, cat, poultry, wild bird food and accessories, and the Chelsea store is one of the largest for the company.
“We have all kinds of farm animal food and supplies,” he said, including bales of hay inside the store. Plus, there’s a large selection of animal health and beauty products such as supplements and shampoos.
Fencing and bedding, heated and regular water buckets, and lots of long-handled tools from shovels to pitch forks — pretty much anything that might be needed on a family farm.
“They’ll do well and we’re excited that they’re here,” said Ralph Turco of Gregory who took a look around shortly after the doors opened at 2 p.m. “We stopped by to see what’s here.”
He and his wife, Janet, said they were impressed with the wide selection of merchandise.
For the last month, people have been peaking in the window, checking on the progress of the store. And, once they are inside, they’ll find a large selection of rubber and leather boots and lots of Carhartt clothing.
“We have a full section of farm clothing,” Solowczuk said.
Plus, there’s a nice selection of farm fencing. “I live on a farm,” said James Coy, an employee at the store. “You can never have too much fence.”
From wheelbarrows to log splitters and a selection of pellet, wood and coal stoves, Family Farm & Home also carries farm-related books and magazines.
A Husquara dealer, several rows of the shiny lawn tractors greet customers as they come through the doors. There are lawn rollers and generators, hardware and electrical supplies.
“I’m excited to be back home,” said Solowczuk, a Saline resident. This is the second Family Farm & Home stores he’s opened.
Tarps and camping supplies, live traps and rodent control items, the store was filled for Wednesday’s soft opening.
Store hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The store has already shown support for local 4-H youth by purchasing a pig and a lamb at last week’s Youth Show, and “we donated $100 to dairy,” Solowczuk said.
A Sept. 29 grand opening is planned, he said, that will coincide with Paint Chelsea Pink. The store has already committed to being a gold-level sponsor.