Feeders Supply Celebrates 50th Anniversary In 2009
2009 was a special year for locally-owned and family-operated Feeders Supply. It was our 50th anniversary. Here’s the story about how Feeders Supply came to be Kentuckiana’s Pet Lovers Store.
The company was started in 1959 as a feed store serving area livestock farms. So now you know where our name came from! In the 1970s owner Roy D. Gibson added commercial accounts to the business, and new era of growth ensued. He soon secured the Louisville Zoo feed contract. He later bid on and was awarded the Kentucky Exposition Center’s livestock show feed and bedding contract The company continues to serve these two, major commercial clients.
Premium Pet Food Retailing Begins
By the mid-1980s a new retail category was emerging, the pet food and supply store. Pioneer premium pet foods such as Science Diet and Eagle were being introduced, and the pet owners were discovering the value of feeding a quality food. Roy converted the front of the 315 Baxter Avenue warehouse into a retail store and began selling pet food.
By 1987 sales were going well. The current Baxter store building was constructed, and the old store’s small showroom was transformed into today’s wild bird feed department. During this period, Roy’s daughters joined the firm. Diane Gibson Ives went to work in the accounting department, and Pam Gibson Longwell assumed marketing and, later, general manager duties.
An Era of Growth
Through the remainder of the last century, Roy opened a new store nearly every year. When he wasn’t opening a store, he was expanding the company’s warehouse capacity. The daughters became owners of the company along the way, and Roy continued in role as president and CEO until his passing in 2004. Since that time, four more Feeders Supply stores have opened. There are now 14 neighborhood stores – three in southern Indiana, nine in Louisville, one in Shepherdsville and one in Elizabethtown.
Serving Pet Owners
Today the corporate purchasing department stays focused on making sure that you’ll find “everything you need for all the pets you feed” when you shop at Feeders Supply. They order a great selection of the best premium pet food brands and work hard to source the latest in problem-solving or stylish products for pets.
The warehouse and distribution facility allows Feeders Supply to purchase truckload quantities of premium pet foods, pet supplies, wild bird feed and a host of other items. This volume buying power helps keep our prices very competitive.
In 2008, Feeders Supply purchased Allen Robertson and Company's commercial salt business and its Baxter Ave. warehouse. This facility enables the company to take advantage of even more manufacturer specials as they are offered. The Allen Robertson commercial salt and ice melt product business was combined with Feeders Supply's operation, expanding our salt sales beyond consumer retail offerings.
The company culture contains an emphasis on our heritage of great customer service. Roy was a firm believer in the importance of product knowledge and in making sure that each and every customer knows how important they are to the company, that we value their patronage. Today every new employee attends corporate customer service training and a pet nutrition class. Ongoing training continues in the stores and through monthly product seminars.
Into the Future
Commenting on the Feeders Supply anniversary, President and CEO Pam Gibson Longwell said, “As we move through our 50th year, we will continue to serve the needs of our customers and their pets. We’ll also continue to support our area animal rescue organizations and to promote pet adoption. We’re proud to be part of the communities we serve. And, we recognize our responsibility to give back, to share our good fortune in ways that help make our hometown a great place to live.”