Century Old Business Closes in Battle Creek
After almost 100 years in Battle Creek, the Farm Bureau will close its store at 295 Hamblin Avenue. The store closed this week, and will re-open on Thursday July 30th for a liquidation sale. The Farm Bureau Facebook page showed this post:
Branch Manager Theresa Mills told WBCK that they would continue to sell their inventory for a few weeks, and then consolidate the operation to the Farm Bureau Store on OP Avenue, south of Climax.
The state COVID-19 lockdown may have slowed business in the spring, usually the busiest season for lawn and garden centers. But Mills says that really wasn't the reason for the closing. "We were open through the shutdown, with curbside service, but the Battle Creek location has been losing business for several years," said Mills. "There's just a lot of competition in Battle Creek, especially out on the Beckley Road corridor, and that's where most people are shopping." Walmart, Lowes, Meijer, Tractor Supply, Menard's and Petco all were too much competition for the location just West of downtown Battle Creek. Horrocks Farm Market and Family Farm and Home in Urbandale also competed with Farm Bureau. Mills said the Farm Bureau board made the decision.
Bob Coward, the longtime host of the WBCK Garden Show, worked at the Farm Bureau before starting his own business, The Cowardly Gardeners. Next month would have been the 100th anniversary. "I will miss going there," said Coward. "They had a lot of things you couldn't get elsewhere."
Many customers were saddened by the news of the closing, as the Battle Creek Farm Bureau supported many charitable causes, and employees there dispensed a lot of good information.