Chris and Jennifer Pierce of the Snow Hill community knew that many Warren County residents were traveling outside the local area to purchase feed and supplies for their animals — or ordering them online — and decided to do something about it.
The result is Warren Animal Feed on College Street in downtown Warrenton, which will celebrate its grand opening on from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, with activities for the whole family.
For the Pierces, the business is a natural extension of their love for animals. They have operated a kennel for the past 10 years and wanted to expand their efforts to meet more of the needs of pets and livestock.
“We want to cover everything animals might need,” Chris said.
For many years, local residents relied on Southern States in Warrenton to find animal feed and supplies that may not be available at other stores. However, Southern States was destroyed by fire several years ago, leaving a void in the community which the Pierces aim to fill.
“We don’t have the same footprint as Southern States, but we do plan to carry a wide variety (of feed) for pet owners, animal lovers and (livestock) owners,” Jennifer said.
The couple have been making plans for Warren Animal Feed for more than a year and obtained their building in September 2020. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening. With businesses reopening their doors this year and the economy on the rebound, the Pierces felt that the time was right to open.
To avoid saturating the market, Warren Animal Feed carries brands that customers may not be able to find in other local stores. The business offers feed and supplies for dogs, cats, horses, chickens and cattle at this point and is working to meet the needs of small feed animals such as goldfish, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits in the future.
As the business opens, the Pierces hope that the public will provide feedback about what products and brands they would like to be available. Customers can provide feedback in person, by calling the store at 252-879-0118, or through social media. A website is also in the works. Chris and Jennifer hope that regular customers also will discuss what their demand for feed and supplies will look like and the time of year they may need to purchase products in bulk.
Customers may stop by the store to pick up what they need or place an order by phone or through the website. Curbside pickup is available, and the Pierces are working to establish a delivery option for customers living within three to five miles from the store.
Chris and Jennifer would also like Warren Animal Feed to become a resource for those seeking to become pet owners to help them find the best feed for their animal based upon species and breed.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic continues, patrons are asked to wear facemasks, and social distancing will be observed.
The Pierces want to see Warren Animal Feed become a resource for people across Warren County and in surrounding areas.
“We want to learn from the public and be able to have what you need when you come through our doors,” Jennifer said.