Killingworth Feed, once found on Route 81 in Killingworth, is no longer serving but two new feed and grain stores are about to open, one in the same location (next to groomer Dogs to Dragons) and the other at Sweetwater Farm in Clinton.
Dogs to Dragons owner Terry Verni expects to open Chuck Waggin’ Feed & Grain on Saturday, November 24, and Sweetwater Farm hopes to open a storefront in early December.
Chuck Waggin’s customers will include dogs, cats, horses, goats, bunnies and birds, “everything Killingworth Feed had plus a little bit more except no consignment,” says Verni. Instead of consignment, Chuck Waggin’ will set up tables and tents periodically and "we'll let everyone bring their stuff down for a tag sale, consignment, whatever they want to do with their horse apparel and all,” she says.
Chuck Waggin’ will sell not only food but also leashes, bowls, collars, apparel and dog beds.
Over the past few weeks, the digs have gone through an "extreme makeover". The new look is “old grain store”.
“The whole inside is different -- carpets been ripped out, two layers of linoleum ripped out. I wanted it to have an old grain store look so we put rough sawn hemlock floors down in the whole place and made a nice pine countertop. We put wainscoting up rather than the old pegboard. We took walls down and put rough sawn hemlock up to make it look like old beams."
At the moment, Verni is determining what her customers need. She will expand the dog food line. “It was really low end or really high end so we’re going to try to get some even keel.”
Verni says, “I don’t want to have a lot of junk. I’d rather sell less and of better quality clothes and leashes, etc.”
Chuck Waggin’ is a true family business. You could call it a “mom and pop and son” as the staff will consist of Verni, who continue to groom next door, her soon-to-retire husband, and their son.
Chuck Waggin', found at 183 Route 81, can be reached at 860-663-0281.
Calling the phone number for Killingworth Feed presently lists the number for Sweetwater Farm, found at 78 Route 81 in Clinton. Sweetwater’s storefront is not open quite yet “but we have a lot of the stuff if people need it,” says Elizabeth Gerl, who runs Sweetwater with her husband George Gerl.
“Sweetwater will offer feed for sheep, goats, chickens and whatever else you want. We have access to all of it but don’t know if we’re going to stock it. If somebody calls, we can get it in. I’m just not sure what people want,” Elizabeth says.
Sweetwater will sell specialty dog and cat foods. “I figure it’s not worth doing the cheaper dog foods because people can just get them at the grocery store,” she says.
The store hours have not been set yet but will probably include afternoons from noon until 6pm and some mornings. Sweetwater is also open by appointment.
“If we know someone is coming at 6am on their way to work, we’ll pull out whatever they want and they can get it. We’re trying to make it as fully functional as possible and as accessible as possible because if they don’t get it here they’ll get it somewhere else and we’d rather have them get it here,” she says.
Sweetwater Farm can be reached at 860-669-9473.