Celebrating 50 years in West Lebanon, New Hampshire
If you want to know the passion that drives the owners and employees of West Lebanon Feed & Supply, simply walk into their store and look up. Suspended from the ceiling of the 11,000-square-foot facility are three horse-drawn implements that represent the store’s history and how it’s intertwined with its future.
“Our passion was crafted with the input from all of us who work here,” says owner Curt Jacques. “The three symbols are reminders of our past but also who we are today.”
There is a furrow plow, for example, that serves as a symbol of planting and new beginnings. A hay rake symbolizes gatherings of family, friends, information and ideas. And a row cultivator represents the importance of nurturing and cultivating relationships.
Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”) says the store was a special place for him long before he purchased it in 1995. He’d worked for Blue Seal for 17 years prior to that, both in sales and as a manager at several stores in the region. West Lebanon Feed & Supply was one of the dealers he called on for some time, and he and the prior owner, Al Stanley, had a “handshake agreement” that when Stanley retired, Jacques would get first dibs to buy the store.
“I loved the store but I also loved the area,” Jacques recalls. “It’s the halfway point from where I grew up and met my wife.”
With his roots in agriculture growing up on a New England dairy farm, Jacques says he always wanted to have his own business. The opportunity to take over a store he already knew — and that sold a product he already trusted — was too good to pass up.
“My goal was always to enhance the business, but to also be a mentor to other businesses along the way,” says Jacques, noting that West Lebanon Feed & Supply has twice earned the state’s “Business of the Year Award”, along with multiple national and international awards. It is the one of the largest single-location retailers of Pet Food in New England, and the third largest in the country.
“Blue Seal makes up 90 percent of our feed business, including horse, poultry and pet,” he says. “I’m happy to continue the history here with Blue Seal. It’s a really good partnership.”