03 Jun Feed Barn celebrates 35 years in business
After spending five minutes with Denis Connolly, it’s obvious he does not enjoy talking about himself.
It is a good thing then that his work ethic and customer service speaks for itself.
When Denis, a then Real Estate Agent, took over managing O&T Produce in Lyons Street back in the 80s for a friend, he had no idea the job would turn into a life-long career.
“Two weeks turned into two months and then two years,” Denis laughed.
After purchasing the produce store and changing its name to Feed Barn Gladstone, Denis moved the shop to its current location on Dawson Road.
It has been a staple of the Gladstone community for the past 35 years.
What started out almost by accident has become a three-generation family business, with Denis’s grandchildren learning the ropes after school and on weekends.
Early starts and late finishes are something Denis attributes to the business’s longevity.
“Dad is here every day, and until 10 or 11pm some nights doing paperwork,” Denis’s daughter Jo said.
“It’s this work ethic that our kids are learning from him, which is invaluable.”
In fact, the Feed Barn is run by Denis, his children and grandchildren, with support from one staff member, Anthony Young, who has been with them for 16 years.
Success, Denis believes, comes in part from providing a product and service that people want and need.
“We supply what people need, not what we think they want, there’s a big difference,” he said.
“A lot of the large national corporations will decide what they can make a profit off, and that’s the product you will have, the rest is gone.
“But if you come into our store and we don’t have what you’re after, we will try our best to find it.”
When asked about what his plans were for the future Denis laughs.
“We didn’t have a plan for the past 35 years, why should I plan the next,” he said.
“I live for today and will just keep going for as long as I can.”
Feed Barn Gladstone is located at 11 Dawson Road and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 5:30pm, and 8am to 12:30pm on Saturday.
They stock, well everything from fertilisers and stock feed to pet and vet supplies, Uggs Boots and Akubra Hats.
Be sure to check out their locally sourced honey, and their ice-cream from Bundaberg.
Check out their Facebook Page to keep up to date with their latest items.
A special note to Denis on his birthday
Happy 70th Birthday Dad!
Always keen to chat and chat and chat (it’s hard to get away from him when he has something to say).
We would like to thank you for your incredible hard work each and every day.
Your selfless attitude and caring nature, you treat others with respect and patience which endears you to your family and the Gladstone community.
With love and admiration.
Jo, Majella, Denis, Tim, Cathy and Nick