Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
I’m officially announcing Powell’s Feed & Supply is closing after 68 years in business in Casa Grande. My father, Dewey Powell, moved his young family to Casa Grande in 1951. He couldn’t have picked a more wonderful, welcoming community. He leased a store initially, then built his own store in 1953, where an auction barn had formerly been. Casa Grande was small and very friendly. We all soon came to love our new home and community.
Most businesses here in the 1950s were small and often family owned. Farming was the biggest economic mover. Dad always had a strong work ethic and brother Don and I grew up working in the store after school, Saturdays and through the summers. I told Dad one day that most of my friends didn’t have to work. He said, “I feel sorry for them not knowing how to work.” Case closed!
I went from elementary through high school in Casa Grande and graduated from NAU with a double major in marketing and management. I enjoyed working for Ralston Purina in California, New York and Indiana but returned to the store and community I loved in the fall of 1970.
I looked forward to going to work every day. In the 1980s we doubled the size of the store and became a western wear store along with feed, vet supplies, saddles and tack, and general merchandise. Then came the growth tsunami in 2005. Many in government and development felt that growth was on a long upward-only continuum and overestimated future population significantly. The development and commercial sectors both responded to the projected population figures. Casa Grande has been over-served in some areas, and three big box stores, doing exactly what we did, located here. They had every right to be here just as much as we did.
With an over-served market there wasn’t nearly enough pie to go around and we, being the smallest store, got the smallest slice. Pet Club left and now with Powell’s out, I’m wishing only the best for CAL Ranch and Tractor Supply. They are both reputable and well managed.
I’ve worked 49 years at Powell’s and my wife Nancy 25. All my children were involved with the store at some point. We want to thank all our loyal customers for making the dream come true for our store over the past 68 years. It’s a bittersweet experience for me personally. I’ve been the manager of Powell’s for so long and have totally enjoyed my time spent in our family business. Most of all I will miss all the wonderful customers and visiting with so many in my office. I have many happy memories! Thank you, Casa Grande!