By Jennifer Pund
Nederland’s feed store has made each different owner’s dreams come true. It’s now Adam and Abby Pauses’ turn. The Pauses, who renamed the business Nederland Feed & Pet, are “burning the candle at both ends” getting the neighborhood store stocked with everything mountain residents need for their pets and livestock. The new owners have introduced a new business model with new products all while keeping the same familiar feel, hand-packaged items and friendly service.
Abby was introduced to Nederland and subsequently, Adam, after visiting her friend Curley [Jeff “Curley Collins” Schroeder] and was instantly intrigued with the town. ”I lived in Green Bay for six years, where I met Curley. [My visit] was during Frozen Dead Guy Days and I just fell in love with Ned and the dogs. I figured if they can all do it, I can too.” Adam and Curley were band mates in well-known local band Mountain Standard Time. The couple met, traveled, attended festivals and began dreaming of a life together with a family.
Abby had been working with animals and in feed stores since she was 14 and quickly got a job at Boulder’s Only Natural Pet, working her way to a management position. When Adam needed a job, he started working for Abby in Boulder. “Before we even got pregnant, I told Adam I didn’t want to work in Boulder, so we needed to figure out what we were going to do, how we were going to make it work,” Abby explained.
The small feed and pet supply store on East Second Street in Nederland has a history of serving the little mountain town, while providing the owners the lifestyle they desire. Al Bateman, the store’s first owner, purchased the little building as a place to sell hay from his farm on Arapahoe in Boulder and kept a small supply of basic pet food. In 1996, Donna Sue Kirkpatrick and her husband Rich were looking for a small business to run to be able to work for themselves. Over the next 20 years, the couple developed relationships with distributors, built a loyal customer base and even became known for their “Rich’s Yard Seed” bird seed mix and a mountain wildflower mix.
Adam found a job in Nederland when his good friend Marcus Luscher opened his bike shop, Tin Shed Sports. Abby continued working in Boulder until shortly before Franklin, the couple’s first child, was born. When she was ready, she approached Donna and Rich for a part time job. “After Franklin was 5 or 6 months old, I came in one day a week and saw what it was all about,” Abby explained. “At the time, Donna and Rich were ready to retire. I talked to Adam and we decided the feed store was something we could make a family business. We can have the kids here, and I know the ins and outs of purchasing and receiving and merchandising. I’ve done it all before in pet retail,” Abby said. “It’s not easy, but easier than what other people walk into. I had worked with the same distributors they work with, and the year I worked here leading up to this point made
it a really nice transition.”
Abby couldn’t be happier, although the two are working full time while raising a small child. “I really couldn’t have painted a more beautiful picture,” she said. “It’s been really crazy leading up to this point, but everything has just fallen into place. We are burning at both ends right now, but it’s worth it. Franklin naps for two to three hours here and Adam is right across the street at Tin Shed. We are keeping it together.”
When Adam joins Abby full time, they will implement new services like delivery and frequent buyer rewards. Until then, the store will keep its traditional hours including being closed on Sunday.
“Putting faces with names is very important to me,” Adam said. “I’ve been in the area a long time, but there are a lot of people I have not met. Between new folks in town, or people I just don’t know, it seems I am meeting someone new everyday. But what excites me the most is being able to work with my family everyday, and give Abby some relief—maybe giving her a day off here and there, if she’ll take it.”
Nederland Feed and Pet is fully stocked with cat and dog food, canned and kibble, frozen and raw, dehydrated and freeze -dried. They also stock treats and bones in bulk or packaged. Chicken supplies are available while crickets and mealworms for chickens and reptiles are available most of the time depending on the weather and temperatures. Hay, straw, alfalfa, and pine shavings are popular and go quick, but the straw goes “really quick,” she said. “We sell it as fast as we can get it up here.”
As long-time mountain residents it pains Abby to send people down the hill for something simple like pet food. “We have lived up here a long time and I have noticed what a pain it is to get decent pet and chicken food up here. I am doing what I can to make sure I have what everyone needs,” she said. “We really want this to be a place where people can get everything they need. I have a huge request list I am filling every week. If the store hasn’t carried what you are looking for in the past, just check back. We are still doing the bulk bag items people are used to like the Ned Feed and Rich’s Yard Mix and the different blends and treats and biscuits. But we are also going to have other stuff people can choose from.”
Adam wants people to get to know him and Abby, their family, pets and working hobby farm with goats, rabbits, chickens and a pig. “We are very hard working and dedicated to supporting our community the best we can,” Adam explained. “Between Abby’s experience in the pet food and nutrition industry and my practical life long experience of small farms and live stock, we have the answers to a lot of questions and can give advice. You can be confident that we make a great ‘mom and pop’ team.”
Nederland Feed and Pet is located at 115 E. 2nd St. in Nederland. Call 303-258-7729 or visit http://www.facebook.com/NedFeed for more information.
Originally published in the December 2015 issue of the MMAC Monthly