For Scott and Tracy Brandow, buying the family business was a homecoming.
Brandow’s Feed and Seed, in Otego, was purchased by the third generation of Brandows in 2005. The couple rebranded the merchandising to reflect the interests of the community, and despite the economic woes of many other businesses at the time, the Brandows were successful in their venture.
They were able to open a second location in Walton in 2010.
“We have geared our merchandise more toward the pets,” said Scott Brandow. “Unfortunately, we are not seeing as many farms as we used to. More people have companion animals these days.”
The store welcomes pets of any kind. They truly see companion animals as part of a family unit. In addition to Scott and Tracy, the Brandow family includes two children, several dogs, some horses and a collection of various breeds of fowl.
Wednesday afternoon, Susan Youngs of Unadilla brought her Rottweiler puppy, Rahl, shopping at Brandows for a new harness, some toys and shampoo. Work stopped as employees gushed over the puppy.
“I come here often,” Youngs said. “It is the best place to come for all my doggy needs.”
The 21st-century Brandow’s sells products for pets, small farms, gardens, wild birds and animal lovers. The couple said they try to stock local products.
“We buy our hay and straw from local people,” Tracy said. “Whenever we can, we try to purchase local — or least made in the U.S.”
Dustin Sperry, of Davenport, has managed the Otego store for the past four years. He said he enjoys the work and appreciates the effort the Brandows make to everyone — employees and customers — feel like family.
“We have the family frequent buyer plan, where the customer buys so many bags and then gets a bag free,” Sperry said. “Some people get so excited when they come in for their dog food and we say there is no charge.