As owner of Brandow’s Feed & Seed, Scott Brandow, 42, is carrying on the traditions of customer service he learned as a teenager.
Brandow purchased the store, which got its start on Market Street in Oneonta in 1991, from his grandfather in 2005. The 4119 State Route 7, Oneonta, location was built in 2000.
“My grandfather was a dairy farmer in Davenport and he sold John Deere tractors, but he wanted somewhere for my grandmother to be working and she liked it, so he figured he’d do it as well,” Brandow said. “They were people that enjoyed people, so it made sense for them, and I started working there when I was 13.”
Today, Brandow’s carries premium food, toys, supplements and treats for dogs, cats, rabbits and small rodents, poultry, horses and birds. Brandow’s also stocks more than 60 tons of livestock feed, seasonal decor and apparel, home and garden supplies and many locally made goods.
The store’s inventory, Brandow said, reflects changes within the feed industry and his commitment to customer service.
“The feed business has certainly evolved,” he said. “We still have a farm and feed basis, but we have evolved into a strong pet presence. With that goes our knowledge of our product, which isn’t a tangible thing, but I’m a firm believer that excellent service is keeping us different from most other places, even other independents.”
Brandow said his “excellent team” includes two part-time employees and four full-timers.
Even while stocking premium, primarily American-made products, Brandow said, he strives to remain an accessible alternative to corporate outfits.
“We do our homework to make sure we can be competitive,” he said. “It gets harder and harder with big box stores, but if we can stay competitive with a product, we will keep it on our shelves.
“Our loyalty program has also been really good for us … and our frequent buyer program helps us stay very competitive, too,” he said. “But I think most of all, it’s about good, attentive service, knowledge and being able to talk to people fluently.”
Brandow said the store’s continuing evolution will soon mean expansion.
“We’ve grown every year since I bought the store in 2005 … and within a year, we’ll be breaking ground for an expansion,” he said. “We’re looking to add on another 3,000 square feet and that will be more of the traditional farm and feed store stuff — products you don’t see all over the place, but leading brands as far as premium nutrition.”
Brandow said the store’s clientele is varied, coming from a roughly “20- to 25-mile radius.”
“We actually have a broad spectrum,” he said. “We get the younger generation, which is ideal because that’s longevity, but we have very loyal customers that knew me when I was a kid. We’re certainly thankful for all our clientele.”
As an extension of that, Brandow said, he created Community Care, an in-store effort to raise funds for local causes.
“It’s a collection that we do monthly for the SPCA, area food banks or local families in need,” he said. “It’s taking care of our community — whether it’s fixing up the local school ball field or cemetery cleanup, we try to give back to the community that gives to us.”
Brandow’s Feed & Seed is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit brandowsfeedandpet.com, find “Brandow’s Feed and Pet” on Facebook or call 607-432-3884.