A lot has changed in 20 years, but one thing that hasn’t is the Luckey family’s commitment to quality pet care products.
Americans love their pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that pet lovers own 76.8 million dogs, 58.3 million cats, 7.5 million birds and 1.9 million horses – and those are just the most popular choices.
Cherry Valley Feed & Supplies, 1595 S. Bell School Road, in Cherry Valley, Ill., has spent 20 years providing pretty much anything a pet owner could fancy to feed and care for furry and feathered friends.
This family-owned, independent operation has thrived on offering the highest-quality animal feed sourced primarily from American manufacturers. As a compliment, the store also carries accessories, toys and habitats to further support those pets. The dedicated staff have knowledge and experience to ensure that pets and livestock get exactly what they need.
Anita Luckey joined the staff of Cherry Valley Feed in 2003 and worked with the original owner for eight years.
“When the owner decided to retire, my husband, Curt, and I decided to buy the business,” Luckey adds. “Curt was a truck driver who was gone much of the time. It was nice to have him at home and operate the business together. We’ve done this for 10 years now.”
The business has changed a great deal since the Luckeys bought it 10 years ago. Customers’ needs remain ever evolving.
“We believe in helping each customer find exactly what he or she needs, and are continually researching new, better brands,” Luckey says. “Customer service drives 100 percent of our business operation.”
Additionally, Luckey says every staff member is knowledgeable on all aspects of pet care and feeding, and they can answer questions on not only the immense variety of in-stock products but also how to find new or unusual feeds. Cherry Valley Feed stocks nearly 30 brands for dogs and cats, as well as other domestic animals including cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep and goats.
“All of our animal feeds are produced in America with the exception of a few from Canada and Italy,” Luckey adds. “When a customer comes in with a food-sensitive dog, for example, we have a kit we help them work with that is sent in for testing. When the results come back, we go over the options with them and help find the appropriate feed. This can prevent or reduce ear infections, itching, skin issues and other food-related problems.”
Service is a hallmark of the customer experience.
“We deliver within a 50-mile radius Monday through Friday. We’ve gone as far as Johnson Creek, Wis.,” Luckey adds. “We also ship feeds pretty much anywhere. Once, we shipped reindeer feed to a customer in Michigan.”
Over the past decade, Luckey has more than tripled her supply of animal feed in response to demand. It’s as much a reflection of local trends as national trends, as the past decade has brought much innovation in the way of wholesome, nutritious pet foods.
The most recent addition to Cherry Valley Feed’s ever-growing selection is raw, frozen food that provides the nutrition animals need to live long, healthy lives.
“We currently stock about eight different brands plus meal toppers and supplements,” Luckey adds. “It’s simple to use; just thaw the food out and serve with no cooking. The meal toppers add flavor, palatability, vitamins and minerals, giving the pet an extra boost of nutrition, important with picky eaters. It does wonders for dogs with dietary issues and allergies. The supplements help with a variety of issues from joints to skin problems.”
Cherry Valley Feed also supplies dogs and cats with CBD, which Luckey says can help with anxiety, joint pain and other problems.
“There are several different CBD products, each administered in different ways,” she adds. “Some are in treats while others are given as drops into the mouth to be absorbed.”
Feed aside, the store carries a wide selection of other surprises, including pet-related items and specialty needs.
“We stock worm chow for customers who provide worms for a variety of reasons, cricket food, and specialized feeds for emus, ostriches, llamas, rabbits, chickens, pheasants, tame and wild birds, show animals and a local zoo,” says Luckey. “And if we don’t have it, we will find it for any customer.”
For the horse owner, Cherry Valley Feed caters with quality brands including Purina, Nutrena, Triple Crown and Tribute, as well as related products such as cowboy boots and other footwear from Ariat, Dry Shod, Twisted X and Hey Dude.
Luckey and her husband have five daughters and lots of grandchildren, but none of them work directly with the operation. And that’s OK with Luckey.
“They’ve all grown up to do what they like best, but they do participate when we have special events,” she adds.
Customer service is an important component of the Cherry Valley Feed experience, and Luckey says she or the staff will gladly carry all of those heavy bags and load customers’ cars. They’ll even throw in special perks to devoted shoppers.
“Most of our dog, cat and wild bird seed have buying programs that will get you free bags of food,” Luckey adds.
As for the future, Luckey says Cherry Valley Feed & Supplies will continue following its business philosophy of excellent customer service and dedication to whatever a customer might want and need.
“You can also find us on Facebook where we post regularly about sales, specials and new products,” Luckey says. “Pets are welcome to shop, too, as long as they are properly leashed. We have had lots of pets here to shop over the years, including a llama, several potbellied pigs, a few chickens, a pony and many, many dogs and puppies.”