It was all hands on deck Sunday at Kiperts Korner Feed.
Every available employee — plus family and friends — was there to meet customer demand created by an anniversary sale that has captured the regional attention of farmers and animal owners.
The sale, always the first Sunday after Labor Day weekend, meant longtime Kiperts owner Craig Kinnaman, who formed the business in 1990 with his wife, Roxy, was on site at 5 a.m., ready to meet the onslaught of customers who would arrive two hours later.
By 7 a.m. a line had formed at the business near Olympia Regional Airport. Later in the day, the parking lot had filled with trucks. Customers waited by their rigs while employees rushed across the lot to load truck beds with feed, hay, bedding and other products farmers and animal owners will need to get through the coming months.
Darryl McAferty of Olympia purchased 25, 80-pound bags of feed for his six pigs — enough to last about a month, he said.
McAferty is a regular at the store, but he also shops during the annual sale to take advantage of discounts. He saved about $5 per bag Sunday.
“That’s a big deal for me,” McAferty said.
Kinnaman said the annual sale is less about making a buck and more about saying thank you to his customers, both new and those who have been regulars over the years.
“People plan their year around this event,” he said.
Those customers have helped grow a business that essentially started as a one-man show and now employs 17. Kinnaman has expanded from feed into trailers and tractors, and the 11-acre Kiperts site is now home to six buildings, with a seventh under construction. He also grows hay on a portion of the property.
Alfalfa hay was the big seller Sunday, along with stove pellets, grain and pet food.
The annual sale has become such a big deal that the Ranch House BBQ restaurant sets up on site and serves food.
Longtime Kiperts customer Chuck Lander bought a year’s worth of treats, feed and bedding for his four horses.
He said the sale offers “exceptionally good value,” saving him 10 percent to 15 percent.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org