Kelly Voss, owner of Farm City Supply in Breckenridge, Minnesota, spoke Wednesday, Sept. 11 with the Breckenridge Port Authority. Voss discussed his business, the benefits it provides and the challenges it faces.
Farm City Supply sells a little bit of everything, Voss said. They have hardware, farm supplies, auto service, clothing and much more. Farm City Supply caters primarily to farmers, Voss said.
The store has 11 employees, nine full-time and two part-time.
“When we do have to fill a position it is certainly a challenge,” Voss said. “We are fortunate that the crew we have has been with us for a long time and is stable.”
The biggest benefit for his type of store, Voss said, is the local farming community.
“We have a lot of farmers here that support us very well and are very loyal to us and we appreciate that,” Voss said.
The largest struggle in operating his business is the competition due to the wide variety of products his company carries. Due to this variety, competition comes from auto parts stores, hardware stores, farm stores and also the online marketplace.
Expansion is a hope for Voss, so that the current departments will have more room and thus increasing products and variety for customers.
Voss’ father had first started working at what was previously named Town and Country Supply, as an auto mechanic in 1971. In 1989, Voss’ parents purchased the store after the previous owner had passed away. After graduated in 2001 from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, Voss started ownership of Farm City Supply immediately.
The company belongs to two different buying co-ops: Ace Hardware and Wheat Belt. Farm City has full access to each company’s catalog. While the company only sells certain products in stores due to demand, they can order any products that a buyer would like from each of those stores. Each of the buying co-ops is primarily focused on farm supplies that normal stores do not have.
Bringing Voss into the Breckenridge Port Authority meeting is one way to support and carry out the committee’s goals for 2019. The committee intends to create plans for commercial growth by asking for input from local business owners. The committee structures their monthly meetings for guest speakers to attend for better planning and agenda management.
The committee discussed repairing the industrial mall building on the southeast end of Breckenridge. Future renters face the lack of proper utilities.
Previously, there have been interested parties in renting the building. The discovery of no heat, insulation, water, and lack of other utilities were all deal breakers. Potential renters question the opportunity cost of construction of installations, repairs and time.
Currently, the committee is considering upgrading the building with heat, water, insulation, lighting, sewer, replacement of outside tin and cement flooring. The current rent is $600 a month. However, the rent would be adjusted to help pay for the repairs.
Mayor Russ Wilson stated that by installing repairs, it would open up more possibilities and would be a “smart avenue to pursue.”
The committee agreed to pursue gathering numbers and quotes to have a ballpark of total costs of repairs and installations before they continue voting to move forward.
The next Port Authority meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.