WHETSTONE — Rod Weichelt, who opened a new feed store in Whetstone on May 4, is hosting a grand opening Tuesday to give the community an opportunity to visit the store and see what it offers.
Barter Feed & More LLC, located at 2281 N. State Route 90, features a full line of Nutrena products, as well as hay and straw, bird seed, feeders and supplies for horses, chickens, goats, cows, dogs and cats. The store is stocked with gardening products such as Bonnie Bloom plants, grow lights, heating pads, seeds, trays and pots.
“We have a large garden area that we’re using to house a nursery,” Weichelt said. “We plan to hold concerts in the garden with live music, refreshments and popcorn. Concerts will be once a month, maybe more often. I’m waiting to see how it goes.”
Several local groups and organizations will be meeting in the garden, Weichelt said.
“Healthy Huachuca City will be using our garden, and we have other clubs such as the Huachuca City Prospectors, the Gem Club, Huachuca City Community Garden and more that have expressed an interest in holding meetings in our garden area,” Weichelt said.
A monthly farmer’s market, held on a Tuesday, is also planned for the property.
“This could change if the demand grows,” Weichelt said. “The idea is to help provide the community with a wide variety of fresh produce.”
Known throughout the area as “Coach Rod” from his days at Tombstone and Sierra Vista unified school districts, Weichelt coached wrestling and football and taught freshman health for six years.
Born and raised in San Diego, he moved to Arizona in 2009 to run his family’s real estate firm and is a general contractor by trade.
Weichelt moved to a rural property east of Whetstone in 2016.
“When I saw there was no feed store in the Whetstone community, I decided to open one,” he said. “I was tired of making the one-hour round trip to buy chicken feed.”
Wanting the business to grow with the community, Weichelt welcomes customer input in order to see what people want.
“We’re open to suggestions,” he said. “We have a lot of different ideas that we’re tossing around. We’ll be selling items on consignment, and are in the process of stocking veterinary supplies such as vaccines and syringes.”
Another plan is to provide veterinary services. Weichelt said he has two veterinarians who are interested in operating a clinic out of the property.
“We offer delivery to the local area on anything in the store,” he said. “It’s $25 within 13 miles of our store. Prices are negotiable. We love to barter and want to help those that need a little help to feed their loved ones,” he added. “Asking is free.”
The store has a volunteer list of people who enjoy helping out in the garden or the store.
“Our volunteer list is growing,” Weichelt said. “If you would like to help out at the garden or the store in general, remember that ‘asking is free,’ and we would be delighted to meet you.”