“We offer all kinds of animal feed, vet supplies, pet supplies and things like that,” said Michele Stock, owner of Stock Up Feed & Tack in Taylor, Arizona.
Stock and her husband Rick purchased the store back in 2006.
“When we took it over, we wanted to be more than a feed store,” Stock said. “So we added gifts and just different stuff.”
Stock created a boutique inside the store. It carries all kinds of things from clothes, jewelry and purses.
She wanted to give the community and visitors a place to buy unique gifts.
“This was something new, and an opportunity to bring more people to the store,” Stock said.
A great business in a tight knit community.
Something that was reinforced after someone broke into the Stock Up Feed & Tack store this past December.
“I was able to walk in and see that they had sprayed fire extinguisher fluid throughout the store,” Stock said. “I could tell they were after cash because all of the drawers and cupboards were wide open.”
The money and items taken from the store was worth about $3,000.
“The big problem came from the fire extinguishers,” Stock said. “The first couple of days the guys were here cleaning, we were getting sick [with] headaches and couldn’t breath very well.
“They happen to tell the insurance adjustor and that’s when he decided to box up everything that touched an animal or human because they didn’t want the liability from it,” Stock continued.
While the fire extinguisher fluid didn’t affect the feed part of her business, the items in the boutique and tack area had to be cleared out.
“Pretty soon my whole store was empty and basically we don’t know who [broke in] and its been under investigation for more than three months,” Stock said.
Stock used social media outlets to see if anyone had information.
“My post got seen by more than 20,000 people and it was shared 350 times,” Stock said.
Within a few weeks, people started donating money to help offer a reward that is up to $3,500.
While no one has been caught yet, Stock is still working hard to keep her store open.
“A girlfriend came to me and said I’ve been thinking about you and I want to come and help you,” Stock said. “Let me see what I can do to keep you in business.”
The decided to open up a consignment corral inside the store.
“We’re renting spaces for people that are artists, crafters or have something they want to sell to make extra money,” Stock said. “We’re still here, but it’s not easy.”
Another opportunity to give her business a boost, is the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest.
Ten winners will get a share of $75,000 in grants including the grand prize of $25,000.
Stock just found out that her business is among the top 100 finalists across the country to make it to the final round of the contest.
“I not only need this grant for obvious reasons, but the community needs to win this,” Stock said. “I feel like if I win this, it’s going to be an inspiration to everybody that is struggling in town too.”
But no matter what happens, Stock is not about to throw in the towel.
“I felt defeated and so seeing the support form everybody, really did give me a renewed spirit and another chance to want to fight because I love this place,” Stock said.