Animal feed and pet supplies are for sale once again on Kirk Road in St. Charles, as a new store has opened in the former Regole's Harvest Shoppe barns.
Trellis Farm and Garden will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and a grand-opening party for customers Saturday.
It offers pet and livestock food, birdseed, seasonal garden items, hay and straw, water-softener salt and propane gas.
The new owner is Shirley Stopka, who has owned Good Cents Children clothing resale shop in downtown Geneva for more than 20 years. Trellis Farm and Garden is managed by her oldest son. Her youngest son, who worked at the Harvest Shoppe for five years as a teenager, helps out, as do two other college-age kids. "This is definitely a family venture, Stopka said.
It's not the first time she's been around livestock. Her grandfather ran a dairy farm west of St. Charles, and her father sold sawdust for animal bedding.
The store is at 2N492 Kirk Road. Stopka called the location "phenomenal, with the barns reminding passers-by of the area's rural past. Stopka said the store's products will include supplies for people pursuing interests such as raising chickens in their backyards and other aspects of the "local foods movement. "We're really on a ground floor for what is coming in the (feed store) business, she said.
The store actually uses three barns on the property, with one devoted to wild birdseed and the other to horse-related items.
The Harvest Shoppe closed suddenly last November. In March the owners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, owing creditors $1.6 million. The Harvest Shoppe used the barn and a small white building. The shop is on land owned by Ed Regole. The Regole family owned thousands of acres of farmland on the east side of St. Charles. Much has been sold off for shopping centers and business parks.
At the grand opening, there will be a "Feed Your Dog for a Year prize. Baby miniature ponies Little Summer and Wee Bit will be there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Animal rescue groups Rover Rescue, Good as Gold and 4 Paw 4 You, will be there from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with pets for adoption. From 10 a.m. to noon, Kane County Audubon Society member Jerry Holt will answer questions about birds. And representatives of Purina Feeds and Carhill Triple Crown companies will be in the store all day for equine feed questions and also offering product specials.
There is a free hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.