Popular Drive Thru Feed celebrates an anniversary and unique Key Peninsula customer service. Photo by Ed Johnson, KP News

 

Jerry Davis started his business 13 years ago. He did not intend to open a feed store, but that’s what it is.

Davis was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and became Airborne qualified. The mission of Airborne is to parachute behind enemy lines for combat. Davis saw combat with two tours in Vietnam and later in the Dominican Republic.

Between 1978, when Davis retired from the Army, and 1985, when he moved to the Key Peninsula, Davis operated an underwater marine salvage business, towed marine freight, was a police chief in Wittier Alaska, attended International Bible College in Hawaii, sold vinyl siding and managed a restaurant in Arizona.

From 1985 to 1987, Davis worked in food service for the state prison system in Purdy and Shelton before he purchased his current business site (at the intersection of SR-302 and Wright-Bliss Road) in 1989, where he intended to construct and operate a restaurant.

In 2000, the restaurant site was still an empty lot when he learned he would loose his commercial zoning if he did not immediately start operating a business on the site.

Davis started a swap meet.

Seeing as how it rains in Washington, Davis set up tents and constructed buildings for the swap meet vendors. Those many buildings have since been rearranged for his current Drive Thru Feed business.

“One day one of my swap meet customers was extremely upset about something, so I asked what her troubles were,” Davis said. “It turned out that she was upset and offended over terrible service that she had received from a local feed store.”

“A light bulb lit, I thought for a bit, and I have been in the Drive Thru Feed business ever since,” said Davis. “Service and courtesy are our bywords.”

Davis said his customers never need to leave the comfort of their vehicles. As soon as a customer drives up, one of his workers rushes up, hands the customer a candy bar and/or a bottle of water, takes their order and loads the vehicle with merchandise.

Davis sells all types of livestock feed (for horses, cows, pigs, chickens and llamas) and will soon be adding dog food. He claims his business has grown by 10 percent every year since he opened.

“I check all local competitors and underprice them,” Davis said. “I concentrate on volume sales and customer satisfaction. I also have the cheapest price for propane.”

Davis likes to surprise his customers. Some months he may pass out raffle tickets to win a 100 pound bag of feed, or if you have one of his “Follow Me to Drive Thru Feed” bumper stickers, you may experience a discount on every bag of feed purchased if you happen to drive in at a randomly selected and posted time of day.

For his 13 year anniversary, at various times throughout January, Davis had special gifts and awards to surprise his customers.

If you find that goods are overpriced in today’s market and you are served with disrespect, then fall in behind one of the many vehicle bearing a bumper sticker saying Follow Me to Drive Thru Feed, he said.

For information, call 884-3386.

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