Northern Exchange - for happy, healthy critters
One of the most delightful new businesses to arrive in St. Germain over the past few years is “Northern Exchange”. Owners Neal and Lisa Thomas first opened this feed (and more) store in December 2011, just east of their present location on Highway 70.
The couple owns a 1000-acre farm in southwestern Wisconsin and are raising 300 head of cattle. Neal began coming to St. Germain as a child, mostly for snowmobiling.
As many legendary businesses began, the Thomas's started out by selling their bagged corn out of their garage at their St. Germain home.”The first week of November Neal said, ‘We should open a feed store,” Lisa said. “Within two weeks we rented a building and hired the employees and opened on Dec. 15.”
It didn’t take long for the inventory to include more than deer corn. Wild bird food, chicks and ducklings, poultry feed, equine products and pet foods and more, packed the store. Within two years Northern Exchange outgrew their location.
In 2013, the Thomas’ built their present location and the selection of feed and products for domestic, farm and wild animals had plenty of room to expand. They also added seasonal items for sale such as greenhouse flowers, herbs and vegetables, pumpkins and even Christmas greenery and trees.
In addition to their retail functions, Northern Exchange offers delivery for a modest $10 fee with no minimum required. Throughout the year they offer classes on gardening, animal care and more.
Next weekend, June 19 & 20 Northern Exchange will celebrate their 4th Annual Customer Appreciation Days. There will be plenty of food, (featuring Lisa and her mother’s incredible homemade cookies — yummy!), hay wagon rides, pony rides, a bounce house and face painting for the kids, in store specials, baby goats and chicks, the Humane Society, a 500 pound giveaway from Nutrena of equine and poultry feed, door prizes and more.
The hours are 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM on Friday and 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM on Saturday.
The following weekend, Saturday, June 27, “The Fix Is In, Inc.” will be on the premises offering low cost vaccinations and micro-chipping for pets from 9:00 AM until noon.
The reigning Independence Day champions, they will again participate in the St. Germain parade beginning at 1:00 PM on Sunday, June 28.
In true farm family fashion, the entire family is involved in the business. They have six children: Troy, 21, Seth 18, Chad 16, Erik 13, Andrea 12, and Ryan, 5.
Lisa says their business is designed to accommodate the local residents in the area. They love the friendliness of St. Germain and consider it home. “ I think that our business is more like a family. Our products have numbers not our customers!” Lisa emphatically declared.