change is in the air

We have some news!

After seven great years, we are closing our doors. While this has been a hard decision, it is also the only one that makes sense for our family at this time. We have had an amazing time serving backyard farmers and homesteaders: our quirky, one-of-a-kind business was a joy to imagine and realize. We thank you for being a part of the journey.

 We will maintain regular hours this week** and starting next Saturday (10/2), we will be liquidating our inventory every weekend through Thanksgiving. We hope you will help us accomplish this important task by shopping with us one last time (see below for details).

 Moving forward, we intend to offer the cluck! space and our farm’s beauty for a range of public opportunities and private events beginning in the late spring of 2020. We look forward to deepening our commitment to local food and farming, ecology and the environment, native plants and pollinators, fiber farming and a myriad of other topics and political issues through public events at our farm. Stay tuned.

 Meanwhile, we know there will be questions as to why we are closing. I could certainly spin you a good tale-but that is not who I am-nor the person I have been to you as my customer-so I will just tell it to you straight.

 Consumer habits have changed greatly since I drafted cluck!’s business plan some eight-plus years ago. Amazonis living up to its ambitious name, its pet-style counterpart, Chewy,is rising in popularity and countless other online retail cannibals are following suit. This mega-sector is already well known for buying goods cheaply and selling them for what small retailers pay at wholesale. Now, the cannibals offer immediate, curbside delivery of every-little-thing, anytime, anywhere, often for free. Absolutely everything is coming through your mail slot.

 Cheap, easy and effortless is the new American way-a major part of what some are fearing (and others are welcoming) as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” It brings a burgeoning jobs sector of low-skilled, low-paying, contract jobs: picking inventory, packing boxes and delivering. Combine all that with the impact of the Trump tariffs and small and micro businesses are finding ourselves on the front lines of evolving local and national economies.

 Despite our best efforts, we have not found the secret sauce to meet this new economy and your changing consumer habits. The time has come to accept this and move on. I am so proud of what we grew into as a local, micro business. We have been a resource, a reliable go-to, a place glad to see you, happy to educate and help you, willing to refer you to others locally when we could not provide something here. I spent many late nights on chicken calls, diagnosed many a garden crisis, examined and discussed your proffered jar with a garden pest, refunded your purchase without question when you were not happy. All of that was what we set out to be and to do.

 Most of all, we set out to know our customers-and care about them. That we did. The best part of owning this business has been you, your lovely faces and your stories. We built cluck! as a brick and mortar store because we believed our connections as humans are what sustain us. We still believe that and look forward to deepening those connections as we transition into our next phase at Hurricane Hill.

 So, that is the straight story. It is also our last word on the subject.

 Now, onto the LIQUIDATION SALE!

Starting on NOVEMBER 2 we will be open on WEEKENDS (and some Fridays) from 10AM-6PM for liquidation- the entire store’s inventory will be at or below cost (excluding a few things like feed** and bedding and any items on consignment from local makers). Some fixtures and store décor items will also be for sale. 

 Cash or checks will be king (so we aren’t also paying those card fees on top of the discounted price!). For the latest info, check FB or our website. 

 With tremendous affection and appreciation,

Drake & Co.

 **Please note that we will continue to sell feed until we close and we will be referring you locally to continue your use of our store brands.