Booster Feed Mill

Some places are reassuring by virtue of their age. Some places are reassuring by virtue of their appearance. And some places are reassuring just by virtue of their sheer incongruity.

Booster Feed Mill — an old tin-sided feed store and grain elevator wrapped around the underside of the Martin Luther King Memorial Expressway as it passes over Admiral Place — is reassuring by virtue of all of the above.

There’s something comforting about the stubborn presence of a feed store tucked under an expressway in the middle of a busy city, its grain elevator towering over the neighboring businesses and rising up to cast its shadow over the elevated highway as traffic flies by at 65 mph.

Booster Feed Mill is everything a feed store is supposed to be: cramped, dusty, but neatly organized and well-kept, with a battle-scarred but neatly swept wooden floor; bins of bulk birdseed and alfalfa pellets arranged along one wall; crates of fresh eggs in a large refrigerator behind a bulk dog biscuit display in front of the counter; and a heavy front door covered in rabbit breeders’ business cards, homemade fliers touting sturdy-looking quarter horse stallions currently standing stud, photographs of fat, fuzzy Border collie and Australian shepherd pups, and handwritten index cards advertising everything from hay to honeybee removal services.

We wandered into Booster after lunch one afternoon several months ago. We weren’t really looking for anything in particular; we just have a natural affinity for feed stores (Ron grew up on a farm and had an uncle who ran a feed store for years, and I used to run to the feed store four blocks away to buy bulk Milk-Bones for our family’s beloved mutt, Stinky, when I was a kid) and wanted to see what sort of place had managed to survive a half-century or more of urban sprawl as Tulsa’s outskirts became downtown and the farmland around it began to sprout lucrative crops of McMansions, which somehow manage to grow and thrive without the assistance Calf-Manna, chops, or sweet feed.

We wandered around the tiny front section of the store — which literally lies in the shadow of I-244 — for several minutes, picking out an assortment of dog biscuits and pig ears for our faithful pack and chatting with the proprietor about the high cost of keeping three busy dogs healthy and well-fed. When he learned what we’d been spending on feed to fill our greyhound’s sometimes temperamental tummy, he took us back into a warehouse stacked with enormous bags of dog food, made a couple of recommendations about ingredients, and gave us a 10-pound sample of his store-brand lamb and rice formula for Jason to try.

The high-quality feed — which cost less than half as much as the Innova we’d been feeding our dogs — turned out to be more agreeable to Jason’s belly, all three dogs’ palates, and our pocketbooks, and we became regular customers, stopping by at least once or twice a month to pick up a pound or two of tiny dog biscuits and a 50-pound sack of feed (which a good-natured employee always brings out to the car and loads into the back seat for us).

Our dogs like the food, Ron appreciates the good prices and great customer service, and we both love the idea of supporting an independent feed store like the ones we grew up patronizing when we were kids.

Throw in our dogs’ shiny coats after a week or so on the new food, and … well, I no longer find it particularly mysterious that this unassuming little feed store hidden under a roaring interstate has managed to survive all these years. Competitive prices, good products, and stellar service will build the kind of customer loyalty that the glitzy chains full of doggie biker jackets and fancy training halters just can’t touch, no matter how many puppy kindergarten classes they might offer.

Value: A+
Service: A+
Convenience: B
Overall: A

~ by redforkhippie on February 3, 2007.

3 Responses to “Booster Feed Mill”

  1. […] came from Great Southern Bedrooms, and that white bag in the background is a 50-pound sack of Booster Feed Mill’s store-brand dog […]

  2. is the feed mill still open, or have they relocated i would like to check it out.

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