AMHERST – Last fall, the decision was made to move Clarence Farm Services from its former J&P Farm Services location in East Amherst to another location inside Amherst.
The store moved to its new home on Industrial Park Drive in early October and the business has been flourishing there ever since.
“It’s something we had been considering for several years and once we made it, it didn’t take long to see the benefits,” store manager Greg Bishop said. “Being in Amherst allows to have greater access to customers and walk-in traffic, but it also makes it easier for our suppliers.”
J&P Farm Services, which was purchased several years ago by Clarence Farm Services of Truro, had been located on Highway 6 for more than 30 years. Just as it was considering moving to another location in town, it was approached by its neighbours, Access Labels, asking if it was interested in selling its location as part of its own expansion.
“It was a win-win situation for us and them. They were able to purchase our building to complete their expansion and we were able to sell the property so we could move either closer to town or into town,” Bishop said. “We also started to distribute a line of products that required some heated warehousing. It’s something we didn’t have available at our previous location, so making the move made more sense to us. It was something that made us start thinking about building a new store or finding something that would meet our needs.”
Bishop said the new location has excellent visibility on Industrial Park Drive and customers have commented on how much more convenient the location is. With the store diversifying into garden products and pet foods and other items, Bishop said, it made more sense to be closer to the town’s shopping centre that is the Superstore, Walmart and the Amherst Centre Mall.
“We have a number of customers who have told us that it made sense to move because they can come here right after getting their groceries,” he said. “I know it has helped with shipping and receiving because the drivers can get off at one exit, service their clients in the industrial park and then come here without having to drive through town.”
Clarence Farm Services, which services Cumberland County as well as Sackville, N.B. out of the Amherst store, offers a variety of farming products, including bag feed for poultry and the dairy and beef industries, as well as specialty animal feeds and supplies for both the large farms and smaller hobby or backyard farms.
Bishop said the backyard hobby farm is becoming more popular among people who have a few hectares and decide to put them to work with some livestock such as chickens.
“The big thing is they know where their food is coming from,” he said.
It also sells Gallagher fencing and is the Atlantic distributor for MS Schippers Canada products that includes everything from dairy supplements to cleaning supplies for the farming industry.
“We service everything from the large farms to the backyard producers,” Bishop said. “We deal with the big and the small, from the 10 tonnes of feed to 10 bags of feed.”