The Oxford Grain & Hay Co.
"From our family to yours since 1919"
Oxford Feed & Lumber
Unionville Feed & Pet
Pets & Friends at Jenners Village
S.R. Dickey began dealing grain, hay, lumber and farm supplies from this location in 1865. The Historic red brick mill and elevator was built in 1880. The Founder purchased grain and hay from local farmers, and shipped by rail to horse stables as far as Philadelphia and Baltimore. Seeds, fertilizer, lumber and coal were sold to local townsfolk. Record books of these transactions are kept in the display case at the new Oxford Feed & Lumber store.
The landmark old brick mill is actually one of the oldest brick grain elevators in the country with the "pulley houses" atop the building. Bucket elevators would pull grain from the basement bins and deposit the grain in any of the 3 story bins on the back of the building. Grain would then be "out loaded" onto railroad cars along the rear track.
Throughout the early 1900's the business changed hands several times. Dickey sold the business to C. Raymond Kirk in 1915 and Kirk to W. Maurice Bunting in 1917 and Bunting to J.C. Hayes and L.E. Shoemaker in 1919. The Drennen family became involved when Lawrence C. Drennen was hired as the bookkeeper in 1919. Lawrence was the second generation of Drennens to be involved in the country store business as his father operated the Fairmount General Store in Lancaster County. After many years of expanding responsibilities at the mill, Lawrence became a partner in 1946 with Shoemaker.
Lawrence's sons Donald and Lawrie joined the business upon graduating from high school. Many new improvements were made to the business as a flourishing dairy feed and lumber business kept everyone very busy. A home heating oil business was added in the 1950's.
Third generation family members began working at the lumberyard in the 1970's and 80's. Lawrie's & Donald's sons and daughters were involved during their summers while attending high school and college. Lawrie's son Chris joined the business full-time in 1982 and became a partner in 1993 after purchasing Shoemaker's stock in the business.
Lawrence Drennen continued to be active in the business well into his late 90's. Although his eyesight was failing, he could still recognize customers by their voice and was able to greet them by first name. Lawrence slipped and fell in 1996 returning to work one day after lunch and passed away 2 months later at the age of 98. He had been working everyday up to that point.
After his father's passing, Donald Drennen decided to retire in 1997 and Lawrie Jr. bought Donald's share of the business. Lawrie Sr., serving the community for over 65 years with the company, continues today as partner with sons Chris and Lawrie Jr.
It was decided in 1998 to expand the retail business in order to provide a broader supply of pet, home and farm supplies for the local market. After a year of business planning, the new store design was finalized and construction began in 1999 on the America's Country Store.
The new Oxford Feed & Lumber store opened its doors in January of 2000, with a broad array of pet feed and supplies, horse, wild bird, lawn and garden and builders' hardware. Also available is a wide selection of country gifts, books, cards, candles, apparel and many other gift items. Wide community support, a complete selection of products and outstanding employees has made for a thriving business.
In 2005, the Drennen family expanded its Purina feed business by purchasing Hess Mills, which was renamed Unionville Feed & Pet. This store is mainly focused on horse feeds and supplies and has a broad array of feeds, pet food, and wild bird products. The store provides service to many horse farms in the Kennett Square, Downingtown, West Chester, Chadds Ford and New Castle County, Delaware area. The store has outstanding employees that helped make the transition in ownership seamless, and they provide a superior level of customer service.
As the market for pet foods and supplies grew, it was decided to open a pet food boutique in the newly expanded Shoppes at Jenners Village. The new store is called Pets and Friends and opened its doors in November 2007. The store has all the essentials for pet owners along with many types of food from economy to superior nutrition. You'll find supplies for dog and cat, small animal, and wild bird. Pets and Friends also carries an assortment of unique gifts for pets from dog clothing and pet carriers to picture frames and ornaments.
After many years of searching the area around our Unionville Feed store for expansion options, we were able to acquire the Brandywine ACE store just minutes away at Pocopson. After major interior modifications were completed, we were able to integrate the Unionville feed store along with many pet feeds and supplies items into the store. Winter improvements to the exterior will be taking place and a Spring 2013 Grand Re-Opening is planned featuring Weber grills, Scotts, Ben Moore paint, Stihl power equipment and Craftsman tools along with better brands of pet food and supplies. We will proudly display the Purina Checker along with the ACE logo and offer the very best array of products to the local community and their animals.
Our stores are proud of being part of the Oxford Grain & Hay and its history as the oldest continuously operating business in the Oxford area and as the second oldest Purina dealer in the United States. We are equally proud of our history of superior customer service and friendly family atmosphere. Today, we utilize the latest technologies from computer designed decks to communication tools such as Facebook, YouTube and e-mail coupon club in order to better serve our customers. A new shoppable website has been updated with shipping capabilities. Our product lines have been updated to meet the expectations of today's informed consumer with the most advanced products in the categories we serve. Providing our history of superior service, along with up-to-date products, has been a formula for success that our customers appreciate.
We are thankful for the community support and patronage at all of our stores. We strive to provide great service "from our family to yours since 1919."