Feed company to close after 22 years in business
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | January 11, 2018
Maureen Adams wants to make sure the many cats she’s looking after find homes before she has to close her business for good.
“People are pretty sad because of the animals,” said Adams in an interview. “I’m pretty sad. I try not to think about it right now.”
At the end of February, The Great Haliburton Feed Co will be no more, unless someone offers to buy the business or other arrangements are made. Since 1995, Adams and her partner, Charles McAleaney, have rehomed thousands of animals, including cats, dogs, miniature pigs and even an iguana. They’ve also taken in raccoons and squirrels and given them a new lease on life.
More than three years ago, fire destroyed the building they were renting on Industrial Park Road. They lost product, but worst of all, it claimed the lives of nine cats, two rabbits and one rat. The community didn’t hesitate to rally around the couple to get them back on their feet. One man who came to their aid was local businessman Jerry Walker. He offered space for rent at a discounted price at 33 Hops Drive, off County Road 21. The 2,700-square-foot building had been vacant ever since Northern Expressions moved.
The arrangement was temporary and they planned to return to their former location once rebuilt. But it isn’t ready, according to Adams.
Their former landload, Rod Thurston, said the building should be finished by the end of March. He said space will still be available for them. Last month, Walker asked Adams and McAleaney to move out at the end of February to make way for a new tenant.
“At this particular point, it’s definitely got a new lease coming on, but I’m waiting on some finalities before we announce it,” Walker told The Highlander.
Adams and McAleaney decided they had no other option but to close. Adams said she’s investigated other spaces in Haliburton but has found they’re either too expensive to lease or aren’t suitable for housing animals.
“It’s just not doable,” she said. “I can’t see my way through.”
There have been offers of space, but they haven’t been a good fit, added Adams. And these days, she finds it more difficult to run a business than ever before. She said the economy isn’t doing well, costs are rising and it’s difficult to keep up at her age.
“I’m 60 [years old] and I’m really worn out,” she said. McAleaney is 61.
As for their future plans, Adams said they will be looking for jobs in the county. The business will remain open Monday to Saturday with its regular hours until the end of February.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.