R.B. Erskine Inc. Farm, Garden & Pet Supply under new ownership

Janessa and Burleigh out front.
Janessa and Burleigh out front. Photo by Rebecca Haas

CHESTER, Vt. – We are pleased to announce R.B. Erskine Inc. has reopened under new ownership. Like many community members, we were surprised and saddened to hear Mike and Catherine’s announcement of their plans to close the store this past spring. “We” are Janessa Purney and Burleigh Sunflower, residents of Bartonsville, Vt., and longtime customers of Erskine’s. We love this store and the community around it and are looking forward to bringing it back to pre-pandemic operations.

The store, now Erskine’s Grain & Garden, is currently open Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. We have Poulin Grain and Green Mountain Feeds back in stock, pine shavings and straw, and lots of the pet food Erskine’s used to carry. We’re continuing to restock all the rest of things we need to keep our homes, hobbies, and farms running through the winter, as quickly as possible to the usual levels while recognizing we also have a duty to keep our store as safe as possible. We’ll continue to follow all ACCD guidance for retail stores for in-store shopping, as well as keeping pre-order curbside pick-up options available.

We are also happy and humbled to announce Mike Erskine plans to stay on in a part-time role for at least a year to help us in all aspects of learning his business. I know we are relieved to continue to see his friendly face – and knowledgeable brain – behind the counter on a regular basis, and we hope you will be, too.

As far as future plans go, we expect to spend the winter getting comfortable in the store, maybe moving some things around, but making no major changes with the exception of discontinuing some of the plumbing supplies – keeping all maple sugaring related fixtures – stovepipe, and basic hardware like nails, screws, and the like. Chester already has a perfectly good hardware store for those things! Soon it will be time to plant seeds for garden starts, and chick days will be here before we know it.

Why are we here? Our personal passions include keeping laying hens, raising poultry for meat, raising pigs, keeping bees, caring for a little orchard, as well as vegetable and flower gardening. Our two children, Louis (10) and Adeline (4), enjoy making messes with us. We look forward to sharing ideas and experiences with all of you. See you in the Depot!

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