By Errol Castens
PONTOTOC – Anyone who’s visited Moore’s Feed Store on a Saturday morning knows the definition of a traffic jam.
Typically, SUVs and horse-drawn buggies vie for space with dually pickups pulling gooseneck trailers for enough room to get off Highway 15 South to go inside and buy anything from custom-mixed cattle feed to insulated coveralls to metal roofing.
On Monday, owner John Moore introduced a new fix for the parking problem when he and his staff, including some 30 new employees, had a soft opening of their new facility on Highway 15 North.
There’s 330,000 square feet under roof, and the huge parking lot includes dozens of oversize spaces for truck-and-trailer rigs. Inside, higher ceilings and brighter lights add to wide aisles inside the cavernous new store to contrast with the southside location’s jam-packed spaces.
“Parking was the main issue, and not enough room inside the store,” Moore said, adding that the old location will remain open indefinitely.
“It’ll be a duplication – we’ll have a lot of the same stuff there – but probably most of our metal roofing and lumber will be here,” he said. “We actually got open to sell our winter clothes up here. We’re doing a soft opening, because we know we’ll have a lot of bugs to work out before we’re ready for a big crowd.”
General Manager Kimmy Dobbs has been directing an army of some 30 new employees as they finish stocking and pricing merchandise.
“We’ve been jumping through hoops trying to get everything in place,” he said. “I’ll tell you how busy we were Friday: I didn’t even pick my check up. I’m serious.”
From the wide-hipped rockers at the front doors to the paint section near the back walls, one can find more variety at Moore’s than one might imagine – Coke-truck coin banks and cowboy prayer plaques, fan belts and pig feeders, woodstoves and pressure washers, paint and pottery, hunting boots and hammers, and thousands upon thousands of other necessities and niceties.
Oh – and there’s feed, too.
Customer Harold Scott of Pontotoc County’s Friendship community was walking the home improvement aisles Monday telling someone on the other end of a cellphone conversation, “They’ve got everything in here. They’ve got everything. Oh, man, they’ve got everything.”