Saturday, October 8, 2016

Talley's Feed & Seed

Every spring thousands of Covington area gardeners would converge on this store, Talley's Feed And Seed. It was a social experience, a learning experience, and a sensation-rich adventure among the sights, sounds and smells of the area feed and seed emporium.

     Ted Talley provided some interesting details on this key Covington establishment. His comments were originally on Facebook, but since not everyone has Facebook, I am reposting them here. "The business began as a fertilizer and lime spreading business by my father based at my grandfather's farm in Bush the year I was born -1950. 

    "Around 1952 he opened a feed store in Covington in a small rented warehouse located on the current-day vacant lot immediately to the left of Marsolan's (Marsolan's back then was in another location in town.) Then about 1954 he bought the current location, the two-story building that used to be the Coca-Cola bottling and spring water bottling plant on Columbia Street. The Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling company phased out the old building and built the more modern one level warehouse next door which later became the tack and western wear side of the business when Coca-Cola changed distribution methods.

    "It was a great learning place for life. Everyone, rich, poor or otherwise, had a reason to shop at the feed store. Local luminaries like the Dorignacs and Pat O'Brien to Garland and Angela from WWL."

    His favorite photo of the store showed a Mercedes Benz sedan backed up at the loading dock next to a beat-up old pick up truck worthy of the Clampetts. "That was our customer base and serving it served me well as I worked, in future years, with the world's largest retailers," Ted explained, crediting much of the success in his career to being connected to the center of gravity he gained from his father's feed store.

A Yellow Pages Ad from the 1959 Phone Book.

Below is a feature article in the May 1972 issue of Pathways Magazine about "Red" Talley and his business. Click on the article image to make it larger. 

Ted Talley said that along the way, the business became one of the nation's leading seller of monkey chow. The nearby Delta Regional Primate Center bought its monkey feed from Talley's, and as a result, there being a lot of primates on hand, Talley's was selling a lot of laboratory grade monkey chow to the facility. 

Evelyn Talley showing her 1940 Covington High School Class Ring at the 2013 Covington High Centennial Bell Tower dedication ceremony.

Carolyn, Ted and Susan in 2017

The Talley's building and corner is now occupied by O'Keefe Feed & Seed