LEAF RIVER – Vintage Chicks & Feed is certainly not your typical feed store.
Sure, it has feed to meet the needs of pretty much anyone – from family pets to farm animals. But there are also unique items for people who want something different for their house, or their own DIY project.
“It’s kind of grown from the feed to some rustic relics to more vintage style and decorating and home décor,” said Vicki Miller, who owns the store along with her husband Gene.
Located on IL Route 72 in Rural Leaf River, the building that now houses Vintage Chicks & Feed was and old farmer’s co-op. Miller said her husband was already selling feed, so they opened the store and began to branch out.
That was five years ago. On Oct. 4-5, Vintage Chicks will have a customer appreciation weekend celebrating those five years, featuring giveaways, drawings, free samples and other fun things. Miller said people should check her Facebook pages for more details closer to the event.
While she is usually open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., on Oct. 4-5 she will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
As it says in the name, Miller said they have feed to fit any need – including at least one unusual item.
“I even have zebra feed,” she said.
And yes, it sells.
When people are there for the feed, they can’t help but check out everything else, including the soap that makes the business smell especially good. That soap is specially made for Vintage Chicks by the Oregon Soap Shoppe.
“I’m honored to have her soap here, because everyone knows the Oregon Soap Shoppe,” Miller said.
She also sells some items from local artisans, including barn wood furniture, metal art and homemade pillows.
There are also vintage items just waiting for a new home. Miller said she is “always looking” for items for the store. She said people are also now bringing things to her that she thinks she might like. They also offer for her to go through their old barns or sheds.
“It takes time to find things, inventory it and set up,” she said.
But she tries not to keep things around for too long. She said she strives to keep the inventory fresh.
“I like to have things priced reasonably so they move.”
She also wants to keep the business family-friendly. To that end, she has plenty of help from her own three adult children and 10 grandchildren around the store. Miller said people are welcome to bring their kids and pets to the store.
It is easy to see that Miller loves what she does. The smile is a dead giveaway.
“I have the most wonderful people who walk through the door.”