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Grafton’s Farmers Delight Closing after 68 years |

Grafton’s Farmers Delight Closing after 68 years

GRAFTON — After more than 68 years in business, Farmers Delight in Grafton will soon be closing its doors for good.

The eclectic store — known for carrying everything from hardware and live chickens to cast iron skillets and gardening equipment — will be holding a continuous retirement sale in the coming months as business winds down.


Owner Tony Veltri said he made a promise to his wife, Gerry, more than 18 years ago to retire so the pair can travel and spend more time with their family.

“I’m just now fulfilling my promise to her,” he said.

To help him keep that promise, Veltri said he has hired a professional liquidation company to help organize a final sale and rid the store of its inventory.

“We’re going to keep selling until we’re down to zero,” he said. “I’m going to be here for probably another two or three more months trying to get rid of everything.”

The store’s first incarnation began in Webster in 1949, adjacent to the small community grocery store run by his parents, Veltri said.

“My mom and dad used to sell a lot of feed, livestock feed,” he said. “So my dad thought it would be a good idea to build a building strictly for the feed.”

Veltri ran the store for his parents after school and during his free time, growing the store from a supplement to the grocery store into a thriving business of its own.

“I kept working at that and working at that and then I started adding more items,” he said. “We got into fertilizer and different farm items.”

After graduating from Grafton High School in 1955, Veltri said his parents approached him about attending Purdue University, but he had other plans.

“They had the money to send me and they wanted me to go,” he said. “But I was too interested in this store. I just kept adding more products to the store. I added hardware.”

After growing the store as much as he could in Webster, Veltri moved it to Grafton in the mid-1980s.

“I moved into Grafton because I wanted to try and be able to reach more people,” he said.

The store quickly became a fixture of the community, Veltri said.

“We’ve always been known as the store that has everything,” he said. “And when someone would ask us for something, if we didn’t have it, we would make an effort to get it for them.”

During more than a half-century in business, Veltri said he has seen quite a bit of change.

“I never learned to use a computer,” he said. “We have a computer here that my employees use for me.”

He has also seen a shift in the way customers shop, Veltri said.

“The internet and the way people can buy things now has certainly eaten into our business,” he said.

Gerry said her husband, who serves on the Taylor County Commission, will remain an active member of the community even into his retirement.

“He’s a community person,” she said. “He’s always done a lot for the community and he’s still going to do that; he’s not going to go to the La-Z-Boy.”

In fact, Veltri said he has big plans for his retirement.

“One of things I would like to do is go see the Grand Canyon. Never in my life have I been there,” he said. “I’d like to go to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, all the things out West that everybody always talks about.”

Gerry said Veltri and his store will be sorely missed in Grafton and the surrounding communities.

“He’s been connected here for years and years and years,” she said. “It’s just been such a big part of his life.”

Farmers Delight is located at 501 Blueville Drive No. 3 in Grafton. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information, visit www.farmersdelightcompany.com or call 304-265-1945.

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