Carter Country Farm and Feed has been a staple in the Bonners Ferry community for the past three years, with their original Sandpoint location standing strong for the past 18 years. Owner Charlie Carter has created not just one but two locations for customers to find everything they need for their animals' health and wellness, plus so much more!
Charlie has lived in North Idaho for the past 25 years. He was initially attracted to the area because of its natural beauty and the opportunity for economic growth. “I soon was attracted to the independent nature of the citizens of the community and their self-reliance and naturally helpful attitude,” he says. “This has been a great place to live and to do business.”
Located on Main Street, customers will find everything including pet and farm feed and supplies, animal health supplies and products, fencing, hardware and garden supplies at Carter Country. They are also retailers for EzyDog and were the first retailers in North America to offer EzyDog products; a line of active dog gear encompassing the rugged outdoor lifestyle dogs love. According to Charlie, “Their products have enriched our offerings, and they are [wonderful] folks to deal with. We've enjoyed this association with fellow local small-business people.”
Sandpoint residents John and Alana Hatcher opened EzyDog, which manufactures and distributes products for dogs—everything from leashes, collars and harnesses to backpacks, floatation vests and jackets—in 2003. “From day one, we have focused on the active lifestyle of people and their dogs. Whether out for a hike, run or the water with your dog, or traveling somewhere to spend time with your dog, we offer solution-based products to enhance the dog/guardian experience,” says John. “Our products are built with several materials used by the outdoor industries’ elite, particularly competitors in water sports—people and dogs alike.”
The couple relocated to Sandpoint in 2001 “for the love of the area, first and foremost,” says John. “Within a very short amount of time, our dogs approved as well.” Like Charlie, it is vital to John and Alana to ensure the customer is happy with their purchase, striving to make sure that their customers are getting a superior product at a good value.
John and Alana’s love of animals doesn’t just involve EzyDog. John has been on the Board of Directors of the Panhandle Animal Shelter since 2013, and he and his wife are active volunteers. “We also have committed to make sure that every dog at the shelter leaves with a brand new collar just to make sure they start off on the right paw!” says John.
Carter Country has set itself apart from other similar stores in that it offers a unique shopping experience for pet lovers, 4-H and FFA members and their families, as well as for farmers and ranchers. It is important to Charlie and his staff that they show personal attention to each customer’s specific needs and offer informed suggestions to meet these needs.
“I enjoy getting to know members of the community and working closely with them and their families,” says Charlie. “Working with the 4-H and FFA members to help them with their projects is particularly rewarding. It's such a joy to watch them show their animals at the fair and to be able to bid on some of their animals.”
With not only one but two successful businesses, Charlie attributes this success to his entire staff and their training in product knowledge and animal health, which leads to great customer service. “Our staff knows how to answer customers' questions and help them find solutions for their pet, farm animal, gardening, fencing and hardware needs,” says Charlie. “We treat each customer like the special person they are, with a friendly smile, as we listen first and then make suggestions to solve their problems and meet their needs.”
Carter Country Farm and Feed and EzyDog are businesses both passionate about animals and their people. “Animals are the core reason we exist, and helping their people take care of them is fundamental,” says Charlie.
Carter Country Farm and Feed
357 S. Olive Avenue Sandpoint, Idaho 208.263.8236