DeYoung’s Farm & Garden, a Woodinville institution for almost seven decades, will close on Dec. 31.
The owners of the farm and feed supplies store — brothers John and Dennis DeYoung and their mother Stella DeYoung — are ready to retire, and sold the property to a developer.
"My brother has been retired for a couple of years, and I’m getting up toward retirement age," John DeYoung said. "We had somebody come along and offer to buy the property."
The business began in 1925 when John and Dennis DeYoung’s grandfather, also named John DeYoung, bought Woodinville’s general store, which sold groceries and clothes as well as feed and tools. In 1944, Lowell DeYoung (John and Dennis’ father) took over the feed part of the business. He built a feed mill near what is now McCorry’s on the Slough.
The Farm & Garden store has been open at its current location on NE 175th Street for 69 years. In 1984, the DeYoungs sold their mill to Ralston Purina, but continued making feed at a mill in Redmond until the mid-1990s, John DeYoung said.
The store has always served the community, assistant manager Greg Piland said, but the customers and their needs have changed over the years.
"Thirty, 40 years ago, there were a lot more 5-acre tracts in Woodinville," where people raised cows, chickens and horses, John DeYoung said.
Now, the store sells lots of dog and cat food, although it also sells more unusual products like llama feed.
"In the last few years, the urban chicken has become more popular," John DeYoung added.
"We’ve sold quite a bit of chicken feed."
Janice English is a customer who regularly buys chicken feed at DeYoung’s.
"I like to shop from the local people if possible," she said. "It’s unfortunate they’re leaving. Maybe there’s not so many farmers in Woodinville anymore."
Other customers’ reactions ranged from disappointed to distraught.
"I want to cry. That’s really sad," said Melody Swanson. She added, "This is going to be a sad day. It’s not just closing a store; it’s a lot of people’s hearts."
Swanson buys feed for her dogs and horses at DeYoung’s, and doesn’t know where else to find high-quality grain.
"The quality of the stuff that’s here is second to none," she said.
Curt Nilsen, who frequently shops for dog food and yard supplies at DeYoung’s, was more philosophical.
"It’s part of the new Woodinville. Nothing lasts forever," he said. "The only thing that stays the same is change."
For John DeYoung, the customers and the employees are what he will miss most when the store closes.
"We’ve been fortunate over the years with wonderful customers," he said. He added, "The guys who work at the store are wonderful. They do a great job…. That’s the sad part about closing and selling. We’re not going to see all those great people."
Photo by Briana Gerderman