A welcoming atmosphere with the nostalgic feel of yesterday, The Barn Trading Company is much more than just a location to buy feed for your animals and plants for your garden. It’s a destination. One that invites you inside to browse the amazing gift shop, to sit a spell on the large, homey ‘front porch’ or just to enjoy the unique surroundings that envelope you the moment you get out of your vehicle.
Turner Barnes, owner and Brandon Arrington, co-owner, started the business four years ago with the idea of offering Oxford and the surrounding areas exactly what The Barn Trading Company is today: a rare and unique destination to shop for seed, feed, plants, mulch and a whole lot more.
“We have our great gift shop, farm supplies, plant nursery, pine straw and mulches,” Barnes said, “fertilizers and our feed store for animals. And during the holidays, like Christmas, our gift shop is hopping. We have unique and fascinating gifts for our customers and reasonable prices as well.”
Fall and spring planting seasons are two of The Barn Trading Company’s biggest times of the year and offers people a wide variety of plants and seeds to choose from.
“Those are our busiest times of the year,” he said, “and we’re going pretty wide-opened then. We have seeds, flowers, bedding flowers, shrubbery and also our landscaping architect here who can help people with the arrangement and placement of their purchases if they need it.”
“They’ll draw you out a plan and put your plants in the ground for you,” Barnes said. “Customers can come and buy what they want and BMA will help them design their lawns in a complementary and flattering way.”
During different holidays, such as Christmas, The Barn Trading Company also has live Christmas trees and garland for sell and at Easter they have baby chicks and ducks for customers.
“The children have a lot of fun with the baby animals,” Barnes said. “And in the fall around Halloween we have beautiful pumpkins and just an atmosphere of the season everywhere. We try to have something for everyone throughout the year.”
Brittany Barnes is office manager at The Barn and also Turner’s wife. Brittany said the uniqueness that The Barn Trading Company tries to incorporate into their business is displayed in many ways.
“We have a customer appreciation day every year,” Brittany said. “We offer discounts storewide, door prizes and sometimes hot dogs and hamburgers with other refreshments. We usually do it during in the fall on an off weekend, so that it doesn’t interfere with the Ole Miss Football schedule.”
Brittany said that while the gift shop and other niche items that The Barn sells are successful and always in demand, their number one seller is still the plants.
“Our gift shop is amazing and Brandon’s mother, Connie Arrington, is the gift shop manager and she makes sure we have the most beautiful and unique gifts possible to offer the customer,” she said. “But we’re a full service garden center too, with our landscaping consultant available to the customer. We feel that offers another facet to the gardening experience. And our plants are our number one seller. We are always happy to special order anything if possible, that we don’t have or the customer wants for their lawns. People also ask us to come and show examples of gardening techniques and things we’ve done, such as the Veterans’ organization and several other groups. We’ve done potting classes with them and different things with the Garden Club.”
“The bee population is decreasing,” Leonard said, “and we feel very accountable for that as a garden center because we sell what the bees want and plus we sell chemicals that can harm them. So, we like to educate our customers.”
And Leonard said she feels that’s what separates them from some of the larger retailers who sell plants and mulches. The Barn believes in not just selling the right plants to the right people, but also in educating the customer on how to get the most from their purchase and about the environment surrounding those plants when possible.
“We want our customers to be successful and we want them to be educated,” she said. “And those are the things that you can’t always get in the big-box stores. We take the time to teach the customer the right way to plant it and take care of it because when our customers are successful, they’re happy and want to do more. And we’re happy when our customers are happy.”
The Barn Trading Company is opened Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. during prime planting seasons and until 2 p.m. during off seasons. For more information, visit their website.
Angela Rogalski is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.