When Raybon and Janelle Anderson began Bulloch Fertilizer Company in 1963 to serve local farmers with quality products backed up by wonderful personal service they could have never imagined the impact their business and family would have on our community. Nor could they have dreamed that two more generations of Andersons would be actively engaged in the business today.
Over five decades later, Bulloch Fertilizer has grown to be a leader in their industry. What is most fascinating however, is their expansion of the business 12 years ago with the opening of the new Anderson’s General Store.
The Anderson’s store was originally located at the Bulloch Fertilizer Plant in downtown Statesboro. In early 2005, Purina approached the Andersons with the idea of becoming a Purina Premier Dealer. After much consideration, Bulloch Fertilizer decided to expand their retail operation and move the store to its current location on Highway 80 East.
When they first opened Anderson’s General Store it was nearly 60 percent feed and agricultural supplies and 40 percent soft goods. Now they have seen that trend flipped. There are many keys to the store’s success. One important ingredient is their responsiveness to market conditions and needs.
Raybon’s son Mike is now the President of Bulloch Fertilizer Company and his wife Vicki helped open Anderson’s General Store. For many years, Vicki served as the general manager. They have now assembled a talented team to operate the store. Chat Carter is the general manager and Wayne Olliff, Drew Wiggins, John Flanders and Liz Marsh round out the management team.
In addition to being locally owned and managed the store is stocked full of unique products many of which are locally sourced or produced in Bulloch County. Of course, they also carry many popular brands such as Traeger, Big Green Egg, Costa, Georgia Boots, Columbia and Carhartt.
Equally as impressive as their unique inventory and friendly, knowledgeable staff is their marketing engagement using primarily social media and in-store events to promote the store and the products they sale. These creative efforts have seen the customer base of the store grow and they now enjoy a large regional draw.
Two of the most popular annual events they host are Chick Day in the Spring and Old Farm Day in the Fall. Their official chef, Trip Mcalhany, is a master on the Big Green Egg and teaches cooking classes throughout the year. The Anderson’s have built an amazing brand that promotes family, community and strong Christian values.
Liz Marsh leads the marketing and events efforts and has created social marketing campaign’s featuring team members at the store which promote store giveaways weekly during the Christmas season. These viral campaigns have really put Anderson’s General Store on the map.
It is not uncommon for a single Facebook post to be shared nearly 8,000 times and videos to be viewed by over 800,000 people. This is a remarkable accomplishment. Most businesses if they are lucky may see one or two of their posts reach these type of numbers per year. Marsh enjoys these viral numbers weekly from their loyal social media following.
Staying true to the foundation the business was begun on, along with innovations in marketing and events combined with keeping up with customer trends have made Anderson’s General Store one of the most popular shopping experiences in Statesboro.
Most people think the store is only a place that men shop. I agree, it is nearly impossible to not enter the store and find something that any man on your Christmas list would not love. But they also carry ladies clothing, boots, accessories and a lot of items that are worth a look.
Of course my favorite is Janelle Anderson’s cookbook. There are way too many family cooking secrets in this cookbook to share in this column. We all know that nothing represents families more in the south than sitting down together and enjoying a great home cooked meal.
Janelle’s cookbook lifts the lid so to speak on the secrets of great southern cooking indeed. But more than that it ties the entire Anderson’s family experience together. They love sharing their ideas and family with our community. It is this combination of love and commitment that sees blessings continue for everyone who comes to know this wonderful family.