I'm sending some local love today to a home-grown business that will turn 60 this year. From the Jax Mercantile Company website:
"Jax began in 1953 as humble structure built on the edge of the
Dreher family pickle farm boarding (bordering?) Highway 287 in north Fort Collins. The Dreher
boys constructed it out of steel once used to hold up steam engine water tanks
and wooden ammunition crates. The boys sold military surplus items they
purchased after attending a government sale."
The Dreher family owned Jax for 33 years before Jim Quinlan bought it and began expanding. These days, Jax has moved way beyond surplus and is one of those fun stores that sells everything for real outdoors-y people and pretenders like me. And Jax is community-oriented and donates to many local causes. There are six stores now, five in Northern Colorado and one in Ames, Iowa. The original store still stands on the site of that first "humble structure." But the pickle farm is long gone.