Their father started a business in 1945. They're keeping it running with the help of a personal touch.

Posted at 11:23 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 23:23:34-05

HOPEWELL, Va. -- It's another busy day for Heretick Feed & Seed.

Joe Heretick started the business in 1945 after returning from his time in the South Pacific as a member of the Navy in World War II. Upon his return, he set his sights on opening a store in Hopewell.

Their father started a business in 1945. They're keeping it running with the help of a personal touch.

About a year later, he would open a second location in Petersburg.

"The building was used as a hospital during the Civil War. It was actually struck by cannon fire during the war, we have a plaque on the front of the building," Marty Heretick, Joe's son, said.

Now, 77 years later, the Heretick brothers run both locations, with Tim Heretick running the Hopewell location and Marty managing the one in Petersburg.

The business makes more than two tons every day using a decades-old proprietary formula that was designed by their father.

"Right now, we are in the warehouse and the fellows are bagging up some of the feed that we make. We make our own feed, horse feed, cow feed, hog feed and chicken feed," Marty explained.

The Petersburg store attracts customers from Central Virginia for more than just their feed.

"We do sell chicken. We have four-month-old chickens we sell," Marty said.

Every week in the spring for four months, the Petersburg location will usually get around 400 baby chickens a week.

In Hopewell, while the location has the same name and similar items, there is a unique difference.

"We've kind of changed our version of horsepower for gasoline engines and two-stroke machines," Tim said.

The key to success at the Hopewell store is that they run mechanics year-round. Because of that, the store attracts customers from across Virginia and out of state.

"Right now, we've got stuff from Portsmouth. We've got stuff from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. I've got a couple of machines in here from Manassas," Tim said.

Both brothers said that success comes down to something that is hard to find nowadays.

"Customer service means a lot to people. They like being able to come in and talk to us, ask questions, you know. And we know how to answer their questions," Marty said.

"We kinda think it's because we give a little bit more personal touch than what you'll get out of the big boxes," Tim said.

Both Marty and Tim said they have no plans to retire. Both stores' similarities and differences make them unique and both continue to have a loyal following, something they both believe would make their father proud.