The Devine Family ventured into the feed business in the late 70’s when Joe & Kathy Devine decided to enter the world of business ownership and buy a struggling feed store, Farmer’s Exchange, in Framingham MA. Through hard work and guidance from entrepreneur, friend Tom Cutter, the business turned around and thrived – focusing not only on the horse business, but also on the booming laboratory feed business in nearby Boston. Over time, the successful growth of this store led to the purchase of another struggling feed store, Hanson Grain, in the early 80’s.
Hanson Grain continued to grow over the next decade under the direction of Kathy with the help of her sister Christine and later Kathy’s daughter, Tara. While continuing to sell feed, hay and shavings for horses & livestock, the Hanson store evolved to carry larger selections of pet food, wild bird and lawn and garden supplies as the surrounding towns changed and became more suburban.
The feed business grew more competitive, numbers of livestock decreased, and opportunities arose for the Devine’s to acquire competitors. Starting in 1994, with the Fitts Mill in Hanson, formerly Ripley’s Feed before it was purchased by the owners of Fitts Mill. It was located on Rt 27 at the old red railroad building, which still stands in the Dunkin Donuts lot. Two feed stores in the small town of Hanson was not viable so that location was closed and combined into the Hanson Grain store.
In 1996, the Devine’s were approached again to purchase the original Fitts Mill business located in Scituate at “The Mill”. This charming quirky 100 year old historic Mill that was built by the Fitts family and operated for over 100 years. “The Mill” served the needs of the farming community in Scituate & surrounding areas when a feed store was a crucial part of a thriving community. As the neighbor & access to the Mill changed over the past decade the difficult decision was made to move to another location. Retail operations ended at The Mill on December 31, 2015 marking the end of one of the oldest businesses in the area.
The last merger occurred in 2001 when Hal Smith of HE Smith Company of Avon approached the Devine family. The history of HE Smith Company can be traced back all the way to the late 1800’s when it was Avon Coal & Grain – with the business being passed down thru the generations. The current owner Hal Smith wanted to leave the feed business to concentrate on his shaving distribution business . Once again, due to decreasing livestock numbers, the Devine’s made the decision to close this location and merge the business into the Hanson location.
Our new Norwell location allowed for a great expansion of pet food & supplies to better serve the needs of the pet parents in the surrounding towns. This location is conveniently located on Rt 123 in the historic downtown section of Norwell.