Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Farm Supplies and Neighbors

By Will Bublitz

Jon Rosenberg and his staff at the Limon Big R store are ready to help customers with all their supply needs for farm and ranch as well as a lot more.

Jon has been the store’s manager for the past 1-1/2 years.

“This is my first time as a store manager,” he said. “There’s never a dull moment here at Big R. After working in construction and plumbing for years, I’m learning something new every day about livestock feed and other ag issues. I love working here.”

As the manager, Jon is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Limon store.

“It’s my job to keep the stock levels up and our shelves full with different feeds and supplements that change with the seasons,” he said. “I also try to keep my employees happy. We want a good working environment here because we here to serve the public.”

Jon said there has been a steady growth in  business over the past several months at the Limon Big R store.

“Every month we continue to beat what we did last year at the same time,” he said. “That’s not only in sales but also in customer counts. I think people are finding out that our Big R store is here in Limon. I always like to say that this is a small-town store with a big-town selection.”

Proof of the successful growth of Limon’s Big R store can be seen in the number of its employees.
“Last year at this time, we had only six employees,” Jon said. “Today, we have three managers including myself as well as seven associates. I think that says something about the growth in the volume of our sales.”

A large proportion of Big R’s sales are in livestock feed, supplements and equipment.

“We have a full line of Purina and Nutrena products,” Jon said. “I’m also a big proponent for special orders. While I can’t get everything, I do get just about anything a customer might want. Our special orders range all the way up to show feed for champion livestock.”

In addition to livestock feed, the Big R store has lots of clothing for sale.

“We have a full line of clothing ranging from work clothing to ladies fashions,” Jon said. “Customers can also order any type of clothing or footwear. In addition, we have some fire retardant clothing available for oil field workers.”

The Big R store also is the place to shop for sporting goods. Guns and ammunition, fishing equipment, camping supplies and much more are available. Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased at the store, too.

“Another service of our Big R store is that it is a certified Stihl chainsaw dealership and repair facility,” Jon said. “In addition, we’re authorized to repair any Honda motor whether it’s a compressor, generator or anything.”

While he is proud to be th Limon Big R store manager today, Jon admits it is a lot different type of work from what he envisioned himself doing just a few years ago.

Born in San Diego, Jon grew up in that Southern California city. After graduating with his 1,800-member class from San Diego High School, he moved to Las Vegas, Nev. where he started a career in plumbing.

“After I got of Las Vegas, I did two years of study and apprenticeship in the plumbing trade,” he said. “I then worked for several companies for a few years. In 2004, I started my own plumbing business and did contracts at Caesar’s Palace, Fashion Show Mall and Mervyn’s Department Store. My company did a lot of commercial and residential contracts. One of the famous celebrities I did contract plumbing work for was Barry White.”

When the Great Recession began, Las Vegas was one of the nation’s cities that was hardest hit. wJon’s plumbing business was one of that city’s businesses that were forced to close during those economic hard times.

“I left Las Vegas in 2011 and moved to Elizabeth, Colo. where my parents had moved 15 years ago,” he said. “Over the years, I’d visited them there and liked it. Once things fell through in Las Vegas, I thought I’d go there and give it a try.”

After arriving in Elizabeth, Jon got what he originally thought would be only a temporary job at the Big R store in that town.

“I started at the bottom working in the barn and yard throwing hay and feed and making deliveries,” he said. “When I started, it was on a part-basis time, but the Big R store would not let me leave. They kept promoting me, first to sporting good manager and then assistant manager.”

After working a year as the Elizabeth store’s assistant manager, Big R asked him to take over as store manager here in Limon.

“They gave me this opportunity to come out here,” he said. “I took it and I’ve never looked back. I really like it here in Limon. Everyone is so nice, outgoing and respectful. This store is now my No. 1 goal. I want to see it continue to grow.”

When not working, Jon enjoys hunting and fishing.

“I’m a big advocate for gun rights,” he said. “Since I moved to Colorado, I also learned to fly fish and I love it.”

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