by Steve Sischka, Co-Owner, Olsen’s For Healthy Animals
The Olsen family has left an indelible mark on Yavapai County, and Prescott in particular, since 1951 – and even before that, considering Ann (Fornara) Olsen’s relatives settled in Yavapai County in 1907.
However, the fact that we’ve been here so long doesn’t qualify us as true locals in my mind. That designation comes not only from longevity, but also from giving back to the communities that have given us so much success. Civic participation, whether it is volunteering, providing public services or sponsoring community events, is what makes Olsen’s For Healthy Animals proud, and that’s the real story we like to tell.
Shopping local keeps money in our communities. Shopping with locals gives you the opportunity to shop with folks who think local, speak local and care local. You see, Olsen’s invests in organizations and programs that make our area warm and welcoming, so when you decide where to shop for your holistic pet food and barnyard animal food, as well as locally milled feed and wild bird food, hay and all varieties of related items, think Olsen’s first.
Olsen’s started out as Olsen’s Chino Valley Grain in 1979 when Mike and Sherrill Olsen and John and Ann Olsen bought a struggling feed business in the then-tiny community of Chino Valley. The next year, Steve and Kathy (Olsen) Sischka brought the business into Prescott as the Prescott Grainery, just off of Miller Valley Road. Then, in 1982, Olsen’s expanded to another tiny community, Dewey, with Dan and Barb Olsen.
In the meantime, Olsen’s became simply Olsen’s Grain to unite the stores under one banner. It was 15 years before Olsen’s expanded again – this time to Flagstaff – and another five years after that before another store was established in Clarkdale. All the while, the founding principle of “active participation” to make our communities more successful was flourishing at Olsen’s. Suffice it to say, we all had an “I can’t say no” sign imprinted on our foreheads and, to a large extent, still do. Olsen’s mission is the health of your animals and pets. That’s why in late 2013, we became Olsen’s For Healthy Animals. You see, healthy animals are a huge part of healthy communities. As owners, we have moved away from active participation in everyday store activities, and as such have provided management opportunities for some incredibly talented local folks. However, as members of the board of directors, we continue to have a huge influence on the direction of Olsen’s in our ever-evolving communities. To all of us and all of our associates throughout the Olsen’s extended family, “Good enough just isn’t.”
For more information on Olsen’s five stores, upcoming events, monthly sales, brands we carry and community organizations we support, go to olsensfamily.com.