The Fleet Farm Story
Fleet Farm has been serving hardworking families since 1955. We’re built on a foundation of Midwestern values. You could say we’re a lot like our customers. We believe in honoring tradition, taking pride in our work and doing what’s right.
At Fleet Farm, you’ll find the heart of a general store, with the expertise and selection of a specialty store. We’re your one-stop shop with a welcoming, neighborly shopping experience.
“At Fleet Farm we have what you need for every season,” said Heath Ashenfelter, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer. “Think hunting, harvesting and boating, but also remember us for baking, tree tapping and bee keeping. As we hear our customers say, ‘If Fleet Farm doesn’t have it, I don’t need it!’”
Fleet Farm has a total of 47 stores in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
We continue to add new stores and new services to meet the needs of our valued customers.
- Fleet Farm opened two new stores in 2020, with the addition of stores in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Waukee, Iowa.
- Fleet Farm opened four new stores 2019 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; West Bend, Wisconsin (relocated store); and a major remodel of the St. Cloud/Waite Park, Minnesota store.
- Fleet Farm opened five new stores in 2018: In the Wisconsin towns of Eau Claire, Oconomowoc, DeForest and Delavan, as well as in Sioux City, Iowa.
Gordon Brickey, Garden Center Category Manager
Where are you from originally? I grew up in Seattle. Mowing lawns and tending the garden are things I’ve loved since I was a young boy. I started my own lawncare business while growing up there. Even today, if friends go out of town, I’ll help by mowing their lawn for them.
How long have you been with Fleet Farm? I just marked a decade working in Category Management at our headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin. I started in Tools moved to Lawn & Garden after a few years. This role has been a dream because I have had the opportunity to really expand and enhance our live plant selections and bring in new gardening products every season to keep it interesting for our customers.
What kind of changes have you made to the Garden Centers? Our Garden Centers have expanded to become a year-round destination for customers – indoor tropical plants in February, deer snack apple trees in March, spring flowers and veggies kick off in April. Autumn includes corn shocks, calico corn, pumpkins, straw bales and gourds.
What does your typical day look like? You might find me meeting with our greenhouse partners to figure out what we are going to do in the Garden Centers next year. Sometimes, our plans take several years because we need to grow something new, like our deer snack apple trees.
What are deer snack trees? They are also known as bare-root trees. It took us more than three years to develop this product for our stores. They are small apple trees that are 3-7 feet tall with bagged roots They are easy to carry out and plant. Deer love to snack on the fruit. We sell out of more than 15,000 of these trees every March — there is a short window to get them in the ground for spring. Customers buy them in pairs – one male and one female so they can pollinate.
What is a unique Garden Center product that customers look for every season? Winter porch pots. We create several “recipes” for our pots that include evergreen spruce tips, birch branches, dogwood sprigs and crabapple clusters. Our selection is totally unique. Every year they sell out.
What is your favorite Fleet Farm product? I am a DeWalt tool junky because I love to do wood crafts and work with my hands. Other than the Garden Center, the tool aisle is my favorite aisle of the store.
What is your best gardening tip? The secret recipe to spending time in the yard is to do it with your family. I garden with my wife, my four daughters, my three sons-in-law and my six grandchildren. It’s a family affair.