Jason said that Madison is the perfect place for his business because to reach other similar stores, ranchers and farmers would have drive to Moberly or Paris and Monroe City.

Jason and Janey Wells are about to take a plunge into a small-town retail business, a risky undertaking in an era of large stores and online competition.

The Wells’ are working daily to prepare a long dormant building at the corner of North Main Street and West Broadway (Missouri Highway 151 and U.S. 24) in Madison for their Farm & Supply Ranch Company business that they hope to open by the second week of September.

Jason operated a similar store in Unionville, Mo., for 10 years, from 2004-2014, before the couple closed the store and moved to the Moberly area to be close to their grandchildren. The couple, who have been married for 41 years, built a house near Moberly, and Jason took a job working for someone else, but he never lost to urge to again run his own business, so he told Janey he wanted to open another retail business serving farmers and ranchers.

When asked about the risk capital involved, he replied simply: “It’s only money.”

Janey, who was working on organizing paperwork behind the counter, started to laugh hysterically. Each time she tried to say a word, she laughed some more.

Janey, who worked full time as a registered nurse at the Moberly Medical Center, was asked if she was opposed to the business.

“Oh, no,” she said as she stopped laughing. “He has his mind set doing this so I am going to help him make this happen.”

Quipped Jason: “Yep, she is the one supporting us now.”

After more laughter, Janey said that when it was clear that Jason wanted to open the store, they started to look for a location. At the time, Janey was driving from just outside Moberly to the Monroe Manor in Paris, where she worked. She kept driving past the building at the corner of North Main Street and West Broadway and thought that it would be a good location for the store, but when she drove on U.S. 24 home, she did not see a city hall, bank or post office.

“Then we came into Madison on (Missouri Highway) 151 one day and we saw city hall, a bank and just up the road, a post office,” she said. “We knew this was right.”

Jason said that Madison is the perfect place for his business because to reach other similar stores, ranchers and farmers would have drive to Moberly or Paris and Monroe City.

“I looked at locating in Moberly, but could not find anything I liked,” he said. “Plus, this is much more affordable.”

Added Janey: “And the truth is that we support Main Street America. That is important for us.”

They negotiated a lease with building owner Don Thomas, signed an agreement and started preparations.

Meanwhile, he is ordering supplies for store, installing equipment for sharpening everything from saw blades to mowers and placing shelving. It is a tall order to be prepared, not to mention battling larger stores for a share of the market.

“You have to offer good service and make certain you have the right inventory,” he said. “You constantly reassess what will sell.”

Farm & Ranch Supply Company will be open from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and closed on Sundays.