Chapter III: Another 9 Unique U-Haul Neighborhood Dealers

Small businesses in the U.S. and Canada form partnerships with U-Haul to meet the DIY moving needs of their customers and generate additional income. A U-Haul dealer serves as an asset to its community.

With more than 20,000 U-Haul dealers dotting the map in every state and Canadian province, the moving public can have its relocation needs met with ease and efficiency.

While some U-Haul dealers operate in familiar industries and boast familiar names, there are plenty of unique companies that find U-Haul to be a fit for supplementing their primary business. These nine U-Haul dealers have added moving equipment to their list of services, giving their customers yet another reason to pay them a visit.

Prairie View Campground in Lusk, Wyo.

Owner Bruce Filener prides himself on providing more than just a camping spot at Prairie View Campground by lending a helping hand when someone needs it. Nearby U-Haul dealers are more than an hour away from the campsite, making the partnership more convenient for his community.

Prairie View Campground

Filener even uses U-Haul equipment to help people beyond typical moving needs. On more than one occasion, he has rented U-Haul trucks to those in need of a way home after their car broke down.

“It’s harder to tell someone you can’t help them than to figure out a way to fix their problem,” Filener explained.

From giving customers a place to sleep, towing cars back to the campsite and providing U-Haul trucks to those in need of transportation, this has truly become a unique business partnership.

Prairie View Campground became a U-Haul neighborhood dealer in December 2014. It is located at 3925 U.S. Hwy. 20 in Lusk, Wyo., and can be reached at (307) 334-4068.

Dairytown Market in Sussex, N.B.

Dairytown Market follows the motto “come in as a stranger but leave as a friend.” Archie and Nancy Dorie, along with Arnold and Kathy Hopper, have worked hard to make this a family Canadian market that caters to the community.

“When you come into our market, you get the immediate sense of family and friendship,” Kathy Hopper stated. “We do everything we can to make your move as easy as possible. Going above and beyond for our customers is what we do.” 

Aside from being a moving supplies destination, Dairytown Market is also a bakery and café. Many customers come for the company of friendly locals and live guitar tunes. “Our company business is constantly growing and we invite people to come in and check out our unique items,” Hopper added.

Dairytown Market is located at 75 Magnolia Ave. in Sussex, New Brunswick. It has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since May 2017. To contact this dealer, call (506) 433-3566.

Ideal Homes in The Dales, Ore.

Ideal Homes, Inc. first opened its doors in 1951. That makes it the oldest manufacturing housing dealer in the Northwest. As a landlord to 150 spaces, owner Gary Robinson has three manufactured home communities and provides customers with barns and sheds. Robinson is able to meet the needs of many customers.

Joining with U-Haul has given Robinson the chance to help those in search of a new home with their moving process, making his business a one-stop shop. It has also helped him generate income in the off-hours of his traditional services.

“We’re unique because of our rich history in the housing industry, community and diversity of business offerings. I feel fortunate to offer products the people need and want, as well as make them happy,” Robinson said.

Ideal Homes is located at 3800 W. 6th St. in The Dalles, Ore. It became a U-Haul neighborhood dealer in October 2013. Contact this dealer at (541) 296-3800.

Gary’s Barbershop in Prattville, Ala.

Gary’s Barbershop is an old-fashioned barber that is locally owned and operated by Gary George. This business has been around for 30 years and prides itself on building trust within the community.

It has maintained a sterling reputation and has left customers feeling like they can truly trust the quality of services that are offered. “Satisfied customers are the best form of advertisement,” George said.

George became a U-Haul dealer due to the prime location of his shop in addition to looking for opportunities to expand his customer base. Initially, he was concerned that a partnership may interfere with his primary business. But after receiving a flood of new customers, George came to realize that the two businesses complement each other quite well.

Gary’s Barbershop is located at 1355 Hwy. 82 W. in Prattville, Ala. It has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since November 2016. To contact this dealer, call (334) 365-0482.

Yogis Pizza Too in Conway, Mo.

Yogis Pizza Too is a restaurant that offers pizza, subs, pockets, salads, pasta and wings in a friendly atmosphere and small-town Missouri setting. Homemade pizza dough and sauce are made fresh daily to serve the highest quality food during every visit.

Yogis Pizza Too

Although this is a non-traditional partnership, joining the U-Haul network has increased the amount of support the restaurant gets from the local community. Owner Amanda Casey-White and her family purchased the restaurant in 2017. Since the previous owner was a U-Haul dealer, locals were hopeful that Casey-White would carry on the torch. So she did.

“I have noticed regular customers appreciate having a local place to do U-Haul rentals and returns,,” Casey-White said. “I enjoy being a contact point for people moving into the area. This has helped get people (to order) from our menu during and after their transition.”

Yogis Pizza Too is located at 311 W. Jefferson Ave. in Conway, Mo. It has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since May 2017. Contact this dealer at (417) 589-2009.

Bird Dog Store in Autaugaville, Ala.

Gordon Faulk is the owner of Bird Dog Store, a thrift and consignment shop. Customers have the joy of finding something different every visit. From boats to golf clubs, it is all under one roof.

“This store is unique because of its atmosphere; it truly is a beautiful store with quality goods,” manager Michael Thomas noted.

The store chose to become a U-Haul dealer in the hopes it would increase foot traffic. Once it joined the network, that is exactly what happened. On top of meeting local demand for moving equipment, the staff saw an increase in inventory sales as well.

Bird Dog Stores has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since June 2017. It is located at 2711 Hwy. 14 W. in Autaugaville, Ala. To contact this dealer, call (334) 365-4615.

Vest Cleaners in Elwood, Ind.

Vest Cleaners is the perfect go-to for all things cloth. This business specializes in dry cleaning, leather cleaning, tuxedo rentals, draperies and alterations. By becoming a U-Haul dealer, it was able to meet another need in its community.

Owner Jeff Poe manages the shop with the help of his daughter, Lindsay. Poe decided to join forces with U-Haul when he opted to modify the shop to boost customer traffic. He needed a second outlet for business, and he had the parking lot space to offer U-Haul truck sharing.

With less of a demand for dry cleaning, Poe knew adding to his services would benefit his primary business. “The social scene is changing and you have to be able to change with it and provide customers with what they need,” Poe explained.

The two businesses have blended quite well. Poe goes the extra mile to form a trusting relationship with his customers, making him stand out from the competition.

Vest Cleaners has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since July 2010. It is located at 1516 Main St. in Elwood, Ind. To contact this dealer, call (765) 551-3596.

Bubba’s Bobbers & Bait in Wausau, Wis.

Bubba’s Bobbers & Bait provides shoppers with a rich customer service experience and a variety of products. It serves as a mini grocery store that sells items such as organic meats, spices, coffee and tea. Owners Bubba and Rose Gaines also have a bait shop attached to the store.

Bubba's Bobbers and Bait

A field representative suggested forming the partnership due to the business location. It was then that the couple decided to become a dealer. The partnership has increased both sales and foot traffic for Bubba’s Bobbers & Bait.

“The (customers) have been interesting getting to know,” Rose said. “We hear a lot of stories about why people are moving and have seen many people helping other people move. It’s unique to see friends and family all helping each other with the process.”

Bubba’s Bobbers & Bait has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since August 2015. It is located at 316 E. Randolph St. in Wausau, Wis. Contact this dealer at (715) 301-9169.

Al’s Garage & Fireworks in Summit, Miss.

Al’s Garage & Fireworks is owned and operated by Al Erickson. This business offers a number of different products and services, including fireworks, ATVs, and golf cart and small engine repairs. 

Erickson has loved being a U-Haul dealer. Peak firework season is July and January around Independence Day and New Year’s events, respectively. This partnership has therefore increased year-round business and has brought attention to the number of services Erickson has to offer.

Erickson has always been around U-Haul equipment. Growing up, both the business he worked for and his neighbor ran U-Haul neighborhood dealerships. Since Erickson lives on the property, the business hours can easily be manipulated. Even if the sign says ‘closed,’ Erickson can still available to assist U-Haul customers. 

Al’s Garage & Fireworks has been a U-Haul neighborhood dealer since July 2017. It is located at 4090 Hwy. 51 SE in Summit, Miss. To contact this dealer, call (601) 730-5436.

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To find a U-Haul dealer near you, visit uhaul.com/locations. Learn more about how to become a U-Haul dealer by visiting uhaul.com/dealer.

Check out our previous edition of “9 Unique U-Haul Dealers” by clicking here.

 

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