UPS packaging

Courtesy photo

Wharton Feed and Supply employee Ariel Clark, left, and customer Bryar Blair stand next to business owner Sarah Lockley. Blair had UPS delivery needs tended to on this day.

Thanks to a local business that is determined to give the best in customer service, Wharton Feed and Supply, has become a location to drop off, ship, package, and receive UPS packages. As of now, the store is officially included in the daily weekday route, with pickup time around 4 p.m.

Wharton was without local UPS service in the past. Radio Shack was an interim drop off point while the company tried to find a permanent location. 

“They [UPS] contacted Sarah and me to see if we agreed to be their drop off point and shipping point,” said Richard Lockley, owner of Wharton Feed, along with his wife Sarah. “It’s been a win/win for everybody.”

They have advertised the service through social media and other ways to let people know what new services they can provide. They have received very positive feedback with the addition of the new UPS service. 

“We want to let people know what services we can provide as a service to our community as well as meet new people,” said Lockley, “so we can show them what else they can get here in Wharton.” 

Just this week, they helped local rancher Bryar Blair ship a saddle to North Texas. This was there very first product to ship. Blair brought the saddle in its own box, but they had to add extra fluff inside to keep it safe in transit. 

While they are providing the necessary items to the newbies in living off the land, Wharton Feed is also providing instruction for gardening and answering any questions their customers may have concerning gardening, raising animals, and landscaping. They get help with providing gardening instruction from the master gardeners at the Wharton Garden Club, from Wharton County Extension Agent Corrie Bowen, and from vendors who they do business with.

Although Lockley has been working at Wharton Feed for nearly 20 years, before that he worked at Wharton Livestock Auction. He’s been involved in agriculture all his life. 

He bought the store from Tim Barker on April 1, 2019, and he has made it a family affair with his wife Sarah and daughter, Kyla. Sarah is a retired Van Vleck Elementary School principal, who shares her husband’s vision for the success of the business and Kyla is a Jill-of-all trades.

“Kyla is an all-around young woman who can wear all kinds of hats,” said her Dad. “She can do it all from working at the cash register to driving delivery trucks and tractors. She strives to always give the best customer service as possible.”

Lockley was born and raised in Wharton. He gives his parents, Alan and Bitsy Lockley, high praise for giving him a great foundation in agriculture and Christian beliefs. 

“I couldn’t do this without them,” Lockley said. “Both of them have been a very large impact on how I have developed.”

His mother and father both retired from Wharton County Junior College. His mom was a counselor and his dad a welding instructor. Helping others and solving problems are some of the main character traits that Richard gained from his parents. His main focus at Wharton Feed has always been customer service and helping the community with all of their needs, no matter how large or small.  

Lockleys have a crew they have come to depend upon. Workers consist of Johnny Cruz, Ellen Owens, Ariel Clark, Joe Cardenas, Eric Castillo, Rudy Raath, Terry Freese, and Jayson Davis.

Wharton Feed & Supply, at 1105 North Fulton in Wharton, has been Wharton’s local source for animal feed and supplies, lawn care products, and gifts since 1953. The store is open Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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