Caleb Bybee has always been a part of the family business at Cedar Grove. Growing up in Ely, he worked all through high school at the animal focused storea. Like most children who’s parents own a small business it wasn’t ever really up to him.
“You always had a job whether you liked it or not,” Bybee said.
But after he spent six years working in Reno after graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he came back to the store, this time on his own volition. Now the manager of Cedar Grove, Bybee is excited about the future of the store working alongside both of his parents and his brother Jacob. With its recent addition of a 2800 square foot greenhouse, Bybee expects to bring in a new customer base since gardening season is kicking off with the warmer weather.
“You have to diversify to stay afloat in a small town like Ely,” he said. “Now with our new greenhouse, we are able to grow local, healthy flowers and vegetables for gardens that are already acclimated to Ely’s sometimes harsh climate.”
The new addition is just the latest step in a history of evolving the family business from its humble origins as a kennel and grooming center for pets when Bybee’s father Hal first opened its doors back in 1993. The kennel and grooming options are still a big part of the business with a full-time and part-time groomers handling the community’s cats and dogs.
“It originally began as just a pet store,” Bybee said. “It eventually grew to include a kennel and some pet supplies.”
Since then, the business has grown to include high end dog foods and is a popular feed store for local ranchers. The feed part in particular has proven to be the most profitable due to the lack of other options available to local ranchers.
As for the new greenhouse, Bybee’s mother Cris Ann Bybee has a degree in soil chemistry so she manages all the gardening aspects of the business.
“The feed store is really big for us right now,” Bybee said “My parents have done a great job bringing this place up. These days we have so much stuff we have to keep track of.”
Bybee doesn’t regret moving back for a second. He said that he missed the small town feel of Ely when he was working in Reno, and the biggest perk of his job is getting to deal with friendlier people on a day to day basis.
“I was in customer service for six years in Reno and when I moved back it was just nice to deal with friendly, home town people everyday,” he said.