What began as a livestock and scrap steel business in 1946 has left a lasting legacy in Chanute, Kansas, as a hometown True Value store and Four State area feed, farm and metal building supply distributer. Cleaver Farm and Home, jointly owned by brothers Chris and Jason Cleaver, strives to go beyond meeting the community’s needs.
Cleaver’s moved to its Santa Fe Avenue location in 1989, after the brothers’ parents’ took over the company and experienced exponential growth — growing from three employees in 1981 to 20 in 1989. In the new location, the company was able to expand by adding a lumberyard, rental services, a glass department and wholesale farm supplies.
In 2006, Chris and Jason took over the management of the business from their parents — expanding the store and adding services like pole barn building and online sales. Coming home to the family business was a way to return to their roots and allow their children to experience a similar childhood around Cleaver Farm and Home.
“For a large portion of our childhood, we lived right next door to the business,” Chris said. “It was challenging but also provided us with opportunities to learn about the business, play with equipment, and form memories here.”
Their early experiences with Cleaver Farm and Home have helped the brothers form a vision for the company that both respects the environment they were raised in and provides opportunities for future generations.
“When we took over from our parents, we didn’t really have any grandiose plans for pushing it forward other than to maintain the legacy our parents had created,” Jason said. “We recognize that third generation businesses are relatively rare, so we want to push forward into the future and continue to build a business our children can be a part of if they so choose.”
When Chris and Jason took over the day-to-day management of Cleaver Farm and Home, they opened up another valuable avenue to their business — allowing their dad to travel and take on more contracts for the wholesale farm supply aspect of their business. Today, the store distributes fencing and other farming supplies to many area co-ops and local farm stores, from as far south as Oklahoma City to Missouri and beyond.
Pole barns or “post-frame” buildings ranging in size from small garages to large shops, barns and storage buildings have proven to be an equally successful business venture for Cleaver Farm and Home. Each building is custom designed to meet individual customer needs, with over 400 buildings constructed by Cleaver Farm and Home in the last five years. Cleaver’s partners with four building crews to provide excellent workmanship and customer service, typically within a 100-mile radius of Chanute. A building representative of the quality construction done by Cleaver Farm and Home can be found on the grounds of the Four State Farm Show, held July 20, 21 and 22 near Pittsburg, Kansas.
Community involvement is important to Cleaver Farm and Home and they make a commitment to opening their doors to members of the community several times throughout the year with themed events and promotions. The events are an opportunity to build relationships within the community as well as provide worthwhile information and products.
Possibly the best attended semi-annual event at Cleaver Farm and Home is their Ladies Night event, held April 26. This year’s event featured planting and gardening tips from Kansas State University Extension agents, as well as drinks, snacks and special deals throughout the store. Registration for the event is typically cut off at store capacity, around 150 individuals.
Cleaver Farm and Home also holds events for kids to create Mother’s Day and Father’s Day themed crafts, as well as a Howl-oween promotion featuring pet specials and an opportunity for pet owners to show off their pets in costume.
Cleaver Farm and Home welcomes and appreciates all return and new customers to their store. Visit their location at 2103 S Santa Fe Ave. in Chanute, online at www.cleaverfarm.com or call 620-431-6070 for more information.