If one were to somehow travel back half a century in time and visit the area of West Kendall, they no doubt would be struck by how different everything looked.
The once mostly rural area — now commercially developed — hardly is recognizable to those who have not witnessed the transition firsthand. However, one of the few lasting elements from that time still endures today — Sunset Feed and Supply Inc.
The family business, owned and operated by sisters Heather Riera and Tara Townsend, has just entered its 55th year in business.
“There are a lot of customers who have been coming here for years who brought their children in and are now bringing their grandchildren in,” Riera said. “We have a very unique business in that, and it’s really kind of cool that it’s survived all these years with all the changes that have happened around here.”
The business first opened its doors in 1960 by the sisters’ grandparents, Robbie and Bunny Addison, where TJ Maxx now sits on the corner of Sunset Drive and SW 117th Avenue. The Addisons built and moved to its current location, at 7650 SW 117 Ave., in 1980.
“Our grandfather never imagined how the business would grow and how much he really enjoyed it,” Riera said. “Knowing the people and the community — and growing alongside them — is a really nice feeling.”
In 1991, their father, Tucker Townsend, assumed control after his parents retired and ran concurrently with his two other businesses, Sunset Western Wear and OK Feed. When the sisters — both longtime employees of their father’s — took over in 2001, they opted to only purchase and maintain the original store, citing its history and longevity as deciding factors.
“This is what we know and what we enjoy doing,” Riera said. “Holding on to it and preserving the family name is very important to us.”
Now halfway through its sixth decade in business, Sunset Feed and Supply Inc. has continued to thrive. The store, which has a total of 26 employees, is a genuine one-stop shop when it comes to servicing “Horse Country,” MiamiDade County’s only remaining area set aside specifically for agricultural purposes, and its surrounding area.
They have a vast assortment of feed, supplies and accessories, both for rural animals such as horses, rabbits, tortoises, chickens, pigs and sheep, and popular domestic animals like cats and dogs, for which they carry high-end food including Orijen and Acana.
The Miami staple also boasts a huge selection of affordably priced apparel — from hats, belts, boots and buckles to jeans, jackets, handbags and socks, they’ve got you covered. Charming miscellany — The Big Green Egg grill, novelty license plates, jewelry, knives, barbeque supplies, perfume, cologne and much more — is organized throughout the store as well.
“We’re just so grateful for all of our customers for their support throughout the years,” she said. “We have something really special going on here and feel privileged to share it with so many great people.”
Sunset Feed and Supply Inc. supports local and national animal protective causes including SPCA, Whispering Manes and The Cat Network.
For more information, call 305-271-0341 or visit <www.SunsetFeed.com>