We love the community of Wendell, Idaho and enjoy the thrill we get as our customers come to us for all of their grocery and sporting goods needs. Simerly's has a rich history that has seen the building of our company from humble roots starting in 1952, to a small family store that thrives off the great community that we serve. Whether we were battling fires, burglaries, or financial difficulties, we have always persevered and look forward to serving our community for years to come.
Robert Simerly began in the service station business in 1952. His business was located in Wendell, Idaho in the building now commonly known as the Pit Stop. The business seemed to be going nowhere, so he decided to make a change. Since he had no capital investment whatsoever, he sold his wife's (Darlene Simerly) life insurance policy back to New York Life for $450.00. He took the money to Twin Falls, Idaho to the Scowfroft people, who were grocery wholesalers. They filled a red International pick-up truck full of groceries, hauled them to Wendell and put them on the shelves in the service station. A couple of years later, he bought some fishing hooks, a few guns, and some ammo. This was the beginning of the grocery and sporting goods business.
Robert Simerly, at this time, was leasing Wescott Service (the service station) from an oil company for a penny a gallon of oil he sold. The oil company didn't want anything to do with the grocery business and the relations between the two deteriorated. Just up the street a block, was a building owned by Chancy and Evan Willard. Robert had a vision of what he could someday do with that building. One day, Robert and Darlene decided to officially enter the grocery and sporting goods business. They leased the building and moved their equipment and business up the street and called their new business, Simerly's.
To utilize space, they shelved the groceries from the floor up to six feet high. Above that, they went up another four feet to the ceiling with sporting goods. About this time, around 1968 or 1969, Robert and Darlene's eldest son, Harold, came home from the Navy and went to work for them. A few years later, his brother Richard, also came home from the military and did the same. On January 2, 1975, Simerly's became incorporated and Harold, Richard, Robert and Darlene became stockholders. Business continued to increase and the Simerly's decided they needed extra retail selling space. The Willard's (their landlords) did not wish to invest any more money in the property, so the Simerly's obligated themselves for a real estate loan. This meant they would build into the building and pay for it but the Willard's would still own it. (When Robert Simerly later decided to buy the building, he would have to buy back the addition that he paid to have built.)
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