Flat Tops Ranch Supply is catering to the agricultural community in a Steamboat alley
January 14, 2015
Steamboat Springs — More than a decade has passed since downtown Steamboat Springs has had either a hardware store or a feed store. So the new Flat Tops Ranch Supply outlet in a red steel building in the alley between 10th and 11th streets on the river side of Lincoln Avenue harkens to another era.
The new store, which is a spin-off of the mother ship Flat Tops Ranch Supply owned by Ali and Matt Kovach in Phippsburg, has everything from fencing pliers and drill bits, to alfalfa cubes, poultry feed, horse bridles and a decent supply of nuts and bolts. Ali's parents, Marc and Audrey Small, also take an active interest in the store, where the merchandise has been selected to provide convenience for area ranchers.
The landmark Boggs Hardware Store in the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue closed 12 years ago in January 2003. And local historian Bill Fetcher agreed that the old co-op store in the building occupied today by Peak Fitness Center at the corner of 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue, likely was the last true farm and ranch store in downtown Steamboat.
Flat Tops Ranch Supply in Steamboat is behind Circle 7 Gallery at 1009 Lincoln Ave., and just a few steps away from Steamboat Meat and Seafood Co. There isn't a lot of parking adjacent to the store, but there's ample diagonal parking on 10th Street. And ranchers can back their pickups up to the store's garage door right off the alley and load their feed into the bed (Flat Tops Ranch supply is also the official supplier of feed to the Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series). The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
"We like to say, 'We're the hardest place to find, but the best place to shop,’" Ali Kovach said.
Marc Small said his family's store in Phippsburg does a high volume of sales during the winter in wood pellets for wood pellet stoves. In Steamboat, Small said Ali and Matt are very interested to find out what lines of merchandise ranch customers are most interested in.
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"We have John Deere oil and oil filters, and a little bit of plumbing and heating," Small said. "We are a Ranchway feed dealer and have feed for poultry, horse, cattle goats and sheep."
Flat Tops Ranch Supply also has contracts to supply Steamboat Ski Area with shovels and sidewalk ice-melt by the ton, so they naturally have a little of that product in downtown Steamboat, too.
Ali Kovach has a degree in equine science from Colorado State University and has competed professionally in hunter/jumper horseback riding. She teaches equestrian pupils, so she is particular about the English and Western tack she stocks, including bridles that she carries in her store.
"We have only high quality tack, but at a good price," she said. "We have tack for $150 to $250 that is $400 quality."
The store also has a selection of ropes for cowboys and cowgirls, and customers are invited to ask Ali about the 30 consignment saddles in stock at the Phippsburg store.