Blain’s Farm & Fleet celebrating half century in Davenport

Farm & Fleet
Jane Blain Gilbertson, the CEO, owner and president of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, celebrates the Davenport store’s 50th anniversary with 48-year associate Sally Bueker and Todd Willems, store manager. CREDIT BLAIN’S FARM & FLEET

Blain’s Farm & Fleet is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Davenport in 2022 by highlighting some of its longtime employees.

The family-owned chain of stores, which calls itself the “Modern General Store,” opened in Davenport at 8535 Northwest Blvd. in March 1972. The company has 44 stores across four states including Quad Cities area locations in Moline and Geneseo, Illinois, and in Clinton and Muscatine, Iowa.

The chain prides itself on putting family first and it counts the Davenport store’s Sally Bueker and Store Manager Todd Willems among its longest serving employees. Ms. Bueker has been at the Davenport Store for 48 years and Mr. Willems has been with the Farm & Fleet family of stores for a quarter century. 

“I honestly love getting up every morning to go to work and be surrounded by great people, both customers and team members. Every day is new and different, but the community and dedication have remained the same over all these years,” said Mr. Willems, who is in his second decade as Davenport store manager. 

“Especially now, given the current market conditions, I am so proud that our regular customers can trust Blain’s Farm & Fleet for the very best high-quality products at the fairest prices,” he said in a news release announcing the milestone. “Many people depend on us each week for their pet and livestock supplies, auto parts and tires, and winter workwear like Carhartt. And our customers love our Blain’s Farm & Fleet bulk nuts, chocolate, and snacks –there’s no better value around the holidays.”

The support is generational. “For 67 years, Blain’s Farm & Fleet has celebrated family values and traditions, exemplified by Todd, who is proud to share this with his son, Sam Willems, who is a part of the Blain’s Farm & Fleet associate family at the Moline, Illinois location,” the company said in the release.

When Ms. Bueker joined the Davenport store, it was just two years old and her tenure goes back to the chain’s original owners.

“Our founder Bert Blain and now his daughter, Jane Blain Gilbertson, have always been there for their team members and surrounding communities,” she said. “From understanding when we need time off to the amazing benefits they provide, we know we are cared for.”

“Working here at Blain’s is not like working anywhere else,” Ms. Bueker added. “They truly care about us just as we are an extension of their family. When they say family owned with family values, it’s true. I’ve not only witnessed this over the last 48 years but have been the beneficiary of their generosity. The employees aren’t the only benefactors — visit our store in December and experience the joy our kids have when selecting toys to give to others in need. I couldn’t have a better career.”

The Davenport store also said it is proud to be a part of the community and a supporter of the local schools, 4-H clubs, FFA, the American Heart Association, and many more worthy organizations. 

Each Christmas holiday season, Blain’s Farm & Fleet asks customers to donate toys for its Kids Helping Kids program, which creates partnerships with local organizations that distribute toys to families in need during the holiday season. Blain’s Farm & Fleet matches these donations up to $200,000 across all 44 stores throughout Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. 

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