Business Profile: Tanya Belardi

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Names and titles: Tanya Belardi, 15, and her brother James, 18, are sole proprietors of The Feed Store, a back-yard business that sells hay, grain and bedding for farm animals and large pets. They occasionally sell equine halters.

Services: The Feed Store orders its goods from Ellensburg, Wash., receiving 20,000 to 40,000 pounds of feed at a time. The feed is transported by ocean barge in shipping containers and is brought to their yard. "My brother delivers," said Tanya Belardi. "If they want us to stack it in their lofts, we charge them extra. Or they can come and get it. Friends of my brother sometimes help us move things. I have fun unloading hay. It's good muscle work."

The Feed Store has about 20 regular customers and is seeking more. "We have handed out 80,000 pounds of feed in three days."

The business was founded a year ago when Tanya dreamed up a feed store as a project to satisfy a home-schooling requirement. She is doing correspondence classes part of the time and attending Juneau-Douglas High School part of the time. Her brother James recently graduated from JDHS and now works as a lube mechanic for Greens Creek mine while waiting for a diesel mechanic position to open.

"He's on a week and a half night shift and a week and a half day shift. On his days off in Juneau, he unloads hay," she said.

Quotable: "We did this to add to our college and permanent fund accounts," Tanya Belardi said. "We have to pay taxes every year on our permanent funds - about $200 or $300 each. So we thought it would be a good idea to open up a business to earn income to pay off those taxes and to learn how to run a business. And, we can get tax deductions."

"I have learned how to do sales tax reports and all that kind of stuff," she added.

Advertising: "We leave fliers."

Contact information: The Feed Store is at 9402 Glacier Highway. Tanya Belardi can be reached at 790-4221 or via cell phone at 723-9774.

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