Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
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Milk-E-Way Feed & Trucking
By Lisa Carroll, Staff Writer 

Dave Scolari had just graduated from Coquille High School in 1974 when he started Milk-E-Way Feed & Trucking in Coquille, Oregon. Joined by his wife, Kaarina, 17 years later, the couple have worked hard for decades, turning this family-owned business into a Coquille community icon. Next year, in fact, Milk-E-Way will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. Ranchers, farmers, and pet owners have come to rely on Milk-E-Way for feed and animal supplies, coupled with a broad range of products and services designed to meet the needs of the Coquille farming community.

The community recently had an opportunity to show the Scolari’s just how much they are appreciated. Last month, a portion of Milk-E-Way caught on fire. Many retail items and clothing were completely destroyed, the offices were wiped out, and precious family mementos went up in flames. “We’re open 7 days a week, so this is pretty much our day-to-day life,” explained Dave. “We spend more time here than we actually do at home, so over the years we kept a lot of our family pictures and keepsakes at the store.” Now, along with thousands of dollars in lost stock, many of those tangible memories are gone forever.

Still, though, Dave considers themselves lucky. “We are very thankful nobody was hurt. Most of this stuff can be replaced. And people in the community have been awesome. Kaarina and I can’t say enough about the community support.” Acts of kindness included meals brought to the family the first couple of weeks to help them through the roughest spots, donations from the community, and the pledging of help to clean up when they are ready. “This has been a tough month, “ continued Dave, “but we will come out of it stronger and better than ever before, thanks to this community.”

Owner of Milk-E-Way Feed, Dave Scolari, with daughter Julia in the temporary store. Milk-E-Way remains open for business! (Photo By Lisa Carroll)

Through it all, Milk-E-Way has remained open for business. In fact, they were still in business the next day after the fire, even as the firetrucks were still there. They can get merchandise on order very quickly, thanks to the vendors who have worked well with Milk-E-Way during this trying time, giving their orders first priority. “I can get an order in by 4 in the afternoon and have merchandise in the first thing the next morning,” says Dave. “That is how good our vendors have been.” They still have a barn full of feed and other animal supplies, live chicks and other fowl, and everything you would ever need to build any kind of a fence.

They also have a trucking business of which Dave is the sole driver. He hauls feed and hay for the store, and is very proud to have recently started hauling fresh milk to the new Face Rock Creamery in Bandon.

Not ones to slow down for much of anything, the Scolari’s have set up interim offices, and have converted a 40ft moving van into a temporary store. Already a third of the inventory they lost is back in stock. Items you can find, or order, include Wrangler jeans, Western-themed framed prints, toy animals, Painted Ponies gift-ware, Montana jewelry, Muck boots, and everything imaginable for horses. “If we don’t have something sitting right on the shelf, we can get it in couple of days or less,” Dave assured me.

Dave and Kaarina are lifelong locals. “I grew up right up the hill from where the store is at, and Kaarina grew up in Coos Bay. I’ve haven’t made it more than 100 yards from where I was born!” Dave told me, laughing. You cannot blame someone for sticking around such a supportive community. The couple have two daughters who also help out in the store whenever they are available- Julia, who is a student at Oregon State, and Joyce, who will be a Senior at Coquille High School next year.

Milk-E-Way Feed & Trucking is located at 54261 Fairview Rd, in Coquille. They are open 7 days a week from 8am until 6pm. Give them a call at (541) 396-2836, or visit the website, http://www.milkeway.com, for more information. Dave also encourages people to like them on their Facebook page, ‘milkywayfeedandtrucking’, where updates regarding the reconstruction are posted. 

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