Two generations of the Click family have owned Tomlinson’s Feed, which currently has 11 locations in the Greater Austin area.
The family-run business, which offers pet food, treats, leashes, beds, toys and other pet supplies, reached its 70th anniversary Jan. 1.
In 1946, T.R. Tomlinson, a resident of Jarrell, moved to Austin to open a chick hatchery at 908 E. 49 1/2 St., owner Scott Click said. Over the years, the hatchery became a feed store for cattle, horses, chickens, ducks and other livestock.
In 1971, Scott’s father, Liniel Click, bought the feed store from Tomlinson, Scott said. After realizing that people in the neighborhood were not raising livestock in their backyards anymore, the Click family changed Tomlinson’s into a wholesale bird business and pet supply retailer, he said. The bird business ceased operations in 2010, he said.
“The key to our success over the years is we’ve evolved with Austin,” Scott said.
The family also attributes the company’s success to being family-run, said Scott, who started working for Tomlinson’s Feed when he was 8 years old. He left to attend college but then returned to the business following graduation.
In a 25-year span, Scott and Liniel worked together daily. Although Liniel retired in 2011, Scott’s wife, Renae, and children, Brandon and Kate, continue to operate Tomlinson’s with Scott.
The Circle C location, at 5900 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. 480, opened in November 2010. Kate, the company’s brand director, said the Circle C store hosts adoption events with Austin Dog Rescue on the front lawn on Saturdays. The Circle C store staff also carries handheld whiteboards to communicate with deaf customers in the neighborhood, she added.
“It’s rare for the second generation to make a business grow,” Scott said. “It’s almost unheard of for the third generation to come in and help a business thrive.”
Kate, who is 26, said she has worked full-time for Tomlinson’s for the past four years.
“While I appreciate where we’ve come from in the past and the heritage that [the business has] given us, I’m really proud and excited for the future,” she said.
Tomlinson’s Circle C
5900 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. 480, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tomlinson’s South Lamar
4211 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. A23, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.