In 1934, Rudy Buchheit learned the importance of customer service when he set up shop in a Missouri hamlet during the depths of the Depression. He got into the grocery business over 80 years ago by promising to pay $25 a month on the purchase of a former saloon building in Biehle, MO.
In that same year- 1934- Rudy left the family farm, bought a truck and started hauling livestock, hay, and corn to St. Louis from Perry County. Mr. Buchheit stocked the store with $250 worth of groceries, 50 gallons of salted herring, 50 lbs. of flour, 100 lbs. of white beans, 280 lb. barrels of salt, and hand ground coffee beans.
Buchheit operated out of this building from 1934 to 1986.
As time at the original facility went on, few hardware items were added along the way, and he began selling livestock feed. At the time, he was packing it in floral-print bags, which women used to make clothing.
Mr. Buchheit poured everything back into the business.
“I didn’t take a salary until the late 50’s,” Mr. Buchheit said. “We ate well, but I didn’t make any money.”
Mr. Buchheit raised his 11 children in the house next to the store. The store kept growing as customers came from as far away as St. Louis to shop in Biehle, whose population today is about 160.
The Buchheit company logo is a wagon wheel. The history behind the wagon wheel sums up the thriving business very precisely. Mr. Buchheit speaks of the teamwork represented by the wagon wheel. He said that the hub or center of the wheel is viewed as the team pulling together, just as a hub holds the spokes together so the wheel can turn.
The company has grown steadily since the early 1930’s. No longer is the inventory limited to grocery and hardware items. The company has grown to employ over 650 people, occupy eight locations, and has over 65,000 items in stock.
Buchheit Agriculture Today
Buchheit Agriculture is a division of Buchheit. It is a full service feed mill, seed cleaning operation, fertilizer blending facility and grain elevator in Biehle, Missouri. The Buchheit Agri Division provides quality agricultural products for our customers as well as support, advice and information that will help our customers become more profitable as producers.
Our premium feeds provide balanced nutrition for a variety of animals including: beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, equine, rabbits and poultry. We can also mix custom feeds for our customers. All of our feeds are available at the mill, available for pick up at one of our retail locations or for large orders we can arrange delivery. We are still family owned and strive to provide our customers with personal service.
Buchheit Agri – President & General Manager
Dave has a BS in Ag Education and a Masters in Animal Science. He has 40 years’ experience as an Animal Nutritionist and Commodity Trader and has been with Buchheit since 1978.
Buchheit Agri & Logistics – Senior Vice President
Eric is Senior Vice President of Logistics and Ag Operations, and he began his career with Buchheit as a Controller. Eric has his CPA and has been with the company since 2005.
Buchheit Agri – Vice President and Merchandising Manager, Morehouse Elevator Manager
Shon was hired in 2009 and has a BS in Ag Mechanization and Ag Business. He has 28 years’ experience as a Missouri grain auditor. Shon has been with the company since 2009.
Buchheit Agriculture – Sales Manager/Nutritionist
Katlyn has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in animal science from Truman State University and a master’s in animal science with a concentration in beef cattle nutrition from the University of Missouri- Columbia. Katlyn has been with the company since 2015.
Buchheit Agriculture – Operations Manager – Feed/Grain
Chad has a BS in Education from Southeast Missouri State. He has both on farm and commercial agriculture experience. He has been with the company since 2015.
Buchheit Agriculture – Operations Manager – Seed/Fertilizer/Chemicals
Jason has expertise in information technology along with experience in commercial agriculture. He has been with the company since 1995.
Buchheit Supports Local Community Fairs
Throughout the years Buchheit has strived to support local communities. Each year Buchheit Team Members attend the local community fairs, donate feed for the animals and participate in the livestock auction. “It is important that we continue to give back to our communities” says Tim Buchheit, “And one way we do so is by supporting the local community fair livestock auctions”. Buchheit has purchased over 30 animals from the local community fairs this year along with donating feed for the animals and providing educational materials.
A steer bought from Kaylee Richardet, who showed for the first time this season, is pictured above with Kenny Buchheit. Kaylee received best in show at the East Perry County Fair and raised her steer on Buchheit Show Ring Maxx Cattle Feed.
Buchheit has been serving the community since 1934. Currently Buchheit operates a Feedmill and Agriculture facility in Biehle, MO. along with 8 retail stores – Herculaneum, House Springs, Perryville and Jackson in Missouri and Jacksonville, Greenville, Centralia and Sparta in Illinois. Buchheit features merchandise for the home, garden, and farm that is geared toward exploring the possibilities of a simpler life.