Brady and Karen Taubert: Farm & Ranch . . . and Ritzy Style
Brady and Karen Taubert are perfecting a modern blend of rich Texas roots in farming and ranching with touches of glitz and glam in their business, Taubert Farm & Ranch, LLC. Together, they bring their own unique histories and a melded vision for the future of agriculture in our community to more than just your family’s table.
Karen Taubert has always had a love for animals and raises horses and cattle. The only feed store she shopped for 21 years was Wade Feed in Harlingen. On one such trip, she struck up a conversation with the owner, Cathy Fox, who asked Karen if she knew a real estate agent who was familiar with commercial real estate sales. Inquiring further, Karen learned that Fox was ready to retire after over 30 years in the business and was looking to put her store on the market. Karen and Brady discussed the possibilities of a new venture for their future, and on February 1, 2010, Wade Feed became Taubert Farm & Ranch.
Brady Taubert is a fifth generation farmer here in the Rio Grande Valley, growing cotton, grain, and sugar cane. He actively serves on the Cameron County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the Harlingen Cotton Committee, and is an officer for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Cotton and Grain Producers. He and Karen are Past Presidents of the Algodon Club of Harlingen. With deep family ties to the Valley and family members in various facets of the agricultural industry, Brady is surrounded by agriculture and knows where he belongs.
“This is home to me. I was born here, I will die here, and I can’t think of another place I would rather do business. This is in my blood. I’ve raised livestock myself and participated in showing animals as a boy growing up in the Rio Grande Valley. Our feed store is tied to everything I’ve done in my life,” Taubert affirms.
Last year was the first livestock show season the Tauberts experienced with their business. Taubert Farm & Ranch was a substantial bidder at livestock auctions in Cameron and Willacy Counties. By bidding on or “buying-back” their customers’ show animals, the Tauberts were able to contribute to the college scholarship funds for many of these young students.
“We support our youngest customers; I call them our ‘show kids,’ supplying them with the specialty feed and supplies needed for their animal projects. They’ll be raising everything from rabbits to steers, animals that are eventually sold at auction at the end of the show season. The proceeds from the sale of these animal projects go back to kids as funds for college. We want to pay it forward and support these families for being our customers. This past show season really came full circle for me. I’ve been a nurse for the past 30 years; and I didn’t grow up in a farm and ranch community. But watching the family involvement in livestock projects here in the Valley reveals the whole picture. Raising an animal teaches stewardship, dedication, responsibility, and discipline,” Karen acknowledges.
Ultimately, the goal of Taubert Farm & Ranch is to be more than a feed store. The Tauberts work to tie in old and new for a fresh shopping experience. They have incorporated old trophies and memorabilia into the store from their family history. On the flip side, they are expanding their business through an e-commerce site to reach customers beyond South Texas. They have sold items to customers as far away as California, Ohio, and Illinois. Once, they sold one of their custom t-shirts to a lady in Beverly Hills who proudly wore it, as she said, “because everybody wants to claim they are from Texas.”
“There is something about Texas that really appeals to a broad variety of people with its sense of Americana and the legendary Texas Cowboy. We want to be a Mecca for all things Texas,” Karen insists.
As a “Go Texan” business, Taubert Farm & Ranch provides an interesting mix of products with Texas flair and local impressions. They take items on consignment from local artists, displaying their artwork in the feed store nestled among the chicken feeders and hardware displays, as well as offering jewelry, clothing, and giftware such as purses. For the typical feed store enthusiast, shoppers can make this trip a one stop shop, browsing the selections of hardware, gardening, tack, plumbing, pet supplies, and land care.
Taubert Farm & Ranch is proud to tout their slogan, “The Coolest Feed Store South of the Frio.” They have an active Facebook page, with over 7,000 fans to date, ranking them just a few hundred shy of the famous King Ranch Saddle Shop’s Facebook page, which Karen considers her “idol!” The power of social networking truly revealed its clout this summer when Karen used a Facebook post to spread the word about “Ladies’ Night” at Taubert Farm & Ranch. What started out as a small event with five local vendors sharing their wares turned into eight vendors crammed into the store front, with another half dozen turned away due to space limitations. As it was, they had to expand into their warehouse for this women-supporting-women-in-business event in which nearly 200 people came through that evening to sample the offerings. The Tauberts know they have a brick-and-mortar-store to offer such events so local artisans, craftsmen, and at-home business operators can have a place to come together and share their one of a kind, made-in-Texas products and customer bases alike.
For the Tauberts, it is all about local businesses supporting customers and community. Their old-timey, country store feel provides a place where people can come together and talk and find a little bit of everything, advice included. There is a wealth of knowledge in their employees, including a familiar face that has been there for many years and stayed on after the previous owner, providing a sense of stability for customers in this rapidly changing world. In today’s tough economic climate and the worst drought in recent Texas history, Taubert Farm & Ranch strives to be a destination that continues to meet the needs of local people.
“I never dreamed I was going to enjoy helping people the way I have. It does me good to see a customer leave with a smile on their face because of what we’ve done for them,” Brady shares.
Currently, Taubert Farm & Ranch is planning their first-ever “Christmas at the Ranch” event to be held this December 1st. Building on the overwhelming response to the recent “Ladies Night” event, the Tauberts will offer up their store, hosting upwards of twenty vendors, for a unique Christmas shopping experience. This hip boutique for all things western for young girls to families to Winter Texans possess a “cool factor” that customers love and that will warm up quite a few stockings this winter. Their e-commerce store is set to go live for Christmas as well. Shoppers can partake of all that www.ShopTheRanch.co has to offer.
Utilitarian on one side, “bling-bling” on the other, Taubert Farm & Ranch has created a unique environment for the modern shopper that is a prime fit for the lifestyle and history of the Taubert family that has carried over from generation to generation. He may be a man of few words, but I believe Brady summed up their experience since taking on this new venture very succinctly: “it’s been one crazy ride ever since!”
Taubert Farm & Ranch is located at 4797 West Expressway 83 in Harlingen off of the Stuart Place Road exit on the frontage road. The store is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:30 and Saturday from 8:30 to 1. Visit their website at www.TaubertFarmandRanch.com or find them on Facebook. For more information, you may call the store at 956.425.1419.