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Longtime Manteca Feed closing doors as McGowan store after 60-year run
The Thank You community card posted by the owners of the Old McGowan's Feed Store on their Facebook page, announcing the closure of the business at the end of October.

It was simply known as Manteca Feed in the early 1960s when the family-owned business opened on the south side of Lathrop Road just before the Highway 99 overpass.

Today - at the end of October, to be specific - it is saying goodbye to its longtime faithful customers as the Old McGowan's Feed (still family-owned) by owners Mike and Jeffra McGowan, and Joe and Rebekah Long.

"Our hearts are heavy in sharing the news that Old McGowan’s Feed will be closing at the end of October," they wrote in their Facebook message, accompanied by a picture of the front of the building with the huge "Thank You" message.

"At Old McGowan’s Feed our family and our amazing team have been serving the community since 2008. For the past 12 years, we have dedicated our lives to serving the community, supporting ag programs and ag families," they explained.

"Even though we operate a small business, the warmth of the community has made the experience surreal. The bustle of serving customers has been more like conversations with old friends. It has truly been a place to gather where ag families go for feed, where little ones meet their first pet, and chicken scratch becomes fresh eggs from the backyard. It is where officers spoil K9s, where Manteca Unified FFA is sponsored and community interests are heard and supported. We are grateful and love our community."

Among the numerous loyal customers through the decades who have seen their announcement online reacted with a mixture of sadness and nostalgia.

"You will be so missed by my household. We love you!! So sad you are closing. Thank you for all of the joy you brought to my family for the past (seven years). The chicks, turkey, goats, parakeets, fish.... conversations... all of it," commented Elizabeth Freud Melton on the store's Facebook page.

"Y’all are stellar! We come from Stockton because you’re so friendly and knowledgeable. Thanks for everything! Good luck in your future endeavors," wrote Leane Zarate.

Mantecan Brandon Ftacek added, "This is such a bummer. You, guys, have awesome customer service and a great small business that I always supported. This small business will be definitely missed."

The feed store had been a part of many ag youths and youth groups through the decades, as illustrated by a longtime customer.

"I have loved this feed store for so long. Your mom and dad have a special place in my heart. This feed store is where my daughter got her start in FFA, where we got dog food, pig feed, sheep feed, random birds and chicks. I’m sorry to see you leave," stated Rebecca Hilbelink.

The current feed store owners leased the property a dozen years ago from the family that founded the busines in the early 1960s. However, the original owners "had a need to sell and we could not take advantage of their offer," the McGowans and the Longs explained, adding their thanks "for going above and beyond to care for us as tenants"

The business partners stated that the building will be used as an autism service center by the new owner.

"We welcome them to Manteca and wish their team all the best. We are thankful the space will continue serving the community in a positive way. Thank you Manteca! Thank you for loving us and allowing us to serve you.  We love you back and look forward to serving in new ways," the McGowans and Longs concluded.