Triple XXX Feed

Every time I drive by Triple XXX Feed in St. Maries, I wish I were a gardener. Regardless of season, the store is decorated as a tiller’s muse – or, in cases such as mine, a wannabe’s nudge.

What started out as a simple warehouse building in 1970 has transformed into a horticulturalist’s emporium bursting with plants, flowers, trees, straw, pet care and seasonal cheer. The business was originally opened in 1970, and when the current owners purchased it 20 years later, they began the process of upgrading it by expansion, both within product lines as well as physically.

Joel and Nancy Malensky, who is holding Maggie, Sheryl Boller, Patsy Bowser and Brenda Schlepp. (sitting dogs) Shelby and Tonka.

Joel and Nancy Malensky, who is holding Maggie, Sheryl Boller, Patsy Bowser and Brenda Schlepp. (sitting dogs) Shelby and Tonka.

Joel and Nancy Malensky purchased the business in 1990 and since then have expanded every line and every nook and cranny. And considering the store sits at one entrance of St. Maries, it becomes a bit of a double-whammy for locals, offering a welcoming site for visitors as well as a great place to purchase products and seek out advice.

Part feed store, part gardener’s paradise, Triple XXX Feed offers just about everything one might need for yard work, big or small. The Malenskys carry pet food supplies, livestock, deer and wild bird feed, fencing, small animal and aquarium supplies, hay and straw, seeds, fruit trees, shrubs, bedding plants, fertilizer, wood pellets, and even baby chicks, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, quail and guineas in the spring.

As is often the case with small business owners, the Malenskys do so much more than sell products – they cultivate their community.

Nancy is actively involved in the 4H program and the Benewah County Fair, held every year in late-summer. She is the chairman of the junior show and a member of the committee that is responsible for organizing the fair and sale for the 4H youth.

But her service extends far beyond the tangibles. In addition to providing assistance at the administrative levels, Nancy also offers support to the children and community directly with her knowledge and advice.

Joel and Nancy have been farming for as long as they can remember and consider themselves a resource for the youth involved in the program. And that they are, oftentimes being available to answer questions and offer advice throughout the season. But Nancy doesn’t see it as work; instead, she considers it a culmination of her passions.

“When I think about what I wanted to be involved in, this is it,” she said. “You’ve got kids, animals, the community – all of that is very much what I’m about.”

Nancy also credits her staff as a big part of the reason for both her store’s success as well as allowing her to take the time to volunteer.

Store employees Sheryl Boller, Brenda Schlepp and Patsy Bowser are just as dedicated and interested in gardening and animals and all things outdoors, which Nancy says makes for a perfect working – and shopping – experience.

“We’re lucky enough to surround ourselves with employees who are friends, whose passions are animals and gardening,” she explained. “So when people come in with questions, our main passion is helping them. Not just about making a sale.”