(AGWEEK) ASHLEY, N.D. — Shane and Carley Peacock knew they wanted to start their own business; they’d been dreaming about it for a long time. But as residents of the fast-growing city of Boise, Idaho, the two knew it’d be an expensive, challenging and risky venture.
“We always wanted to have a business, but in a big city the cost of real estate and licensing is so high it puts so many things out of reach,” Shane said.
Realizing this, the couple set their sights on somewhere that was not only more affordable but also felt more like home.
“My brother and his family are from Ashley, North Dakota and we’d spend a lot of time up here visiting, which drew us to the area,” Shane said. “There were a few years where we were thinking about making the move and leaving our full-time jobs to pursue our dreams of having our own business.”
And then they did. The couple along with their young son moved to Ashley in 2019. As Air National Guardsmen the two transferred to the local base in Fargo and Shane also started working full-time as a wind technician east of town. As they settled into the area, Carley and Shane kicked around several ideas to determine what they could provide, and what niche they could fill in the town of 750. They bought an empty building in February of 2020 and landed on Pop a Top Bottle Shop, the only fully off-sale liquor store in the area. It took
Shane and Carley the summer to remodel the building and in September of 2020, they officially opened for business. Since then, the Peacock’s and their establishment have seen a warm welcome.
“When we moved here everyone was very welcoming,” Carley said. “They knew more
about us before we got here than we could have imagined. Everyone gets excited about new life coming into town.”
In addition to the welcome Carley and Shane received from residents, the Peacock’s new store has received a warm welcome as well, serving sportsmen who come through the area year-round. Tara Brandner, a nurse practitioner who returned to her hometown of Ashley nine years ago to raise her family, says the Peacocks already have deep roots in the community.
“You wouldn’t even know that they weren’t from here,” she said. “They’re active in many community organizations. They’re big on promoting Ashley and very active volunteers in the community.”
Something Carley recognized was missing in the bigger city.
“Living in a big city you don’t realize all the different things that there are because there are enough people to accommodate,” she said. “Being here everyone needs help with something and in the long run it makes you feel more tied to the community and more appreciative for what we have going on there.”
In addition to the opportunities and sense of community, the Peacock’s found in smalltown Ashley, they’ve also discovered a sense of security, something particularly important with a young son.
“That’s one of the best things, him being able to ride his bike to the park and play without worrying,” Shane said. “That sense of safety and community you get in a small town makes up for some of the potential drawbacks. If you can just find your little niche, your little thing you can provide the community, the opportunity is huge.”
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