Hidden Gems: Meet Andrea Gillespie of Republic Mills
Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Gillespie.
Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I am third generation responsible for various family agricultural-related businesses, 6th generation farmer in Allen County Ohio. My grandparents began with Lord’s Menswear in downtown Lima, Ohio in 1949, they purchased, operated, and sold many rental units, worked extensively to purchase and operate farmland in Monroe, twp. My dad was always right beside them in their business adventures from the age of 10, adding to the operations in his adulthood with grain elevators, and feed manufacturing. I also joined into the adventure at the age of 10 as has my husband and both of my sons who are now 21 and 18. We are all employed full-time within family business.
We currently own and operate our farm operation, Lord’s Enterprises, Inc. in Allen County, as well as the manufacturing plant, Republic Mills, Inc in Okolona, Ohio. Our manufacturing plant has diversified in recent decades from livestock feed to pelleting, crumbling, and blending all-natural by products for fertilizer use. Our own private brands of, Farrier’s Magic, Okie Organics, and Hudson Feeds are a piece of the puzzle as well.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course, there are always struggles. Life in itself brings its own set of struggles. Family business brings its own set of struggles. Market changes. Personality conflicts within family. Life events.
Our focus has always been on the family. What does it take to maintain and build on what the previous generation worked for and make it better for the generation to come? Not just a profitable business plan, but a legacy of trust, honesty, and integrity to everyone we come in contact with.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Republic Mills, Inc.?
Republic Mills has been in business since 1935, our family purchased it in 1995. We are located in northwest Ohio and specialize in custom pelleting and blending. We have been blessed to transition thru the changes of the market over time. The natural fertilizer market is significant right now, but we also do all kinds of other custom formulations for companies all over the world. In addition to custom work, we have our own brands including Hudson Feeds, Farrier’s Magic, and Okie Organics.
The unique thing about our business is that we are small enough to provide you with a personal relationship in helping you get a custom product to market yet large enough to manufacture the volume you will need when your final product hits your goals. We can pellet, blend, crumble. We are able to load out bulk product onto over-the-road vehicles as well as by rail. We are able to bag products in multiple bag sizes including totes. You provide the bag, or we will, whatever works best for you, we will work with you. You need it heat sealed or sewn? No problem, we have you covered. We are able to warehouse products in our warehouse. We take pride in providing quality products, and personalized service.
What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
You will never regret doing the right thing.