About Us

Barnes Supply's origin story is deeply rooted within Durham County's rich agricultural history.

The building itself has been a Ninth Street staple since the days when tobacco was king. Most households once relied on home gardens as their main source for seasonal produce. Families commonly raised their own livestock and there was a need for agricultural supply stores. Mr. Lee Barnes, affectionately refereed to as “Shorty Barnes,” opened the Ninth Street feed store after returning from his service in World War II. His degree in agriculture, which he earned from North Carolina State University, proved helpful in this business venture. His farming knowledge aided in establishing the store as West Durham's “go to” location for grains, feeds, seeds and hardware. Customers were won over by his warm, outgoing personality. 

historical store photo

Decades later, the store is still frequented by folks who fondly recount stories of Shorty and the early days of the store. In 1991 Shorty Barnes reached retirement age and decided to sell the business. Gary George, whose family is originally from Durham, purchased the business and took over the reins as owner. Gary and wife Patricia had their own fond memories of the store and felt it to be a strong investment and a great opportunity to learn and grow their business experience.

historical store photo

In Durham, fields and farms have given way to urban sprawl and industry. Because small businesses cannot survive unless they grow, the owners and staff here at Barnes Supply strive to maintain the integrity of our agricultural roots while simultaneously evolving our inventory and knowledge to provide for the needs of domestic pet owners. Barnes continues to cater to the needs of farm and garden enthusiasts.

For the past 15 years we have dedicated most of our efforts towards improving our knowledge on pet nutrition and offering our customers an exceptional inventory of quality and holistic pet care products.

The Durham community has kept this small business going for over 70 years! We hope to always be a part of this growing community.