One of the big debates is shopping local versus online or big chain stores.

The arguments for either both have valid points. You know them already – saving money for your family – supporting authentic local businesses – or $30 million dollar executive CEO’s with corporate jets, etc.

Not sure that debate will be settled any time soon – as there are many different “customers” out there with different needs and financial situations. So what camp you fall in is highly individual.

Raritan Valley Agway

We adopted two new puppies recently (Australian Shepherds named Ocho and Sunny). Our breeder recommended NutriSource dog food for our transition. NutriSource does not sell via big box stores. They’re a rare “shop local” supplier of pet food. (You can find them on sites like Amazon – but they’re about 50% more expensive if you include the shipping you have to pay for). There are about half a dozen retailers that sell this brand within a reasonable distance from Route 22.

Raritan Valley Agway was one of them. We stopped by. It was our first time there.

It’s primarily a Garden Center, and they do brisk business from the Spring to the Fall – along with Christmas trees and other decorations. The colder months they slow down tremendously, but still do good dog, cat, and bird supply business. That’s one of the benefits of being one of the few NutriSource dealers in the state.

Find something you can support Raritan Valley Agway with

Stores like Raritan Valley Agway are very niche. It’s obvious they don’t have everything for everyone (the way places like Home Depot or Walmart attempt to be). And that’s okay. They have their specialties (the garden stuff) and have loyal customers that give them business every year.

Another benefit of shopping local at these places are the people behind the business. Isn’t it nice to see the same people every time so you can build an actual relationship? Instead of getting a different “crew” of half-baked employees every time you visit some of the other chain stores? You cannot really put a price tag on that type of interaction. It was common 50 years ago, and today it’s a rarity.

So what we try to do when we know a local business cannot be our everyday store for whatever reason (inventory, distance from us, etc.), we typically select one or two items that we will use them exclusively for. In our case, it’s the NutriSource pet food. They have a new customer for that.

We may not be able to give them all our business – but we try where we can. Each little bit you can keep in the local economy goes a long way. And the more people that can adopt that mindset – the stronger OUR communities can be. You can attain a healthy mix of saving money for your family – while preserving what is left of our “small town” relics of days past. And in this particular case – we achieved both!

Raritan Valley Agway Map

Map of where Raritan Valley Agway is located below.

Raritan Valley Agway Hours and Phone

You can call them at 908-725-9252. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8am to 6pm. Sundays from 9am to 4pm.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.