July 5 was the official opening of Sandhill Sutton’s Speed and Supply in Halsey. Owner Chad Sutton and his wife, Becci, grew up in Omaha but Chad got his dream of their newest endeavor as a child of 10.
“We came to the (Nebraska National) Forest twice a year, one time I went with an uncle to get some buns — Thedford was an hour round trip away, and Norval’s station at Dunning was a 30-minute round trip,” he said. “Halsey is less than a mile from the forest, a perfect place to help visitors coming to the forest.”
Wanting to raise their sons — Connor, 11, and Mason, 7 — away from the big city, the Suttons bought a house in Halsey in October, and started looking for a place to start their business.
“In the meantime, I began helping by being a bus driver for Sandhills School at Dunning and part of the Halsey volunteer fire department,” he said. “We looked at several places to begin our new business. The six storage units came up for sale, and the rest is history.”
The couple bought the units and began renovating them on April 1. The south end of their business is Becci’s hair salon. The center is the small grocery store. Two storage units are still rented, which helps the new owners with their taxes and utilities. The last units are where Chad works on ATV’s, a hobby he did in Omaha. They also bought the lot across from their store and in cleaning it up, Chad, an all-around handyman, made a large cedar chair, carved out “Halsey” and placed it on the top of the chair’s back — a true photo op for travelers when they stop.
What also makes these four businesses in one stop unique, is the Suttons sought out help from area businesses, collaborating, not competing.
“Our groceries we get from Ewoldt’s Grocery at Thedford; our ranch supplies we get from Harsh Mercantile at Purdum,” he said. “Tyson Cox from Purdum, has filled a freezer full of his family’s home raised, Sandhills beef under the moniker, Nebraska’s Own which is in the store and AgLand ATV at Broken Bow will work with us so I can get parts and do ATV repairs. They said there is plenty of work for all.”
The Nebraska National Forest is now Nebraska’s largest public land for ATVers so Chad is staying plenty busy, as is Becci in her hair salon.
On hand to help cut the ribbon on Halsey’s newest business — besides the new friends they have made in the short while they have been open — was state Sen. Tom Brewer of the 43rd district. U.S Senator Deb Fischer sent them a letter of congratulations and encouragement also. Brewer was gracious enough to sit in the chair in Becci’s salon for a photo and then did another ribbon cutting with the couple at Halsey’s big chair across the highway. Prior to leaving, he was ordering beef for the next time he traveled through when he would have a cooler with him.
To make an appointment with Becci, “The Hairtherapist” or to get help from Chad for your sports utility vehicle, call 308-533-2323. They are open six days a week, and closed on Tuesdays.