HALSEY–A love of camping and riding four wheelers as a kid has now turned into a business for Chad Sutton. He and his wife Becci and their two boys have turned their life upside down in a move from Omaha to Halsey.
During the Sandhills Open Road Challenge Loup 2 Loup Race, KCNI/KBBN had the opportunity to visit with Becci Sutton. She said her husband used to love camping in the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey as a kid and the couple saw a need in the area for a small convenience store.
Combined with the desire to escape some of the big city chaos, to teach their boys about hard work, and to continue enjoying four wheeling, Becci and Chad decided to move to Halsey in November 2018. This past spring they purchased the building and over Memorial Day weekend they opened what is now Sandhill Sutton’s Speed and Supply.
A convenience store featuring soda, snacks, phone chargers, tobaccos, sunglasses, coffee, lip balm, and even four wheeler supplies like tires, goggles, and spark plugs is now available to residents of Halsey and forest visitors.
When asked what her Omaha relatives thought of the family of four making a move to the sandhills, Becci laughed and said, “I think they thought we were crazy!” She and Chad hope to be able to fill a need in the area and see how things go.
“I think they thought we were crazy,” Becci laughed. “We’ll give it a good solid five years, see how it goes. See if it really is a need that we’re thinking that it is and so far it’s been proving us that yes, it is a need. We’re in the right place,” Becci continued.
In addition to the store, Chad has a small engine repair shop where he works on ATVs and side by sides for local ranchers. Becci has nearly 15 years of cosmetology experience and she runs the Sandhill Hair Studio on the other side of the building.
Becci said her sons Connor, 11, and Mason, 9, have loved being in central Nebraska and have enjoyed getting involved helping out the community. Becci said local residents have welcomed the Suttons with open arms.
“They’ve [community members] been so kind. Just bringing over housewarming gifts and business warming gifts and welcoming to the community. ‘If you need anything let us know’ and they mean it! [They’re] very giving and open,” Becci said of friends and neighbors in Halsey.
The interior has already been renovated to double the size of the store and Chad and Becci love being able to partner with nearby businesses. Becci said Sandhill Sutton’s Speed and Supply partners with Ewoldt’s Grocery in Thedford, Harsh Mercantile in Purdum, and AG-Land ATV in Broken Bow. The general store also sells ranch raised beef and other locally made items.
“I hope it keeps going like it is,” Becci said.
Across the highway passersby will see a new addition to Halsey–a very large, homemade wooden chair perfect for a photo op, made by Chad Sutton.
“We figured somewhere for a photo op and to stop…and say Halsey–we’re here!”