WATKINS, Colo. (KDVR) — O’Malley’s Mercantile is a mom-and-pop retail store that just celebrated 44 years of being in business. The COVID lockdowns almost ended that, but it hung on and is now on the mend.

It was 44 years ago, almost to the day, when Kathleen and Mike O’Malley opened the doors to their modest feed store, Watkins Feed and Supply.

In 2001, they officially changed the name to O’Malley’s.  

“Watkins Feed and Supply was primarily horse, chicken, dog, that was about it,” Mike O’Malley said.

O’Malley, once a cowboy, used to wrangle for an outfit south of Denver now known as Highlands Ranch. He teamed up with Kathleen Marie Ziegler and got hitched in 1976. 

Together, they hatched up an idea to open a feed store in Watkins, but why there?

“We were not very smart,” O’Malley said laughing.

Watkins was incorporated in 2004. About 18 months later it was unincorporated because, well, it is small.

But it is big enough to be the community’s gathering spot for locals to catch up, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company.

For that reason, O’Malley Days were created. 

“Well, there will be prizes, there will be games for kids, giveaways, sales, food,” O’Malley said. 

It’s a way of saying thank you to their loyal customers.

O’Malley’s Mercantile, a slice of Americana, surviving poor economies, a pandemic, and whatever else is around the bend. Maybe even Amazon.