Just a few years ago, the corner of US 35 and East 300 South was an empty lot. But its owners, Ron and Heather Bailey knew it would be a prime spot for a business venture. “Barnyard 35 was started by prayer … to get involved with something on this corner,” Ron says. “It wasn’t something we were looking for, but it came to us.”
At that time, the Baileys only owned Bailey Dogs, a concessions trailer that serves a variety of comfort foods, including coffee, ice cream, French fries, and a several types of hot dogs, including authentic Chicago style dogs, chili dogs, and polish sausages. “It’s a nice mix of food,” Heather says. “It’s usually open May through September.”
However, in 2019, they decided they wanted to expand into a year-round business that they could do alongside Bailey Dogs. Around that time, the Baileys decided to purchase a free-standing building for the concession trailer from Prairie Built Barns in Elkhart, a company that specializes in prebuilt structures.
“I was praying all the way there,” Ron says. Once there, he was impressed with what he saw and decided to ask the salesman a question that changed their lives. “I was looking at the barns, then I asked, ‘Well, how do you get into the barn business?’ The rest is history.”
Since then, the Baileys have expanded their inventory. Now, not only do they offer portable barns and sheds, but they also sell shipping containers and square gazebos, known as cabanas.
Additionally, they have metal buildings, like two-car garages and commercial warehouses, which are built by Reliable Metal. These buildings are made to the customer’s specifications. “If you can dream it, they can build it,” Ron says
There are 30 different types of barns and 40 styles of sheds available on the lot. “We have a good selection and different sizes. We can also order you one, too, with your specific color and all that,” Ron says. “They do have a six-year warranty and they stand behind it.”
Barnyard 35 also offers free delivery to a 50-mile radius of Knox. “If you order one, it’s four to five weeks. They bring it to you, deliver it, do everything. If you buy off our lot, it’s about 10-15 days before it’s delivered,” Ron says. “You can also call over the phone and do it, too.”
The sheds come in many shapes and sizes, from a typical garden shed to 3-season cabins. There are also several different styles of barns. All these structures are sturdily built by Mennonite craftsmen.
They do not require credit checks or a down payment. There isn’t even a penalty for paying off the structure early. “If you want a barn and you have a pulse, you can get one,” Ron says. “They can come in here and get a portable barn for their storage and they’re reasonably priced. They don’t hit you with extra fees. Any color paint is free, metal roofing or shingles are free. There’s no extra charges unless you put in another window or something.”
Although Barnyard 35 has developed a reputation for being the place to go for affordable sheds and barns, they also still serve amazing dogs and fries at the concession trailer, which is on the lot. “We say we have the best French fries in town. My favorite part of the job is eating Chicago Dogs,” Ron says.
Eventually, the Baileys hope to open Bailey Dogs as a year-round restaurant on-site as well. Until then, the concessions stand is open for business. There are benefits to having the sister businesses on the same lot. “Buy a barn from us, and you get a free lunch at the wagon, for you and your significant other,” Ron says.
At the end of the day, the Baileys’ businesses exist to provide a customer satisfaction in a friendly environment. “Some people just come to hang out. Some want to buy a barn.
Others come and have lunch with us. It’s just nice to be able to visit and being a part of people coming and going,” says Heather.
Barnyard 35 is located at 3020 S. US Highway 35, Knox. For more information, call them at 574-772-2104 or visit barnyard35.com.