J&L Carriage Keeps Clients Moving in the Right Direction
Writer / Ali Schneider
Photographer / Kari Lipscomb
The team at J&L Carriage prides itself on quality and craftsmanship. Located in Topeka, the team is focused on building the highest-quality buggies, also known as carriages, in the area.
Their main service is building brand-new buggies, although they offer many other services. Each new buggy is custom-built to the customer’s liking. They are also able to take your existing buggy and repair it, if it has damage or is not operating correctly. Whether you need a simple fix or a complete overhaul, they are willing and able to accommodate. If it works just fine, but you are looking to upgrade it or replace a certain part, they are able to do that as well.
Formerly, J&L Carriage went under the name Topeka Buggy Shop, which opened in 1985. It originally operated out of an old gas station. From there it went on to be known as Ben’s Buggy Shop, and was run by another family member. Fast-forward to 2022, when the owners decided to start their new business, J&L Carriage.
Although there have been changes in the name, the business has always stayed within the family. In fact, it is a third-generation business. This allows them to be a tight-knit team that works well together, and passes on their combined 38 years of knowledge and skills to all who are, or have, been involved.
The buggies that J&L Carriage builds are primarily used to get their customers from point A to point B. For example, the team can add a ball hitch to the trailers. This allows the customer to attach a cart, among other things, to tow groceries back and forth. It especially comes in handy when transporting hay, groceries and work items. Other uses for their buggies include farm runs, shopping trips and church events.
Depending on the size of the carriage, they can come up with the most efficient configuration for transporting these items. This is when the team becomes personal with their customers, and learns about the size of buggy they have, the amount of people that will be riding in it, what they plan on hauling, and how often.
Additionally, the team at J&L likes to learn about their customers’ horses that will be pulling the carriages. This makes a difference in how they build them, and what they can add to the restoration process. They can accommodate their buggies for small ponies up to very large horses.
The company name comes from the husband-and-wife team, Jerry and Loretta Nisley. They work together to keep the business running smoothly.
“If I’m home, I’m open,” Jerry Nisley says. This speaks to the dedication to his work, and willingness to strive to serve the community with the highest standards.
His typical hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but he is more than willing to help anyone who has an emergency, even if it is after hours.
What sets J&L apart from other carriage and buggy businesses is their dedication to the community. They enjoy helping people get back on the road. One of their speciality services is their wheel repairs. Nisley says the weather in northern Indiana is especially hard on wheels, and many people come to him to restore those from season to season.
Next time you are looking for a carriage or need to repair your current one, consider choosing J&L.
J&L Carriage is located at 9105 West 600 South in Topeka. You can reach them by phone at 260-977-8458. The team is more than happy to schedule an appointment or answer any questions over the phone.