Marcy Baker, owner of Rocket City Motors, and more recently, Rocket City Barns, has such a strong entrepreneurial spirit that I think she could just about single-handedly revolutionize our economy. As her husband, Daniel, says, “Marcy’s great, and I definitely married up.” I concur; the girl blows me away, and you need to hear her story before you hear about the barns.
Marcy is Canadian born, and the progeny of entrepreneurs. Her grandfather came to Ellis Island from Malta, and through a whole slough of misadventures ended up in Toronto. He grew a thriving business custom building round windows for houses, and then started a hardware store in which Marcy worked from a child. Her dad is now retired from his custom wood window business, and her mom builds rustic pine furniture.
Marcy’s family lived on a golf course, and as a little kid she and her brother would observe where the golf balls of frustrated golfers would land---in the woods, in the drink, in the sand traps, and they would go fetch them. The next step was to sell them back to their owners! “Regular balls went for 50 cents, and if they were personalized, we charged 75 cents for retrieving them,” she told me with a grin. This was definitely a “market-niche lemonade stand!”
Marcy wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, so she got a degree in computer science from the University of Toronto. “That’s an interesting fallback position,” I said, and she grinned again. “I was not designed to live in a cubicle,” she shot back. She arrived in the States when she was 19, and through her own set of intriguing adventures became a Mobile Certified Electrician, working in Decatur at a major auto dealership. That is where she met Daniel, and the rest makes for a fascinating tale. Both were single parents, married and blended their families a year later, and Marcy started the “buy here pay here” auto dealership, as well as the barn dealership.
She does a good job of striking the balance between emphasizing the fact that she is the successful owner of two businesses (not traditionally owned by women), without being “screedy,” (if I can be allowed to make up a word, here). It’s easy to tell that the women and men who work for her get as much of a kick out of her as I have. Her favorite driver and delivery person, Salisha Stephenson, has the same spritely spirit as Marcy, and while she can “hold her own with the guys,” she is a tender heart.
Marcy wanted me to make sure that Athens Now readers were aware that the parent company, Cotton State Barns, is very supportive of women owners, and has been quite helpful in getting her up and running. They also make it possible for their distributors to offer a “zero money down” option, which is an added plus for buyers.
So, on to the brass tacks of barns. What is happening in the industry, and what is fueling the uptick in barn sales? “The ‘small house’ movement,” she told me. “Small houses” have become so significant that they have their own TV show, numerous websites, and because they are free standing, are technically considered mobile homes. “People are starting to put them up in mobile home parks,” she said. She took me to one that made me drool, because, truth be told, I eventually want to have my Athens Now office in one. So, while she was taking delivery of a new unit and helped customers, I spent time in one residential unit that had 3 lofts and, (in my mind, at least,) I moved in.
“They are built here in Alabama by Mennonites,” she said, and added, “So the quality is solid.” She said without hesitation, “We have the best quality and the lowest prices.” She went on to tell me that once a month she makes a run from Cullman to Nashville to “shop” the competition, and she stands by her statement: “cheapest and best.” Marcy also went on to tell me something I have never heard of in the building industry, and that is, that Cotton State Barns actually lowered their prices this year, and that in a time when the market demand could justify doing just the opposite. She was quite proud of them for doing so.
OK, what if I don’t want to live in the thing, I want it for my tools or chickens in the back yard? Same thing: the prices can’t be beat, and just like Rocket City Motors, the set up is that you “buy-here-pay-here,” with no credit check. They do get re-pos, and they will do everything they can to get you the solidly built unit you are looking for. Marcy clearly cares about her customers, and will match a barn to your needs.
Therefore, if you are in the market for a barn, Marcy Baker and the crew of Rocket City Barns are your folks, and I’ll let you in on a secret: She makes beautiful wooden flower boxes….
Rocket City Barns East
26912 Hwy 72, Athens, AL 35611, near East Limestone Road
Rocket City Barns West
17486 Hwy 72, Athens, AL 35613, nest to Collins Supply
Facebook: Rocket City Barns
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner