By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Marcy Baker is the owner of Rocket City Barns, and her story starts with her grandfather who came to Ellis Island from Malta. Through a series of misunderstandings, her family ended up in Canada, worked hard, and built their own businesses. Her grandfather became well known for his custom craftsmanship in the form of building round windows, and Marcy essentially cut her eyeteeth on entrepreneurialism in her grandfather’s hardware store. She got her degree in computer science from the University of Toronto, and then came to the States. The degree in computer science really was only something she would have used as a fallback career if needed, but she graduated with high marks. For several years, she worked in the automotive industry as a Mobile Certified Electrician, and was 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 known as Rocket City Motors, as well as the “barn” dealership.
Whenever Daniel talks about Marcy, he always grins and says, “I married up.” With respect to both businesses, they took a huge risk to make it easy and affordable for their customers to get financing, not require a credit check, give great customer service, and hold fast to their integrity. Daniel has told me more than once, “We may not be getting rich, but we can sleep at night, and look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning.”
Speaking of integrity, the barns are made by Cotton States, and that company is famous for its Mennonite workmanship. The barns, sheds, greenhouses, livestock shelters, cabanas, and playhouses are constructed locally, and Rocket City Barns does the delivery. On the day I interviewed Daniel, I was particularly captured by a playhouse that has a loft in it. He told me that right now the loft playhouse model is one of their most popular items. He let me go explore it, and it features a door in the back that an adult can walk through, as well as a pint-sized one in the front. The playhouse has a small porch, and could be a tiny house for a tiny person.
The tiny-house movement is one of the things that is fueling sales, and shows no signs of slowing down. Because Rocket City Barns now features portable buildings which are 16-feet wide, the extra square footage makes the prospect of getting a tiny house with just enough space to be comfortable at a more-than-comfortable price is another thing that is boosting sales. Some people use them for other things as well, such as personal gyms or offices. Dan and Marcy wanted to apologize to the people of Athens-Limestone County for the traffic issues that may have arisen in the process of the wider houses being hauled through town on delivery day!
Cotton States has made it possible for the barns to be purchased 90 days same as cash. Dan and Marcy were really surprised by this move, as usually credit is needed for these programs. “It’s a new feature of our rent-to-own program. You can pay zero down on most models, no credit check, no income questions, early payoff options, simply amazing,” Dan said. Lifetime warranties are also available, and in Alabama, delivery and set up are free. In addition, sometimes there are re-pos. “We are so grateful for the support of the Athens community,” said Marcy. “We feel blessed to have been here all these years. We have selected our manufacturing and financial partners very carefully. We will always have the best price guaranteed, and this makes things easier on everyone,” she added.
The other arm of the barn business is the portable metal building business; and Rocket City Barns sells Max Steel buildings, which are made in Murfreesboro. There are carports, full garages, and two-story structures, and are available at a fraction of the cost of other structures. “We are so happy with these guys,” Dan told me, and added, “They have been good to us, and you can’t beat their product.” If you are looking for a portable building or carport, you need to come to the two locations of Rocket City Barns, and let Dan and Marcy help you find just what you are looking for.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner