FARLEY, Iowa — Delaney’s Auto and Ag Center and Repair has been serving the Farley and Cascade communities with auto and agricultural services, but three new identities also have been added to the family business.
Delaney’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Between the Laces batting cages and a gym have been added to the Farley location owned by Jason and Matt Delaney.
Delaney’s started as a repair shop 15 years ago in Cascade. Matt added a second location in Farley in 2011, located at 107 First Ave. E. It started as a full-service gas station and repair shop.
“We thought it was a crazy idea. We threw a number at the guy for the gas station and ended up with it,” Matt said. “Then we have outgrown the gas station.”
Matt was able to expand Delaney’s repair business into the building next to the repair shop and gas station. Jason still works in Cascade with the tire and truck repair, and their father works on the agricultural repairs.
The repair business expanded, but so did the Delaney enterprise.
In 2018, the brothers added a batting cage facility. Between the Laces offers three cages fit for both softball and baseball along with a tee station and a baseball-softball hitting simulator.
The building also sits at 107 First Ave E. in Farley and was built in 1918. Jason said it was the right spot at the right place to start this facility. The batting cages were geared more to Jason’s children but have grown to teams and groups. Matt said it started with word of mouth but has snowballed into hitting lessons in the winter and now all year.
“Over the winter, we could have anywhere between 10 to 15 teams in there using it,” Matt said. “It is a crazy amount of kids.”
The facility is open to boys and girls of all ages and levels. The cost of a daily pass is $10, and a monthly pass is $25. Jason said they wanted to keep the prices cheaper so players could grow in their sport and not travel a long distance to practice.
“Keeping it more on the cheaper end will help you get better at what you want to be better at,” Jason said.
The business offers a weight room to work out, as well.
“Baseball is one of those games that can tear you down fast. You’ve got to be very confident and got to be self-motivated,” Matt said.
The brothers added ice cream to the repair business in 2021, offering both soft serve and hard ice cream in the repair shop’s waiting area. Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. makes the hard serve ice cream in Madison, Wis. They also have smoothies, blizzards, and slushies. The shop is open year-round.
Recently, the ice cream has been taken on the road and served at the Field of Dreams movie site over Fourth of July weekend. Jason said they had a great turnout.
While having a repair shop, ice cream and batting cages, the brothers’ businesses keep evolving as they add a daily menu to the ice cream shop and extend the batting facility.
“I am always going 100 miles and never slow down,” Jason said.
It was Jason’s idea to add lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Matt also added a movie night and free ice cream during blood drives.
The brothers have different ambitions to continue maintaining and expanding their various businesses. Matt hopes they will continue the ice cream and someday have new pumps at their full-service gas station in Farley. The brothers would also like to add a pitching coach to the Between the Laces business. Jason said Between the Laces will be adding all sports to the batting facility in October because there is a need and demand for a place to practice.
“We did it for the community, somewhere people can go,” Jason said. “The kids are smiling when they leave. They are having fun, which matters.”
Matt said they can be stretched to the gills a bit, but the brothers have a sound support system. Their families and parents still come over and help with the different shops.
“We can all work together,” Jason said. “We were raised to work hard.”
The Delaney brothers’ next new enterprise is unpredictable, yet the brothers are having fun building and growing their businesses by meeting all sorts of new people and opportunities.
“When the guy upstairs says, ‘Go for it,’ go for it. Believe in your gut. Keep working for what you want,” Jason said.