To those who’ve been driving by the new Country Mercantile off Dallas Road in south Richland in recent weeks just to see if it’s opened yet, your patience is about to be rewarded.
The Pasco-based farmers market-style retailer, known for its locally sourced produce and other goods, opens at its new location June 10, ahead of its Saturday grand opening.
Landscaping and some other details are still being finished, but store officials say they’re ready and believe their customers are, too.
“It’s the locals who have made us who we are,” said Monique Kaas, co-general manager. “The input on social media has been really good.”
From the outside, the 22,000-square-foot store, the first business to open in the large mixed-use development called Badger Mountain South, looks very different from its sister outlet on Highway 395 north of Pasco.
But owner Jay Wood said every effort was made to make it appear the same on the inside, from the style of shelving to the checkerboard tile flooring. About 25 full- and part-time employees will staff the store.
Wood said he hadn’t planned to open a second location but decided to go for it after being asked to be the anchor tenant in the Veneto Villaggio wine village section of the project. The Pasco store has expanded several times since opening 18 years ago but is maxed out.
“This enabled us to grow,” Wood said.
The Richland outlet will offer the same merchandise as the Pasco store but customers will be able to see how Country Mercantile creates some of its products, including its ice cream and chocolate shop.
A new feature will be an in-store bakery. It will make fresh-baked bread for sandwiches at both stores and for retail sales in Richland.
While not a full-fledged grocery, the new store will carry a limited amount of milk and eggs as a convenience for residents living nearby who want to pick up a few staples in a pinch or on their way home, said Wood.
The retailer’s annual Harvest Festival, which features carnival rides, a pumpkin patch and corn mazes, will still be available only at the Pasco location. However, guided tours of the kitchens at both stores will be available to school groups and other organizations.
Hours for the new store will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.