On July 1st of 2020, we officially opened the doors to our second Truckee location at Soaring Ranch. Opening up this new store during a pandemic brought hardships and triumphs that no one could have expected. But, even with the challenges we faced, with the help of fellow Employee Owners, our friends at Ace Hardware, and our community near and far – we’ve had a tremendous year, and we couldn’t be more thankful.
No Trial Run
Though the inception of this new location was in the works for quite some time, we made it official when we signed the lease in December of 2018. With the goal of completion by summer 2020, we were off to the races. “Designing this new location and handling the operational logistics around a new business created plenty of work under any circumstances.” Said Doug Wright, our President, and CEO. Adding to this new store workload in the beginning months of COVID was a challenge no one could have foreseen when we signed the lease.
As the outside of the new building was finished, we spent the remaining months working inside getting merchandising shelves built, stocking products, and hanging signage. Our staff worked tirelessly to get the store ready for our big day, even though COVID regulations wouldn’t allow an in-person grand opening.
Because of this, we had no trial run prior to the big opening day – just a hope that our community would walk into our doors and love this location just as much as our others.
Into the Unknown
The store manager at our Soaring Ranch location, Ryan Bolan can remember July 1, 2020, like it was yesterday…
“The excitement of stepping off the cliff into the unknown could be seen in every employees’ eyes. We had planned for months and worked feverishly for weeks trying to anticipate the needs and expectations of the customers who we wanted so badly to impress. You could almost feel the entire building exhale in relief when those first few customers came through the doors and began expressing their approval. That was only the beginning though.
Over the last 12 months, these employee-owners have shared and celebrated their “firsts” and their “bests” over and over again both individually and as a group. We have spent this past year learning how to be the best retailers we can be and we are all excited to raise the bar on ourselves for years to come.”
Breath of fresh air
Heather Svahn, VP of marketing/merchandise played a big role when it came to the planning and design aspects of the Soaring Ranch location.
“This new second Truckee location has truly been a breath of fresh air for us.” With a well-thought-out open floor plan spacious enough for everything you need and more, Heather feels this location adds an element to our business that our other locations can’t offer. “Even though our Soaring Ranch location is new, you can still depend on the same reliable service and products. It has been a great way to expand our Mountain Hardware shopping options to our community.”
Employee Owners “Firsts” and “Bests”
A few of the Employee Owners you knew from our Donner Pass location were able to transfer over to Soaring Ranch, but many were hired and started their first days in a shiny new store. The employee ownership culture we cultivated at our Donner Pass and Blairsden locations over the years was easily transferred to the new location, but with its own tight-knit twist. From pot-luck lunches to contests of their own, the staff at Soaring Ranch loves the close bonds they can have with one another.
When we asked cashier Kathleen to say a few words on this past year, the first thing she said was, “I just love it here. All of my co-workers, the customers, everything. The positive feedback we’ve been getting from customers is just amazing.”
As our 1 year anniversary passes, our biggest hope with our new location, and ALL of our locations, is that we can continue to serve and support our communities in any way we can. From our product selection, customer service, to expert-friendly advice. Thank you all for a wonderful first year – we look forward to the many years to come!