The Placerville Tractor Supply Co. was a swarm of managers from other California stores as Placerville Manager Jonathan Harvey geared up for Saturday’s 8 a.m. opening.
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The 25th TSC store in the state will have its grand opening on Aug. 3, but the store will have its ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. July 26 in an El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce event lasting until 8 p.m. While not technically open, Harvey said they won’t turn away curious passerby after 3 p.m.
Inside, the store was all but ready. Clothing hung from racks, gun safes were lined up, chain saws were on shelves. The parking lot, newly repaved and with a metal fence holding tillers, dog kennels, water tanks and more, was being filled while a forklift piled metal fencing.
What sets the “largest branch farm supply store in the nation” apart from other stores, Harvey said, was that “Prices are always lower or we do price match” with other stores and they have brands not found anywhere else in the area. “Other places will sell stuff, but they don’t have the same brands,” he said. For example, he said, Home Depot has welding supplies from Liberty Welding Supply, but TSC has Hobart Welders supplies. “A better brand for a better price,” Harvey said. He noted some supplies they carry are hundreds of dollars cheaper than if bought online.
The store specializes in equine and pet supplies, western-style clothing, lawn and garden supplies, truck and trailer supplies and, as the name implies, supplies for tractors, Harvey said. “We cater to the ‘out-here’ lifestyle,” he said. “Life out here.”
TSC started as a mail-order catalog in 1938, he said, with the first store in South Dakota; this store is a trial store itself, with the company trying to integrate its Website, found at tractor supply.com/placerville — which was not live as of Thursday — with the store.
The Website will show events and what groups are attending, as well as showing featured products and product mixes. The grand opening, Harvey said, will see 4H with an animal stand and the Future Farmers of America hosting a barbecue in the parking lot. A horse rescue group will also be in attendance, and Purina will be advising customers on what type of chow is best for different horses and animals. “The grand opening is going to be huge,” Harvey said. He mentioned another upcoming event, Pet Appreciation Day, will be on Aug. 17.
Harvey said that all of the 13 employees are new and all are local, mostly from Placerville, but with some from Kyburz, Camino and Somerset, and all needed jobs. Harvey, who used to work at the Dixon store and helped open the Auburn store, was excited that his commute is now only five minutes from his home.
“We have a lot of fun,” he said, citing the store mission of “‘work hard, have fun and make money by providing legendary service and great products at everyday low prices.’ And we still have Christmas parties. I used to work at Safeway. You think they had Christmas parties? This company is phenomenal. This is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s a lot of fun, taking care of customers. You can’t be successful if you are not having fun.”
As for the customers, people were already coming up to peer into the window to see if the store was open. When they are open, Harvey said, they will bring a lot of traffic to that side of town — a part of town that had been somewhat stagnant, Harvey said. “There will be a lot more now, we’re going to spruce up this area.”
The ribbon cutting will take place tonight at 1360 Broadway in Placerville — the old Mountain Democrat office — from 5 to 8 p.m. The store officially opens Saturday, July 27, at 8 a.m. The grand opening event is Aug. 3. For more information call the store at 530-621-9936.