By Jessica King
Within a few months, mega farm and ranch retailer Tractor Supply Co. will introduce itself to the San Diego County market with a new store opening on none other than Ramona’s Main Street.
The nearly 20,000-square-foot store will open at Main and Hunter streets some time in the third quarter, according to Randy Guiler, Tractor Supply’s vice president investor relations.
The contractor on the job, CSI Construction of Irvine, began construction on Feb. 5. A tentative completion date is late June.
“Tractor Supply looks forward to being a member of the Ramona community,” said District Manager Bill LaBean. “Ramona is a great fit due to the part-time and hobby farmers, and horse owners in the area. And many of our new customers are surprised to find we also offer pet supplies and clothing items for the entire family.”
“We are pleased to be opening our first San Diego County store in Ramona and look forward to growing our presence in other local markets,” said Guiler, adding that the company supports customers who prefer to live the rural lifestyle.
Tractor Supply is based in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, Tenn. It has about 1,245 stores in 48 states. They each stock a variety of items, including animal feed, tools, fencing, home and gardening supplies, work clothing and, of course, tractors, lawn mowers and other agricultural-type vehicles.
Each store also brings with it jobs for about 15 people.
“Nearly all of the team members will be hired locally and we generally start the hiring process 60 to 90 days in advance of store openings,” said Guiler.
The employment opportunities will be a mixture of full- and part-time help.
Until the new store opens, the closest Tractor Supply Co. store to Ramona is in San Bernardino’s Yucca Valley, about 78 miles away.
Tractor Supply is rumored to have plans to follow the Ramona opening with about a dozen other new stores in San Diego County, though the company has not publicly confirmed it.
However, Guiler said the company has identified a total of 2,100 domestic markets for its stores and will continue to grow across the country, including in Southern California.
Ramona Community Planning Group approved the new store last summer.
It will front Hunter Street, with a street scene façade and landscaping facing Main Street, said Ramona resident and developer Steve Powell, president of Woodcrest Homes, Inc. The architect on the project, Carole Wylie, is also from Ramona.
Tractor Supply is the largest retail farm and ranch supply chain in the country and has been operating in California since 2004, according to a statement from the firm’s marketing department.
The store will include sales floor and support service space. A fenced exterior space will be used for storage and displaying items such as fencing, sprayers and livestock equipment. More information is at tractorsupply.com.