Western Stockmen's may have a new location for its Sunnyside customers to visit, but the J.R. Simplot subsidiary is already familiar to many.
That's according to General Manager Robert Lambert, who said many of the customers served by Western Stockmen's are have long established relationships with the sales representatives that have served the area for several years already.
With a local store, customers now have a place from which to purchase products they may not have realized they needed when they last spoke with a sales representative.
Western Stockmen's carries supplies for feeding, watering, cleaning and grooming, pest control and medical needs of livestock.
Lambert said three new jobs were added with the opening of the store, which is located at Commercial Tires' previous location on Yakima Valley Highway in Sunnyside.
He said the company had been looking at Sunnyside for approximately five years.
"There's a great number of cattle in a 50-mile radius," Lambert said of the reason behind choosing Sunnyside for a new store.
He said Western Stockmen's was waiting for the ideal location and believes the former tire center fits the bill.
An added benefit to the location is that products are stocked and ready for purchase. If it can't be found at the Sunnyside store, a product can either be special ordered or pulled from stock at another location.
"Most sales are made via our sales representatives rather than walk-ins," he admits.
Lambert said the staff prides itself on learning about the customers it serves. The staff members learn about the animals owned by customers and the products those animals might need.
Lambert said the products selected are based on the type of animals the customer owns, including goats, cows, horses and other livestock.
He said the feed carried by Western Stockmen's is all made in Caldwell, Idaho at the company's mill.
Because J.R. Simplot is a family-owned Northwest business, there is a belief in quality-made products and customer service, according to Lambert.
He said the land and livestock division to which Western Stockmen's belongs also has a feedlot in Burbank. That gives the staff a unique perspective on what it takes to care for animals and there are two veterinarians on staff to whom all staff members have access when needing advice on health products being sold at one of the stores.
"The feed, to me, is the most important product because it is made by our company and it's 100 percent backed," said Lambert, stating nutritionists have specially formulated the feed products for the best overall health of the animals belonging to the company's patrons.
"The company also believes in providing the consumer the ability to purchase products at reasonable prices, knocking out the middle-man," Lambert said.
"It's all about providing the customers the best service and the best products."