ECBC Business spotlight: Food Ranch since 1981
Drew and Val LeRoy own the Food Ranch in Orangeville. Drew recently spoke at the Emery County Business Chamber Lunch and Learn. Food Ranch was the local business spotlight for July. LeRoy said, "In order to be in business in Emery County you must be patient and you must persevere. We have been open for 30 years and it hasn't all been wonderful, but we get to live here in Emery County. In 1980-81 I was thinking of leaving my job and coming home.
"We operate a full line grocery store that's well stocked and has competitive prices. We are open for long hours. We treat everyone like a guest in our store. I grew up in Huntington and then I left for college. It seemed like all the people in Emery County at that time were either farmers or school teachers. I spent one summer milking cows and I knew I didn't want to do that. Someone told me the only way to go is to own your own business. I graduated from college in business management from the Utah Technical College and began a job at Associated Foods. I was there for 10 years.
"When we decided we were serious about moving home and starting a business, it took eight months to find the property and get the loan, it took eight months to get a building permit. We converted a horse barn in Orangeville into Food Ranch. We opened the store on Nov. 19, 1981 and my wife had a baby on Nov. 25. We sold our house in Sandy and borrowed the money for the store. We moved into my mom's old house in Huntington. My wife was a city girl and we moved into an old house with problems. We moved to Orangeville into the house we live in now. In 1986, we doubled the store in size. In 1996 we expanded again.
"We try to bring in the items that customers want. We offer more. We are the only store in town. We try to be everything to everybody. At one time we sold four-wheelers. But, in a small town, after you sell 50 four- wheelers, then you're done. We started renting out videos when videos first came out. We had the first machines for rent. We've sold boots, had a dollar store, vet supplies, oil, weight lifting equipment, cars, paint ball supplies. We had a restaurant in Ferron for awhile. We try to stay up to date and keep our store well stocked. We run a weekly ad and we are online at foodranchinc.com. We are on GPS and google. Joe's Valley up Straight Canyon is the number one spot in the whole world for bouldering. We sell to a lot of people going bouldering or fishing up Joe's Valley. We open at 6 a.m. to accommodate people using our area for recreation.
"Our main focus is on perishables. We have a meat department where I cut the meat to insure the best quality and freshness. I buy the best meat and will cut it to your specifications. I even have my own special recipe seasoning which works on all meats. We run a catering business too. We will cater your business lunch, family reunion, any event. We have a large produce department. We spray the vegetables and keep them wet and fresh. We also have dry produce. Our ladies take good care of the produce department.
"Emery County is a tough place to try to go out and eat. We have a hot deli that's open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. daily serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. We feature Piccadilly Pizza and recently we started a new product Take and Bake pizza and the best one is $6.99.
"Our bakery featured the first raised doughnut in Emery County. My sister invented a Butterfinger doughnut that's very popular. The doughnuts are made fresh every day.
"We have seasonal items, general merchandise, coolers, toys, frozen foods. We recently replaced the coolers. We have beer and pop. We have sporting goods for camping, fishing, shooting, ammo and climbing implements. We have helmets for four-wheeler and motorcycle riders. We have gas, diesel, propane and a video department. We have Salt City candles. We have hunting clothes. I recently picked up some paint that we're selling at $10 a gallon until it's gone. We've had electric cars for the kids and we're probably the only grocery store anywhere with a racquetball court.
"We have soft serve and hard ice cream.
"We love being in Emery County, we love being home," said LeRoy.
Emery County Business Chamber President Tyler Jeffs thanked LeRoy for speaking about his business and for having a thriving business in Emery County. "We are very proud of you and your store," said Jeffs. Heidi Migliori was the winner of the $25 gift certificate from Food Ranch.