BONNERS FERRY — With the turning of the year from 2017 to 2018, Boundary County will see changes throughout the new year. One of the first changes residents will see is Yoder’s Market moving from Main Street, up to their new building at the top of the North Hill, near 3 Mile. They plan to close the store Jan. 12-15, and reopen in the new location on Jan. 16.
The main reason for moving the store is the small parking lot, which will decrease even further in size with the planned road construction. Stepping up, not only in parking lot size, they will be gaining about 1,000 extra square feet from the current building, which will allow the store to carry more produce, products, and have a larger deli seating area.
“Something we are planning on doing for next summer is having a produce co-op. It will be outdoors by the building for the locals to sell their produce,” said owner Henry Yoder. “There are local people that want to grow produce, but don’t know where to sell it, and there is also people that would like to buy local produce and don’t know where to get it, so we want to provide that for both of those parties.”
Yoder created a 9B logo so that the vendors can put it on their product, and the buyers will know that it was locally grown. People often wonder if “local” is in the county or shipped in, so this eliminates the question. So when people see the 9B logo, they will know that it is indeed grown in Boundary County.
Another perk for the community, is for those who live north and out of Bonners Ferry.
“After our moving announcement on Facebook, we got an overwhelming response. We didn’t realize how many people live up north until we started building up there,” said Yoder. “There are people from Moyie Springs, the Montana border, and up north by the Canadian border, they are all over the place where you don’t really think about it, so those people are very excited about having the store up there and not having to come to town.”
Most of the food comes from food distribution warehouses, and they get it because it may have been a pallet of something that was tipped over and slightly damaged, so the wholesaler can’t sell it to a regular retailer. This damaged merchandise gets thrown away unless surplus stores scoop it up and save it, which is what Yoder’s Market does.
“Our inventory changes all of the time, and people have learned that if they find a good deal on something they really like, they better buy it because it might not be here tomorrow,” said Yoder. “Some of our product might have one container damaged in a case, or label misprints, discolored labels, or overstock items like leftover holiday candy after the holiday has ended.”
Not all of the food is from a distribution warehouse. The deli cheese and meat are shipped form Troyer’s in Ohio.
“We grew up in Ohio in Amish country and that’s where Troyer’s is,” said Yoder. “We grew up milking the cows by hand, and we would take the milk to the cheese factory, where this cheese is made. To this day, that is what they do, and that’s where this cheese comes from. Many of the factory workers are Amish, and the factory owners used to be Amish. So it’s high quality. It’s like bringing home with us.”
The meats and cheese are high-quality enough that people drive from out of town just to buy it. Yoder said, “I asked them, do you go elsewhere in town, or what is your reason for coming up here, and they said no other reason than buying from this deli.”
With a clean store and friendly service, Yoder’s Market has made it into the hearts of the residents of Boundary County.
“Our heart is to serve the community and to be able to provide groceries for them at a lower price. We are not here just for low income families, we have something for everybody,” said Yoder. “We are family owned and operated, its about relationships, and we enjoy our relationship with the community. We love our community, and we love getting to meet a lot of people.”
With the new store, will also be new store hours. They will be open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed on Sundays.