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Getting Back To Normal
Last year, our Retail Division had to cancel 99.9% of its events, due to COVID-19. These included our annual customer appreciation events, our spring and fall producer/trade show and our producer roundtables. Thanks to lower infection rates and reduced restrictions, Rocky Mountain Supply is starting to host events again.
We’ve already cancelled our spring trade show, but we intend to put on a fall trade show that is bigger than 2019.
We’ve already begun hosting in person customer appreciation events — in Townsend on May 8, in Dillon on May 15, and in Belgrade on June 5.
If you weren’t able to attend, let me remind you of what is involved. The day before each customer appreciation event, we dig a firepit on our property that is 16 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 7-8 feet deep. We build a fire with over 250 wooden pallets and put on 300 pounds of beef to cook all night.
On the day of the customer appreciation event, we serve the pit cooked beef with homemade barbecue sauce, beans, coleslaw and dessert to all the members of each community. At each event, we serve between 400 and 600 people each day.
As fear of the pandemic eases, we’re hoping to get back to normal and be able to get out in the community, participate in more local fundraisers and build upon what we did in previous years.
For instance, we just held our first Outdoors Sports Expo at the Belgrade store with more than 20 vendors attending and doing product demos and providing samples for the public. It was a huge event for both our vendors and our customers.
At the end of the day, we tied this event to a fundraising effort that produced $4,500 in contributions to a local charity, Eagle Mount, which serves people with disabilities, giving them an opportunity to go horseback riding, skiing, swimming, climbing and enjoy a variety of other activities through each of Montana’s four seasons. We’ll put on more events like this at our retail stores in the future.
One of the greatest challenges we have is to keep the shelves full. Because of the post pandemic demand, supplies of many items carried in our retail stores are in short supply. Rest assured that our store personnel are working hard with our vendors to ensure they can have the products you need on the shelf when you need them.