BUHL • When it comes to merchandising, few things in the Magic Valley say farm country like the string of Valley Country Stores.

The outlet in Buhl carries everything from horse and tack supplies to garden items, hardware, lawn and garden implements, pet food and more.

Another store is under construction in Gooding. Like others in the cooperative, it will be member-owned.

Curtis Frampton of Lansing Grain was among the customers in the Buhl store Wednesday morning.

“I have literally bought everything here,” he said. “Boots, shovels, brooms, fencing. I’m here a little too often.”

There’s rugged clothing, such as the Carhartt line, along with cowboy and work boots. Even the store’s atmosphere shouts rural Idaho with mounted displays of salmon, deer, elk, wild turkey, antelope, pheasants and a moose.

Marci Connell, an employee in the Buhl store, lives in Wendell but doesn’t plan to transfer to the new store close to her home. That’s because she enjoys working with the other Buhl employees so much, she said.

The 15-year-year Valley Country Store employee said she likes interacting with customers, and added, “I love the kind of products we sell.”

Recently, a McDonald’s outlet was added to the Buhl store. Gasoline also is sold.

The Jerome store is the cooperative’s largest, with the Buhl facility just a bit smaller. Other locations are in Shoshone and Wendell.

The Gooding store is under construction near the hospital and will be the same size as the one in Buhl, about 21,000 square feet. It will feature a car wash and coffee shop.

Don Bordewyk, general manager of the cooperative, said he hopes to open by the end of the year. The new store will employ 40 full-time and part-time employees, he said.

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