A new farm-to-table retail store in Kalispell has opened in hopes of meeting the demand for Montana-made products.
The co-founders of The Rancher’s Daughter, Karoline Rose and Grayson Cottrell, both of whom have an animal science degree, met through an agriculture marketing firm.
Rose, who grew up on a ranch outside of Townsend, wanted to create a space to sell her family’s beef and for Flathead Valley residents to easily access sustainable, local meat, produce, and gifts.
“Our audience is very much the locals. We have people come in here with their grocery list for the week. We really want to supply locals with local products instead of just the tourists during tourist season,” said Rose.
Rose and Cottrell want shoppers to realize the seasonality of food and understand that the store’s products will vary based on the time of year. No matter the season though, everything at The Rancher’s Daughter is made in Montana: fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, kombucha, snack bars, goat cheese, huckleberry popsicles, dog food base, soup, and gifts like chocolate, soaps, writing supplies , and jewelry.
But of course, the Rancher’s Daughter’s specialty is meat. From grass-finished to grain-finished beef, pork, chicken, and lamb, and holiday specials like turkey and prime rib, the store is a charming place to purchase local meat.
“You can go to a butcher shop and buy meat, but sometimes they can feel cold, which says nothing about the product, but that can be hard if we want more people to consume local meat and local products,” Rose said.
The Rancher’s Daughter not only supports Montana consumers but also vendors who may have a difficult time selling their products during the off-season.
“One of our consignors said that her products are only sold in certain stores during summer months when tourists are in town, and in the off-season, her product is removed,” Cottrell explained. “It’s not fair because it’s the locals that support her at the farmers market all summer long.”
“We want to support rural business because if there’s no rural business, the next generation of farmers and ranchers don’t come back so the boutiques, the coffee shops, they have to thrive,” Rose added. “All of our producers have mentioned the next generation. And I don’t necessarily hear that in other businesses. All of our vendors talk about how their kids are involved now or how the work they do impacts their children.”
Rose and Cottrell dream of a day when shoppers can meet their ranchers face to face and are brainstorming ways to make this happen.
“We just think there’s a bunch of missing pieces with who processes our food and we want a way to display [the ranchers’] stories. If you go to the grocery store, there’s just a sticker that says local, but you don’t really know the faces behind the product and we want to change that,” said Rose. “We dream of having the ranchers meet the locals and host a plated meal where came from Montana and maybe bring everything in a professional chef at a venue.”
The Rancher’s Daughter on Nov. 13 is set to host a holiday bash with food trucks, coffee trucks, and pop up vendors that are all local to the Flathead Valley. The event will start at 10 am and go until 4 pm with discounts offered storewide including 10% off orders of grain-finished beef.
Rose and Cottrell work directly with consignors and are happy to add Montana-made products to their inventory.
“We hope people start to think differently about agriculture and know that they can come to us. Any questions they have about how food is produced, we want to help them with that. We are your food producers and we are here. If we want to make sure that there’s local food, we have to start a movement,” said Rose.
The Rancher’s Daughter is located at 274 Sixth Ave. WN, Kalispell. To find out more about the Rancher’s Daughter, visit their website at theranchersdaughtermt.com.
Reporter Summer Zalesky may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.