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Grange Co-op expands to California

Grange Co-op has long attracted Northern California customers to its Southern Oregon stores. Now the Medford-based regional cooperative is reaching across the border in a big way.

Grange Co-op said this week it plans to operate in Yuba City, California, next spring. The co-op has leased a 32,000-square-foot former Orchard Supply Hardware store that was shuttered in 2013 when the San Jose-based chain filed for Chapter 11 protection.

"We have a ton of California customers, and we've been looking to expand into Northern California," said Grange Co-op spokesperson Britney Babbitt. "We've been looking for the right time and location."

The former Orchard Supply store in the Feather Down Shopping Center is half again as large as an average Grange Co-op store and will serve a regional market on the fringes of greater Sacramento.

"It's a huge agriculture area," said Babbitt, adding the Grange looked at Grass Valley, Chico and Redding before zeroing in on Yuba City. "It was just the kind of city we were aiming for, and the location is perfect with a nursery, warehouse and offices. Because it's larger than our local stores, we'll be able to carry a more diverse selection and an expanded product range."

The California location will be Grange Co-op's ninth, following the acquisition of the former Coos Grange Supply in 2014.

A local training team will make the five-hour drive next spring to assist in the start-up.

"There will be a little more traveling back and forth," Babbitt said. "Our culture is of importance to us. We want to grow our culture, not just add a new location."

Closer to home, Grange Co-op is expanding its South Medford store on Highway 99. The interior footprint will grow by 7,000 square feet to 19,500 square feet on the 4.7-acre campus.

Work by J.B. Steel is expected to start within the next two weeks and conclude early next year.

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

The Grange Co-op plans to open a store in Yuba City in California. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch
Barbara Tufts, of Connecticut, shops Grange Co-op in Central Point on Wednesday. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch