RANCHESTER — One of Ranchester’s biggest investments is beginning to pay off.
Angela Peterson opened up Kids Country Daycare in the beginning of September, making her the first tenant at the Ranchester Mercantile.
To build the mercantile, the town of Ranchester received a Community Readiness Grant for $977,500 in January of 2014, of which the town had to match 15 percent. The funding collected to build the mercantile totaled $1.15 million and construction was completed in January 2016.
Peterson, a Ranchester resident who owns two other day cares in Sheridan, said that it just made sense to open a new day care in her town. With early childhood care at a premium in the Tongue River Valley, Peterson saw an opportunity to open another one of her facilities locally.
Her business consists of regularly scheduled child care, hourly drop off care and Friday and evening childcare.
“I’ve been living in Ranchester for a long time, and when we moved out here there wasn’t a lot of after-school care,” Peterson said. “We wanted to provide another service to this community.”
One of the biggest influences on her decision was the mercantile itself. Peterson said that rent at the mercantile was extremely cheap, it was in a good location and the facility matched the specifications she was looking for in a day care.
“The way that they did the building — it’s set up nice,” Peterson said. “It was really affordable to set up our place here.”
There is plenty of room for more tenants. The 6,300-square-foot mercantile sits at the corner of Main Street and U.S. Highway 14. It features two approximately 1,600-square-foot spaces and another that comes to about 2,000 square feet.
There are others considering calling the mercantile home. The Ranchester Town Council heard from other residents who are considering using the space for a crafter co-op.
Peterson encourages it. She said she hopes that she isn’t the only tenant in the mercantile for long, adding that as her business becomes more established, it will draw more attention to the facility.
“I hope me being in here will make people want to look at it and realize what kind of spaces they have,” Peterson said.