The parking lot outside PrairieCoast Equipment in Langley, Britich Columbia, was abuzz with chatter and smelling of barbecue as the John Deere dealer officially opened the doors to its new facility Tuesday. PrairieCoast has 10 John Deere locations.

The store’s grand opening attracted corporate representatives from both PrairieCoast and John Deere as well as Township Councillor Grant Ward.

Meanwhile, members of the Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association were planted next to the store at 22661 Fraser Highway where they served hotdogs, pop and chips to customers in the parking lot. The charity will be there throughout the week, with all proceeds from the barbecue going to its own coffers.

Although the store relocated last December, PrairieCoast marketing manager Rick Zimmerman said the company wanted to ensure its employees could adjust to the new setting before hosting a grand opening celebration.

“The biggest single challenge was just the logistics of keeping (the previous) store open and transitioning over to our new store,” he said. “It’s a big undertaking, but we’re really happy with the new facilities.

Zimmerman said there’s actually been an uptick in business over the last four months as a mix of established clients and new customers have come to check out the new location.

PrairieCoast CEO Dennis Landis said finding the right building is always one of the company’s top concerns when opening a store. 

“Having the right staff is number one and having the right facility is such an important part of us being able to do business,” he said.

Because land is more costly in Langley compared to rural locations, Landis said PrairieCoast decided to add a second floor dedicated to storage instead of buying more land to keep additional merchandise.

Furthermore, the new facility is wholly owned by the company — not leased like the last store on the Langley Bypass was.

Landis said the new store offers customers a nicer retail environment while maintaining strong and consistent service from staff.