Rainy Day Foods is a national distributor of food storage headquartered in Montpelier, Idaho. The company, located in a town of just 2,500, has been selling and shipping canned food storage across the U.S. for about 30 years.
LaMar Clements, president of the company, said during the Y2K scare and after 9-11 terrorist attacks, the food storage business was hot. They were running three shifts and shipping products by the truckload to places all across the country. They also shipped product using UPS.
“In the beginning, it was a big business,” he said. “During Y2K a majority of our business people thought the world was coming to an end. For a year and half, we were busy.”
He said they had semitrailers being dropped off at churches for people to pick up pre-ordered food.
“Women’s organizations would take orders, we would bring the food to the church, and they would distribute it,” Clements said. “We had trucks going to California and about every other state, except for maybe a couple.”
Now things have slowed quite a bit. The culture has changed; people aren’t thinking so much of the future and the possibility of disasters.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has upgraded the Bishop’s Store House and government food stamps have both had quite an impact on us,” said Clements. “Even Amazon is getting into the food storage business. It is a lot more competitive now.”
Today, the company runs one shift a couple of days a week, and ships most of their packages using commercial carriers. They use very little semi-truck delivery.
Originally, Rainy Day Foods was part of Walton Feed, established in 1952 as a livestock feed operation. They were selling animal feed then gradually started selling wheat for home storage. After they established a market, they branched out into canning dry fruits and vegetables for home storage.
Today, the privately-owned company has expanded to offer customers imitation meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, as well as items used for storing and cooking these items. They also offer fruit juice mixes.
Rainy Day Foods has grown and become a one stop shop for emergency products, including 72 hour kits, medical supply kits, water purification kits and other materials to care for people during an emergency.
They also include hand and power wheat grinders and a host of Bosch kitchen equipment on their shelves.
Customers can shop in store. The store serves patrons from Idaho Falls, Idaho to the north and Provo to the south. The store also has a vigorous online business.
“The culture has changed, most of the younger wives today prepare pre-made meals. They don’t make a meal from scratch,” Clements said. “Women want to put dinner in the microwave. There are not a lot of people left that will make a full meal from the ground up.”
The company president has seen the food storage market decline sharply in recent years. No one wants to prepare for a crisis or an emergency anymore. But if they do, the Montpelier company has the products that can help.