Friday was a big day for all of Santa Rosa County.

That’s because Tractor Supply Company officially opened its doors behind the Hardees on Highway 90 after months of anticipation.

This is the 41st Tractor Supply store in the state of Florida, and has been operating in the state since 2000.

Originally, the company eyed the building where Food Outlet is currently open in, but later decided to build its own building along Highway 90.

The 19,000 square ft. building with almost 16,000 square ft. of retail space has thirteen local employees on hand.

The store in Milton is what Eric Berube, the store manager, calls the company’s “prototype store” that is the basis of what newer Tractor Supply Company stores are going by.

The store will also have a 30,000 square ft. outdoor lot that houses items such as lawn equipment, fencing materials and other larger items that cannot be stored indoors.

The best part about the store is the local feel. That’s one thing that Berube said you would find inside the Milton Tractor Supply Company.

“I think it’s great that our employees are local because they know the local people here,” Berube said.

And many of the locals, like Teri Palmer, who shop at the Pensacola Tractor Supply, said the location is be closer for her.

“We drive to Pensacola to buy all of our chicken and duck feed there,” Palmer said. “We love them.”

The manager said that Tractor Supply Company had a soft opening on Friday, and will have a grand opening next Saturday and Sunday (September 29 and 30) with local high school cheerleaders and Future Farmers of America members out to greet customers. The store will also have a clown on hand making balloon figurines for children.

“We’ve already had people call and ask when we are opening,” Berube said before his opening. “The people are excited about us being here.”

Rob Hoskins, the media relations specialist for Tractor Supply Company corporate said that the reason why Tractor Supply was so interested in the Milton area was because of its abundance of farmers, horse enthusiasts and avid gardeners in north county area.

Tractor Supply Company also has stores in Pensacola and Crestview, and is the largest retail farm and ranch supply store chain in the United States.