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A Hidden Gem on US 89

There is the most amazing little store in a small Montana town called Dupuyer.

If you look at your map, Dupuyer is on US Hwy 89 (the highway runs though the middle of Dupuyer). It’s a small town – look north of Choteau and Bynum – or – south of where US Hwys 2 & 89 intersect near Browning.

Now, finding the town is half the battle! The store, located on the main street through town, is called Dupuyer Cache and it is best described as a mini mall or a store that multi-tasks.

The signs on the log cabin-style facade say Dupuyer Cache and also Beaverslide Dry Goods. It’s sort of a family operation – shared between the “Cache” and the dry goods part.

When you first step inside you are in a grocery store/convenience store and you’ll find items for travelers just passing through or necessities for the locals.

Alongside grocery staples are Montana-made items displayed and there is an amazing variety. The glass display cases first caught my eye. Then, I looked up and around and decided I could spend a LOT of time looking in this little treasure!

I wonder if the building was once a house because there were small rooms off the main grocery/gift part of the store. These rooms would be the envy of any interior designer.

My eyes took in beautifully restored hardwood floors, colorful displays of yarn and also handmade wool items, all for sale. This is the Beaverslide Dry Goods area.

At first I was going to title this blog “Locally grown – by contented sheep”, then I decided I wouldn’t be able to talk about all the other items in Dupuyer Cache. So…here’s a paragraph with some details right out of the sheep’s mouth (just kidding).

Beaverslide Dry Goods owners raise Merino sheep on their 3,000 acre ranch located near Dupuyer on the Rocky Mountain Front. Their breeding program includes Australian Delaine Merino genetics. When you touch this yarn it has the most amazing texture and I found out why!

Climate conditions in this area have dramatic swings and animals prepare for that just like we would – put on a heavier coat when it gets cold! Merino sheep have longer fibers (less pilling on my sweater!) and this climate makes the wool loftier.

Once the sheep are sheared the wool is processed at a small family farm just north of Dupuyer in Alberta. They process wool naturally and also use non-carbonized methods (the wool isn’t heated to extremely high temps). I learned lots of details but that’s what really makes this yarn so special.

The yarn is mulespun, a method where it is drawn, spun, relaxed, then wound – 6 feet at a time. It sounds very labor intense but again, those fibers are treated so tenderly and the end product is just stunning.

The owners of Beaverslide Dry Goods have sustainably grown wool and they also produce wildflower honey on this same ranch.

What an interesting stop in Dupuyer, MT! You could spend a lot of time in this place.

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