In 1979, airline pilot Darrell Reber bought several acres with an old barn and farmhouse in Kent. His only intent at that time was to start a farm. Following a cattle herd misadventure, Darrell shifted his focus to horse boarding. With the help of his sons, he built the barn that would become the precursor to Reber Ranch. Several years later, the local racetrack Long Acres had insufficient off-season boarding facilities, and the Rebers erected several barns for their overflow horses. At their peak of horse boarding, Reber Ranch boarded 340 horses! In 1984, this venture spawned an official 800-meter horse track, training facilities, and stalls. The following year, the Rebers converted part of the barn into a store, beginning Reber Ranch.
Tragedy soon followed when a heater accident burned the shop. Unfazed, the Rebers rebuilt their store, and continued expanding to meet increasing consumer demand.
Reber Ranch is continuing to grow thanks to all of you! We love being part of our community and know that so many of you have grown up with us. The third generation of Rebers are now working at the store and continuing to keep Darrell's dream alive.
Goodbye to our founder
On September 7, 2005 Darrell D. Reber lost his valiant nine-month fight against leukemia at the age of 69 at his home in Kent, Washington. He was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin, grew up in Rudolph on the family dairy farm, graduated from North Dakota State University on a full basketball scholarship, and began a career with the US Air Force, stationed all over the country. Darrell wore many different hats during his eventful life, from nine years as an Air Force captain flying KC-135 tanker combat missions in the Vietnam War to 10 years of farming in Northfield, Minnesota. Finally, he flew for 25 years with Northwest Airlines, finishing his career as a 747 captain. During his lifetime, Darrell built three family homes, and in 1978 he moved to Kent, WA to build his final house and joined the Meridian Valley Golf Club. Here he started a small horse boarding business that grew into the Reber Ranch Country Store on the East Hill of Kent. Additionally, he founded the Animal Supply Company, a wholesale distribution company with warehouses in Washington, Oregon, and California. However, his most treasured achievement was as a devoted husband, dedicated dad, and loving grandpa. He is dearly missed by all the many people whose lives he touched.