Expanding our knowledge and connections

March 31, 2011

Carrie, Green Team Member

No one knows all the answers or the always the best way to do things. In almost every successful business or life event, it takes a combination of many minds to reach the best solutions. Especially when trying to develop and implement new programs, the ideas, input, and feedback from a variety of positions is imperative. Over the past few years we have started a number of sustainability programs that have stemmed from the collaboration of passionate people making up our Green Team. While the team has thought up some great programs and initiatives, we have also relied on the assistance from our vendor partners, successes and failures of similar programs, ongoing research and the perspective of those outside our industry.

One way we work to increase our knowledge and awareness has been by attending conferences and meetings focused on sustainability education. While we have attended national conferences geared specifically towards the grocery and food industry, there is a wealth of resources right here in Utah that has proven to be very beneficial. A particularly helpful aid for us has been our membership in the Recycling Coalition of Utah. Through our involvement with meetings and activities we have had the opportunity to learn from, and work with, people covering a wide spectrum of interests. From government entities and community organizations to manufacturers and service providers, we have been able to establish relationships and connections with many passionate and knowledgeable people. The more we can learn from these great resources the better we can become at realizing our sustainability goals. Continue Reading »

Kraft’s gluten labeling

March 30, 2011

Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

Kraft foods has taken a stance on labeling that the entire industry should copy. They have stated that all ingredients which contain gluten will be listed in parentheses after the gluten containing grain. This kind of full disclosure of ingredients makes life that much easier for someone who is trying to cut gluten out of their diet. The best part about Kraft going in this direction with their labeling standard is that they control 150 different brands.

Follow this link for a list of Kraft’s largest brands
http://www.kraftfoodscompany.com/Brands/largest-brands/index.aspx

How to read Kraft’s labels
Kraft
products made with an ingredient that contains a source of gluten will list that grain source in parentheses after the ingredient in the ingredient line if that is the only source of gluten in the product. This method is used, as necessary, to identify sources of gluten in flavors, modified food starch and other ingredients.

Better with Age

March 29, 2011
TJ in Meat

TJ, Meat Manager

Here at Harmons we have set a standard for offering the highest quality products available. One of these premium products is our exclusive Dry Aged Beef. Unfortunately, I found that most of my customers have yet to be educated on the subject. I will try and shed some light on Dry Aged Beef, and the aging process that culminates in the richest flavor of beef known today.

USDA Prime Black Angus Beef
Only 2% of all cattle will qualify for the prestigious seal called Prime grade. The USDA uses several grades to measure and classify beef. This grading system is based, in part, on the marbling found in the muscle. Prime, Choice, and Select are the top 3 grades that you will see in the marketplace, and Prime is usually experienced only in fine dining.

All Natural Beef: No Antibiotics or Hormones “Never-Ever”
The term “Never-Ever” means the cattle have complied with traceable documentation of being free from antibiotics and hormones for its entire life.

Dry Aged Beef
After the beef has wet aged for at least 7 days, it is then placed in a specialized case where the temperature, humidity, light and air flow are precisely controlled. The dry aging will continue for at least 14 days and no longer than 28 days. During this time the moisture slowly evaporates from the muscle which allows for a more condensed, rich flavor. In the process you will notice a dark outer crust develop, all coming together to help the natural enzymes break down the tough connective muscle tissue, tenderizing it to an unsurpassed level.

With the grilling season almost upon us, there’s no better time than now to experience a Dry Aged steak!

Springtime = Goat Cheese time

March 25, 2011
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Hello Everyone,

Well another winter is passing and spring is here. When I think of spring I think of fresh tender grasses, buds on the trees and warm sunshine. And since I am a cheese geek I also think of the perfect spring cheese, goat’s milk cheeses. Anything from the fresh cheese that are sent to market as soon as they are made, to the aged goat cheeses. Now I know that some of you just made that “goat cheese YUK” face. I admit that it is not an easy cheese to fall in love with, but it can be done. You just have to start out with the young fresh cheeses.

Fresh goat cheese is mild, slightly tangy and with just a hint of that earthy taste. The mouth feel is soft and silky. It is the perfect cheese to start your love affair. I have had a few customers that knew that they would hate goat cheese until they tried it. They loved it. I had some who said that they liked it, only they were playing hard to get. Matter of fact, I bet a customer that they would love the Laura Chenel’s Plain Goat Chabis (French for little pillow). I won hands down, but unfortunately I forgot to set a wager. Maybe next time. Continue Reading »

Harmons Associates double as Special Olympics Utah Athletes

March 24, 2011

Brandon Wojciechowski on KUTV

Each year during Frozen Food Month, Harmons partners with Special Olympics Utah to help raise money through various activities and customer participation opportunities. The month-long promotion hits close to home as Harmons is lucky to have Special Olympics Utah athletes working in our stores. The following is from Special Olympics Utah’s Director of Volunteers and Healthy Athletes to the Special Olympics Utah Board of Directors sharing the story of one Harmons’ amazing associates.

“Hi all,

As part of the Frozen Food Month promotion through Harmons, they are highlighting some of the athletes who work in their stores. There are four total, Bobby Dalrylmple (Cougar store), Tim Holt (St. George), Brett Bandford (Brickyard) and Brandon Wojciechowski (Brickyard).

Brandon started at Harmons 11 years ago as a bagger and has progressed to being a checker. He is a wonderful individual! He doesn’t compete anymore due to work and home schedules but is still a Global Messenger for us. Brandon is a wonderful example of what Special Olympics is about. He suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was 5 and lost ¼ of his brain, according to his mom. They didn’t think he would live, let alone accomplish all that he has. His mom told me what an impact being part of Special Olympics has had in his life and how Harmons, specifically Bob and Randy, have really been key in helping Brandon in his success there. When others wouldn’t give him a chance, Harmons did.

Thank you for all you do . . . Brandon is an example of why!”

Clerk Rings Up Laughs And Smiles At Utah Grocery Store

Eat Right with Color

March 24, 2011
Jessica

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

Hello, my name is Jessica and I am Harmons new registered dietitian! In fact, I’m the first dietitian that Harmons is adding to the team as we continue to expand our commitment to Health and Wellness in our communities. I will be based out of the new Farmington Station Park store in May, but I will share my passion for practical nutrition and healthy lifestyles with all of you through this blog. Please feel free to share your feedback or suggest future topics on our Facebook page!

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is Eat Right with Color. Does your dinner plate usually include a rainbow of colors, or is it more like a drab arrangement of white and beige? Sugar and refined grains (white and beige) make up 1/3 of the calories most Americans eat each day. Yet the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends increasing our fruit and veggie intake while minimizing sweeteners and processed foods. Adding colorful fruits and veggies to your diet does more than brighten up your meals . . . it provides you with an array of healthy nutrients. Use this color guide to help you get the most from your diet:

Green: Contain powerful antioxidants and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risk.
Fruits:  avocado, apples, grapes, kiwi, and honeydew
Vegetables:  asparagus, broccoli, green beans, and leafy greens (like spinach)

Orange/Yellow: Promotes healthy vision and immunity, and may reduce the risk of some cancers.
Fruits:  apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, and peach
Vegetables:  carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes

Purple/Blue: Anti-aging benefits and may help with memory and urinary tract health.
Fruits:  blackberries, blueberries, plums, and raisins
Vegetables:  eggplant, purple cabbage, and purple-fleshed potato

Red: Helps maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity, and may reduce cancer risk.
Fruits:  cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red grapes and watermelon
Vegetables:  beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, and tomatoes

White/Tan/Brown: May promote heart health and reduce some cancer risks.
Fruits:  banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches
Vegetables:  cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, and white-fleshed potato

What is bromated flour?

March 24, 2011
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

About a week ago I was asked by a customer, “What is unbromated flour?” I thought that would be a good topic for this blog. So, lets start by defining bromated flour; it is flour that has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in doughs. It makes doughs stronger and more elastic, which in turn helps the dough stand up to the more intense mixing and handling process. So, you may ask yourself why does Harmons use only unbromated flour? Artisan bread is made by hand and is a much slower process, so there is no need for any additives. Another good question I’ve been asked is, “What is unbleached flour?” It is flour that has been bleached naturally and as it ages the color starts to dull, whereas bleached flour has a bleaching agent added which makes the flour whiter and accelerates the aging process. Of course I don’t need to tell you that Harmons uses only unbleached flour, again there is no need for additives in artisan baking. I believe in keeping the bread simple and leaving additives out of the recipes, which makes a better tasting bread!

More options for allergies Over the Counter

March 23, 2011
Phil in Pharmacy

Phil, Pharmacy Manager

The prescription antihistamine Allegra and Allegra-D are now available without a prescription. This gives another great option for people with allergies. There are now 3 options of non-drowsy antihistamines over the counter; Claritin/Alavert, Zyrtec, and Allegra. All 3 medications can be purchased with the decongestant pseudoephedrine at the pharmacy counter without a prescription. You’ll need to show your ID since there are limits on how much of the decongestant that can be purchased at a time. All of our stores carry these medications and our pharmacists are available to answer questions you may have. You may also notice some changes with whether your insurance will still pay for the prescription version of Allegra. Also, the makers of Allegra have a coupon you can print on their website at www.allegra.com/SaveOnAllegra.aspx.

More succulents going vertical with living art

March 21, 2011
Kristie in Floral

Kristie, Floral Manager

So you might think I’ve moved on from the succulent passion . . . well, I really haven’t. I am still on the road to upcoming succulent garden projects.

The beauty you see when you are standing above a succulent container is amazing in itself. I have always had my personal containers at the height so that you can vew them from above, that’s when I think they are at their best angle. But, something new that I found and still in the succulent category is an extension of vertical gardening. Living Succulent art! A succulent tapestry for your large outdoor wall or fence.

Check this out – reclaimed wood frames from an old fence or barn wood, backed with a metal grid that has a 1/2″ grid pattern or chicken wire pulled taught and stapeled to the inside of the frame. Layer with dirt and peat moss to hold the dirt in. Poke your succulents through the grid to reach the dirt. Tuck in tightly with more moss so they stay secure, and hang in the location of your desire. Don’t forget to order your succulents and enjoy the vertical view of this multi-faceted tapestry!

For more information and detailed directions on construction visit www.sunset.com/garden/.

Harmons Station Park Hiring Event

March 20, 2011

Harmons newest store, Station Park in Farmington, is getting closer to being completed. Exciting! Before the store is filled with food and products, it has to be filled with great people. Even more exciting! Harmons People Department has been at the Legacy Events Center hosting a Hiring Event for the past few days. We’ve met some amazing people and hired more than 155 enthusiastic full-time and part-time associates for the new team at Station Park.

The Hiring Event will continue on Monday, March 21st 11am-7pm.

Vickie

Vickie and People Support Manager, Kristin- The first associate hired at the Hiring Event. Vickie will be a cashier at the new Harmons Station Park.

Niurka and Reagan

Niurka and Store Director, Reagan Puffer - Niurka is "the most excited person we have ever hired." Niurka will be working at the salad bar at the new Harmons Station Park.

Station Park Hiring

Members of Harmons People Department at the Station Park Hiring Event. Sara, Aimee and Natalie get to meet all the great applicants.

Now Hiring

Harmons is now hiring for the Station Park store set to open in May.