Hello Harmons’ “Hippie”

July 21, 2011

Cindy, Green Team Member

Hi, my name is Cindy. I am in my 9th year of service with Harmons and I have spent all of that time at the Floral Design and Distribution Center. In that time I have seen a lot of changes and growth here. I have learned so much and now have the privilege of purchasing the beautiful flowers you see at Harmons.

When I first started I noticed that the Distribution Center was not even recycling the cardboard like the stores did. This bothered me because of my personal belief that we all need to do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle! Thirty years ago when I moved out on my own I started to recycle, this was back when it was not cool to do so! I would have to save it up and take it to BFI just off 3300 South and 900, ironically called Rocky Mountain Recycling now and where some of the recyclables from Harmons are sent. The employees there would look at me as if I was crazy and tell me that I really didn’t have enough to get money for it, I would have to explain on each of my monthly trips that I just wanted the material to be recycled and did not expect to get paid for it. I can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me that we have come so far as to have a bin right at our homes (most of us anyway) where we can separate our trash and have recycling ability at our fingertips!

I am proud to be a part of Harmons’ efforts to do their part towards reducing our carbon footprint. I am a mother of two and have four wonderful grandchildren. I am in hopes that through education and the efforts of us all we can create a better world for my loved ones and yours for now and many generations to come. You can call me a “hippie”; I make tye-dyed clothes for fun, listen to the Grateful Dead, and have been trying to save the world one plastic bottle at a time, but the mission of sustainability that Harmons is committed to goes far beyond saving the whales! Please join me in learning ways that we can all make a difference and what the Associates at Harmons are doing to have a positive impact.

Tasty, healthy and quick snacks

July 20, 2011
Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

If you have been looking for a great tasting and healthy gluten free snack, then your wait is over. Head over to our produce department and check out all of our chef prepared salsas, guacamole, and fresh cut fruit. The best part about buying from our produce department is that it is all cut, prepared, and packaged right here in our store so there is no risk of cross contamination like there is with warehouse prepared product from the national brands. Not only is there no risk of cross contamination, but our produce department also takes all necessary steps to ensure the highest quality produce available is used to prepare all of their fresh cut produce. They also use an anti microbial victory wash on all produce that is used in production to eliminate anything that may be harmful to you, the consumer. Please go check it out, I highly recommend the guacamole, but have liked all varieties that I have tried.

Refreshing Summertime Drinks

July 18, 2011

Summer days are getting hot! Here are a couple suggestions of cool and refreshing drinks without the sugar and calories.

Fun and education in Wisconsin

July 15, 2011
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Just got back from Wisconsin and what a great trip. Wisconsin is a postcard picture state. Everywhere you look is green rolling hills dotted with farms. Robert Schindler from Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board was our host and he is the best cheese monger wrangler you’ll ever meet. Imagine trying to get twenty-four people all moving in the same direction at the same time. I bet at the end of the four days he was exhausted.

Wisconsin has 1200 cheese makers that make over 600 different cheese. I was impressed with the care that they take with their cheese. From the big producers to the small, the first concern is with quality and that quality starts with the milk. They test every batch for many of things including antibiotics. Even a small amount and the milk is not used.

Wisconsin’s cheese makers are all licensed by the state and is the only state that has a Master Cheese Maker program. It is a three year program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and so far forty-four cheese makers hold that distinction. Next time you pick up a Wisconsin cheese look on the label for the Master’s Mark.

We were able to meet about twelve cheese makers including the famous Sid Cook from Carr Valley Cheese. We tasted some amazing cheeses and butters that I hope to have in our stores before long. Some of my favorite Wisconsin cheeses that we carry now are from Carr Valley as well as Satori Cheese. A lot of our slicing cheeses in the deli are from Wisconsin, Boar’s Head and Shullsberg.

I had a wonderfull experience in Wisconsin and hope to go back soon.

Bringing the heat in the bread

July 14, 2011
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

I enjoy all of our artisan breads and the Jalapeno Cheddar bread is no exception! Jalapeno Cheddar bread is comprised of flour, water, sea salt, jalapeno and cheddar cheese. Like all of our artisan breads, it is made and baked from scratch. It’s the bread of the day every Monday! If you like a little heat this is the bread for you. It’s a terrific choice to use in place of a hamburger bun, grilled cheese sandwich or one of my favorite things to use it for is to toast it and put a smear of cream cheese on it. In my opinion it is better than a bagel and cream cheese! So, make your blue Monday a little brighter and grab a loaf of Jalapeno Cheddar Bread.

Carnations & Why I love them . . .

July 12, 2011
Kristie in Floral

Kristie, Floral Manager

What inspires you?
By now, you may have figured out a bit of what I am derived of: Fashion, Interiors and Floral. Over the years I have had the opportunity and privilege of doing some really grand floral arrangements for large scale events and very high end fashion shows. Collaborating with some of my best “designer” friends on the designs was most inspiring in creating that “perfect” setting for an event. Color, texture and design composition would create an elegant or modern feeling with the selection of blooms and decoratives to enhance the setting.

TEXTURE; Firm ruffles and depth
What catches your eye?
Using carnations together in a mass was always the most successful for me. A wide stripe of the deepest purple carnation, towering 5 feet above the floor standing vase and cradled with large bamboo stocks – purple stripe running up the middle. This created a focal point of texture. The deeper the hue, carnations tend to look velvety, lush and mysterious in their appearance. I have used carnations to create flower balls, and flower “poufs” for impact of color and texture. Event attendees would walk up to the “stripe” or the “pouf ” asking what kind of flower is this? When we replied, carnations, a gasp was the first response and then the ooohs and aahhhs followed. Never suspecting a carnation, yet most convincing in their appearance and how rich they have become in their uses.

COLOR; Before flower selection?
Yes always. A new selection of carnations have been produced from many farms around the world. While the traditional colors still remain strong, there are many vintage looking characters popping up. Recently I encountered a few colors of this new range of hues that has stayed on my mind for a while. My brain starts creating events and environments around these colors. Slightly crazy I know – it’s like buying the shoes before the outfit! Yes, I do that too. Continue Reading »

Harmons Visionary Awards – Customer Choice Entry

July 7, 2011

Have you experienced exceptional service from a Harmons associate? Is there someone who went above and beyond to take care of you? Is there someone who always makes your day when you see them in the store?

Here is your opportunity to recognize amazing associates who have exceeded your expectations, performed a caring and thoughtful act, or made you smile on a bad day. Tell us your story and nominate you special associate for this year’s Customer Choice Visionary Award. Each year we also recognize associates in the categories of Innovation, Hero, Inspirational Leader, and Community Service. If you are a Harmons associate and would like to nominate a coworker, please speak with your People Support Manager. Continue Reading »

Fun cooking with kids!

July 4, 2011

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

With Station Park open for just about 2 months now, we’ve had a chance to offer some fun and delicious cooking classes for kids and their families. We filled up quickly for our first The Kids Cook Monday class on June 13, with homemade pizza, salad, and gelato with berries on the menu. Our next The Kids Cook Monday will be on Monday (of course!) July 18 at 6:00 pm at Station Park. This time we will cook up pesto chicken panini (with veggies….and yes, your kids will eat them), couscous with black beans, and fruit skewers with yogurt dip.

So what is The Kids Cook Monday all about? It is part of a national movement called The Monday Campaigns, which focuses on dedicating the first day of every week to health. The Kids Cook Monday at Harmons is an opportunity for families to prepare and share a meal together in our cooking school kitchen. Our chef will demonstrate how to prepare the recipes, I will interject with why the food is a healthy choice, and you will then get to cook your meal as a family! Sound like fun?  It is . . . and delicious! You can sign up for the July The Kids Cook Monday on our Cooking School page, only $10 per person for more than 1 person. Continue Reading »

Great Pairings

July 1, 2011
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Hello Everyone,
This week I and some of our other mongers are doing a tour of Wisconsin courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. This gives us a chance to meet the cheese makers from Satori and Carr Valley to name a few. I hope that we will find a few new cheeses to bring back with us.

Here at Station Park we have started our wine and cheese classes. Sheral Schowe of Wasatch Academy of Wine and her staff picked Washington wines for the first class and we paired up the wines with some great Washington cheeses. The wines were three whites: Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris, L’ Ecole 41 Semillion and Eroica. The reds were Sagelands Merlot, Magnificent Syrah and Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard. We paired these wines with Beechers Flagship Cheddar, Marco Polo and No Woman Cheddar, all from Washington. We also had Rogue River Oregnzola Blue from Oregon, Laura Chenel’s Goat Tome from California and we put in Dulcenea, a farmstead aged sheep’s milk cheese from Lark’s Meadow Farm. This is a new cheese for us out of Rexburg Idaho.

The Flagship Cheddar was the winner across the board. The No Woman paired the best with the Merlot and the Marco Polo cozies up to the Syrah quite well. An honorable mention to Dulcenia with the Pinot Gris. The next class will be held on July 16 and will be Food Friendly Rosés. Hope to see you there.

Perfect for Parties – Crostinis

June 30, 2011
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

With the 4th and 24th of July rapidly approaching, I’m sure you have a party or two planned, or have been invited to one. So, one idea of what to serve is our CROSTINIS, made from our baguette, olive oil, parmesan cheese, sea salt and garlic powder. Then they are baked until slightly crispy. They are very versatile, some customers will even eat them like potato chips, use them as a base for hor devours, or use them to hold our cheeseball from our delicatessen. Another favorite is placing a spoonful of the bruschetta from our produce dept. Bruschetta is red tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt, fresh basil and garlic. I think the Crostini and bruschetta were made for each other. Every party that I’ve hosted or have been to that has served Crostinis and brushetta has run out! Light, fresh and delicious. Come in and try a sample, then you will see that they were made for each other!