When Jake and Irene Harmon married in 1930, they had no way of knowing their combined drive, determination and good old common sense would firmly establish Harmon as an iconic Utah name. Yet 79 years later we continue to grow and expand, still building on the granite foundation established by Jake and Irene when they opened their first location in 1932.
The Market Spot, forerunner of Harmons Grocery, was a fruit stand located on the corner of 3300 South and Main Street. Demonstrating their determination early on, Jake and Irene built the fruit stand as well as their living quarters, a small room at the back of the store. They would take turns working around the clock in order to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
From the beginning, Jake and Irene would only provide quality products and excellent customer service. This commitment built their reputation and increased their popularity. Jake, a natural entrepreneur, could see the benefit to his customers of carrying additional grocery items along with his fresh produce, thus eliminating the need for additional stops for the customer. Soon, every available space of The Market Spot was full of a variety of items for the customers to select from.
In 1942, misfortune struck when a semi-truck lost control and demolished the back end of the structure. Rather than re-build, Jake and Irene tried their hand at running a café, yet the grocery business was in their blood. In 1945 they sold the café, purchased land at 4000 West and 3500 South and built The Green Store. This was the original site of Harmons Market and is still the location of our West Store.
Terry (born in 1940) and Lynda (born in 1947) assisted their parents and grew up in the grocery business. This inspired an understanding and love for the business at an early age.
While at the Green Store, their growing popularity and reputation resulted in the need for Jake and Irene to add several additions to accommodate the growing business.
In 1971, the original Harmons Market burned to the ground but a determined family, discouraged but not defeated, went to work on building a new and improved super center. After touring throughout the country and overseas, armed with many innovative theories and ideas, the doors to Harmons Supermarket were opened.
Both Jake and Irene have passed away but their legacies continue to live on. Their history of innovations, quality, integrity and values are the bedrock of Harmons and the Harmons Family.
Terry spent most of his life in the store, working along side of his parents and learning every aspect of the business. Adding his own stamp to the legacy, Terry believed in and was instrumental the growth of Harmons. Although Jake, who passed away in 1976, only saw the first two stores, Irene lived to see a total of eight stores before she passed away in 1998.
Terry and Doreen met in high school and Doreen ultimately started working at Harmons in the bakery. They were married in 1958 and had three children - Randy, Bob and Jamie. Some of our long-time customers recall the children at the check stands bagging groceries with their aprons tied around their waists. Just as Terry was raised in the grocery business, so were his children.
Terry and Doreen maintained the original concepts passed down from Jake and Irene. World class customer service, the finest and freshest of quality products, a wide variety of product assortment and always providing what the customer wants are a few of the many standards that epitomize the Harmons culture. Harmons realized a great deal of growth during its second generation.
Currently there are thirteen stores with three new locations in the planning stages. In addition, many of our stores have gone through various remodels and upgrades over the years to guarantee that each location is equipped to provide our customers the "Harmons experience" regardless of which store they visit.
Sadly, Terry passed away in August of 2006 just missing the grand opening of The District location which opened the following November. As his parents before him, family, associates and customers will remember Terry for his many great qualities, intuitive business sense and strong leadership skills. Terry and Doreen's commitment to, and expansion of, the Harmons culture has kept the Harmons dream and legacy alive.
Both Jake and Terry thought that it was important the children learn and work their way through the various departments and levels to develop their understanding and proficiency in all aspects of the business.
The third generation has embraced the established philosophies of their parents and grandparents while making their own very distinct contributions and additions. Each in their own way is keeping us current in a changing industry and adding to the success we enjoy today.
Randy and his wife Laurie met when they were both working in the bakery. They were married in 1975 and have four children. Both Randy and Laurie have worked hard to develop and support our associates. Laurie is Vice President for the People and Randy is Vice President of Consumer Affairs.
Bob and his wife Laurie J. (L.J.) have five children. They also met at Harmons, while working in ...you guessed it, the bakery. Over the years L. J. has held several positions at Harmons and is currently a stay at home mom. Bob's contributions and knowledge of the grocery industry continue to be an advantage in his role as Vice President for the Customer.
Likewise, Jamie has worked in several of the departments throughout the store including Director of Front End, Courtesy Booths and Business Centers. Currently she is not involved with the daily operations of the store, however she is on the family council and offers great support. Jamie has three children.
While the third generation is still going strong, the fourth generation is already making their presence known. Most of Bob, Randy and Jamie's children and several of their spouses have already joined the family business working and learning along side their parents, aunts and uncles. As with the previous generations, each member of the Harmons family grows up in all the departments of the stores, beginning with bagging. This helps them understand all aspects of the business, shows them what it takes to be the best in customer service and teaches them to understand and appreciate our associates' responsibilities
Every generation brings an invigorating new breath of life to this family owned business. Each individual brings their personal strengths, personalities and ideas to combine with those of their predecessors. The Harmons family is committed to taking care of the customer and giving them what they deserve; fair prices, a wide variety of products, the freshest meat, produce, delicatessen and bakery items, cleanliness, world class service and much more. And of course, the upcoming generations will be taught to do the same.
While Bob and Randy are the public face of Harmons, they will be the first to give credit to the more than 2700 associates of the Harmons Family. From the board of directors to the newest associate, we are all part of the family. The traditions, values and expectations that Jake and Irene established in 1932 are still going strong 79 years later...