At Harmons, local isn’t just where we are. It’s who we are. We’re as local as it gets. We can trace our roots back to a single farm stand—started by Jake Harmon and his wife Irene in 1932—to today’s 19 locations throughout Utah. While the company has grown, the mindset has remained local to the core, and it shows in the more than 2,500 locally produced items we sell in our stores.
In the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young are joined by Todd Jensen, executive vice president of sales for Harmons. You learn pretty early on in the episode that Todd thinks his job is really fun, especially since he has the opportunity to interact with all the local partners that we work with and sell in our stores.
Todd has been with Harmons for 14 years, including some time spent throwing produce at night and also as a dairy manager, which eventually evolved into his current position.
One thing Todd points out is we prefer to use the word partners rather than vendors, because whoever we work with really is a partner. And the reasoning behind the emphasis on local has everything to do with the Harmons DNA. “In the most simplistic terms, we’re local,” Todd says. Because of that background and our ties to the community, supporting local producers just makes sense.
And not only do we sell thousands of local products, we also use local products in many of our tasty chef-made foods available in stores. We use Hollow Tree Honey in our artisan breads, barbecue sauce, and other recipes. Our cafés feature products from Caffe Ibis, we use flour from Lehi Roller Mills, salt from Redmond Real Salt, and Beehive Cheese’s Barely Buzzed in many of our Chile Roast recipes. And that’s just the beginning.
Harmons is very proud of our local partners, and every year we award three of them with a $5,000 grant via our Local Supplier Development Grant Initiative. This year’s honorees are Bitter’s Lab, Salsa Queen, and Days Fresh Produce.
Past winners include Hollow Tree Honey, Chocolate Conspiracy, McFarland Farms, and Bar 10 Beef. They are just a few of the amazing producers we feature in our stores, and when you’re in the store, you can identify products that come from our community by the local tags we place on them.
Harmons nurtures local producers, whether we find them selling their wares at the local farmers market or they send us an email. In the podcast, Todd expands on what it takes to become a partner with Harmons, along with some great inside tips, so you’ll want to listen to find out more.
Join us as we talk local with Todd, because as he explains, food is exciting.
Try THese LOCAL RECIPES
Todd Jensen started with Harmons in the summer of 2005, working part-time in Brickyard’s produce department to save money for college, where he studied Sales and Marketing. He came back to us full time in May of 2007 and has been with Harmons ever since. He has been in several departments including dairy, store development, grocery, and store director positions that have led him to become our executive vice president of sales. When he is not working, he loves to travel with his family, cooking, trying new recipes and currently spends as much time as he can smoking foods.
At Harmons, we are lucky to have incredibly talented artists at each store, and we’re sure you’ve seen their amazing chalk art as you wander throughout every location. We’re excited to be able to feature some of their work as the featured art on our podcast blog. This week’s art is by James Bennion, of our Bangerter Crossing location.