Bob and Randy Harmon have chosen to go a different way than most of their counterparts in the grocery industry.
With margins ever tighter, more grocers are competing on price alone. But the Harmon brothers, vice presidents of West Valley City-based Harmons, and the rest of Harmons' management team have decided to offer a premium shopping experience, delivering freshness, taste and stellar customer service.
It's all part of the philosophy of the Harmons' grandfather, Jake Harmon, who opened a small, 2,500-foot fruit stand in 1932. Jake Harmon quickly decided to bring a greater variety of items to his store to increase customer convenience, and his initial focus on satisfying customers has survived, as Harmons has expanded to nearly a million feet of retail space in 13 Utah locations.
Every Harmons store revolves around two ideas: fresh, high-quality products and employees who use Harmons' "Better Basics" philosophy of paying attention to every detail. The company has invested heavily in retooling many of its older stores, adding teams of chefs to prepare ready-to-eat items, as well as artisanal bakers and cheese sommeliers.
Harmons' leadership has used the knowledge gained from these tryouts to plan new locations. At the company's newest location, Bangerter Crossing in Draper, 30 percent of the store is dedicated to fresh foods. The bakery has a stone hearth oven. The sorbet case is from France. And everywhere, there are Harmons associates ready to walk customers through the new concepts.