I had the chance to do something very fun today. Today’s Mama hooked a bunch of local bloggers up with a cooking class and store tour at the Harmons City Creek location. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I love Harmons and I’ve shopped there for years, so I figured it would be worth checking out.
Such a good time!
The City Creek location is amazing (and they have a FREE parking garage, btw) so it was great that I had a reason to check it out. Here’s what I learned:
1 /// Harmons offers cooking classes in their dedicated kitchen spaces. You can sign up for prescheduled classes or book a group class as a fun activity or interesting birthday party. Apparently they will pretty much teach you how to cook anything you request, so I think I’m definitely going to get some friends together and make something I’ve always wanted to make, like sushi or even fried chicken. I’ve never made fried chicken!
2 /// Harmons has a huge selection of local products and they actively go out to farmer’s markets and local businesses to pull in new products. Many of the things they sell can really only be found at Harmons unless you can get it from the source directly. We tried some amazing local pickles – how fun is that?
3 /// Harmons doesn’t use anything fake in the bakery goods. Everything is made with very basic ingredients (flour, sugar, vanilla, etc.) and the majority is made on site so if you have a question about something, you can probably ask the person who made it that morning. Because it’s so fresh, you need to eat everything by the end of the day after the day you bought it. Harmons also offers half-loaves if you won’t make it through a whole loaf.
4 /// Harmons has a separate cutting board that is just for nut-free bread. Although they can’t guarantee any of the baked goods, this cuts way down on cross-contamination risks, especially for families like ours where we (Kyle and I) might want to eat some of the bread but we don’t want to bring nut residue into the house.
5 /// Harmons at City Creek offers fresh pressed juice, including tangerine juice (which I purchased as soon as the tour was over).
6 /// A lot of thought goes into the meat selection at Harmons and you can ask them about the source of everything. They also have dry aged beef, which they sell almost at cost because they want to pull people into their store by having something different. I also bought some of this after the tour so I’ll tell you how it is when we eat it tomorrow night! (UPDATE: It was yummy!)
7 /// The people who work at Harmons are really passionate about food and they’re constantly trying to improve it. Bob Harmon, who led us on the tour, talked a lot about traveling around the country to see what other grocers are doing and what’s working. It was very interesting to see all the little things they’ve done to try to make the shopping experience better and the food selection more elevated. (Related – they also pay really well, which means they encourage people to make being a grocer their career and to invest time in educating themselves and getting better at their work. I love that.)
8 /// Harmons makes their own mozzarella and they have one of the largest selections of cheese around. Yes, I came home with multiple cheeses today, including one that got all gooey as it warmed up. I may or may not have eaten the entire wedge on some sourdough.
9 /// All of the Harmons stores have a healthy checkout line. Instead of junk food or candy, it features snacks picked out by the four dietitians who work for Harmons. Also, no matter which checkout line you pick, your cashier will bag your produce for you so it doesn’t get dinged or bruised as it rolls down toward the bagger.
10 /// There are blue labels throughout Harmons that signify that the product is local. Green labels means that the food is approved by the dietitians as being a healthy food with reasonably low saturated fat, salt, sugar, etc. Purple labels are gluten free. (I really want them to do nut-free labels on things like cereals, crackers, or breads because it would make my entire existence easier, so they might be getting a barrage of friendly emails from yours truly.)
Thanks, Today’s Mama and Harmons for the fun day!
Disclaimer: I received a free cooking class and a selection of yummy food for participating in this event. The opinions above are my own.
For more local Salt Lake City love, check out:
/// Eva Goes to the Dentist: A Review of Burg Pediatric Dentistry
/// Pioneer Day in Salt Lake City
/// Last Saturday at the Salt Lake Farmers Market
/// Salt Lake City Christkindlmarkt
/// Salt Lake City in Autumn