West Valley City, Utah-based Harmons, which has awarded business development grants to new businesses within its home state for years, is providing funding to three more local businesses to help them expand.
Chocolate Conspiracy, Mamachari Kombucha and Shaffer Farms are this year's recipients of Harmons' 2019 grants totaling $15,000. Each of the three firms has been cited for their innovative approach to producing popular products.
“There is a demand from our customers for unique and local products,” said Todd Jensen, VP of sales for Harmons. “This allows Harmons to work with Utahans who can provide high-quality products and play a crucial role in our economy."
Salt Lake City-based Chocolate Conspiracy is a producer of fine chocolate from bean to bar. The firm's process does not use traditional roasting techniques but instead a process that utilizes raw, unfiltered honey to sweeten their chocolate to retain nutritional content. Chocolate Conspiracy also adheres to a set of strict standards, avoiding refined sugars, soy, gluten and any artificial flavors. It uses certified organic ingredients, including cacao from the Agro-Industrial Cooperative Atalaya in Peru.
Mamachari Kombucha, also based in Salt Lake City, is a craft kombucha brewery and taproom. It produces a lightly fermented and sweetened tea containing probiotics that promote a healthier and more energetic lifestyle. Kombucha is popular among its converts for its health benefits, such as good digestion, reduced sugar cravings and clearer skin.
Shaffer Farms is a small family-owned business in Garland, Utah, about 75 miles north of Salt Lake City. It is best known for its fresh green beans, which are a popular draw for Harmons' fresh produce customers.
Harmons, known for its unique and collaborative approach as a food retailer, said its grant recipients are producers of niche local products and were selected based on high quality. Some of Harmons' past grant recipients include Mezzo Chocolates, RubySnap Fresh Cookies, Heber Valley Milk & Artisan Cheese, Kodiak Cakes and Bar 10 Beef.
Since the inception of the program, Harmons has awarded grants totaling $62,000.
Jensen added: "It’s rewarding to be able to show these outstanding partners our support for their commitment to providing Harmons customers with delicious, locally produced products.”
Harmons operates 18 locations in Utah. The retailer partners with more than 350 local vendors and carries more than 2,300 local products, providing customers with a variety of fresh and unique products that support the local economy.