Jun 292004
 
Authors: Chris Kampfe

To the proprietors of the Colorado Harmony Market, calling the

enterprise a grocery store is similar to saying a choice cut

rib-eye is “just a piece of meat.”

The market has unique elements, products and goals that separate

it from other “grocery stores.”

The market is actually four entities under one roof: Long Family

Farms, Fiona’s Delicatessen, Harmony Co-op and Harmony Farms

Foundation. Each store operates mutually but separately in the

building at 1001 E. Harmony Road.

The market’s goal is to provide a farmers’ market-like setting

that can be frequented by customers year-round.

The businesses within the market are separated not only by walls

but also by the products they exclusively produce. The commitment

to supporting local farmers, ranchers and other local

food-production businesses is the common bond the businesses

share.

Long Family Farms is owned by John Long and provides fresh meat

and seafood to the market. Long has been in the meat business for

48 years and raises pigs that provide the store with many of its

pork products. Long said the store operates on the protocol that no

meat will contain antibiotics, hormones or have consumed food or

water that has contaminants. Long’s, like the other stores in the

market, gets all of its meat from local ranchers.

“The meat is all raised on small family farms, not in

confinement,” Long said. “We preserve the identity of the

product.”

To preserve the identity of the product, Long attributes each

product in his store to its individual rancher. Long also said that

an average portion of ground beef purchased in a chain grocery

store could contain meat from up to 1,592 cows, where as in his

store, one portion of ground meat comes from one cow.

“(Long’s) is the best butcher shop I’ve seen in a long time,”

said Allen Stahla, Fort Collins resident and market shopper.

“(It’s) good grass-fed beef that tastes good.”

The Harmony Co-op provides the produce for the market. The co-op

also strives to get as many of its goods from local growers as

possible. Currently only tomatoes, cherries and lettuce are locally

grown, but Chuck Fox, the co-op general manager, estimates that

once the Colorado harvest season arrives in July, 80 to 90 percent

of its products will be locally grown.

“We have unique products because we favor local products,” Fox

said. “Plus they’re just better products.”

So far Fox has been pleased with the response from the local

community.

“I had no idea how people would respond to this. It just touches

something in their head and in their heart,” Fox said. “It means

much more to them when (customers) learn what we’re about.”

Some products the store provides that come from Fort Collins

include soaps, cheeses from Bingham Hill, Nita Crisps, salsas and

tortillas.

Fiona’s Delicatessen also operates in the market. Fiona’s bakery

and catering services in Old Town are now available to south Fort

Collins via the market.

While Long’s and the co-op provide local goods to consumers,

Fiona’s owner Elizabeth McBryde said Fiona’s is working to be a

producer of local products.

One of McBryde’s central motives for participating in the market

was an interest in supporting nonprofits through the market’s

community-oriented nature.

“So many of these nonprofits do a lot of their fundraising with

food and we want to be able to help them,” McBryde said. “We’re

really trying to bridge the gap between the customer and the

producer.”

Aside from the four stores, the market will also provide

community workshops, including gardening, culinary and wellness

instruction among other activities.

The market will be having its grand opening July 16 to 18.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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