Blue Mountain Foods enters a new age
FOOD ADVENTURES OF A COMFORT COOK
by Mary Cokenour
In June, 2017, Doug Allen, the owner of Blue Mountain Foods and former mayor of Monticello, heard the call of retirement. He heeded that call by handing the reins and ownership over to his daughter, Stacy, and her husband, Jeramy Young.
The Youngs are no strangers to Monticello or Blue Mountain Foods, as they grew up in this small town and worked at the store.
As Jeramy puts it, “Food markets are in our blood.”
They weren’t always in Monticello and prior to moving back, had resided in the Lone Star State of Texas for 13 years. However, Monticello was calling, and it was, and always will be, home.
This hometown couple, married 22 years and raising a family, found another need to be “food aware”. Food allergies affected not only themselves, but family and friends.
As they talked more and more with, not just locals, but tourists visiting the area, food allergies and illnesses seemed to be becoming a major issue. Label reading and researching became a must.
As Jeramy states, “Blue Mountain Foods is a fun place to be a foodie.”
So no wonder, during my interview with this friendly, lovely couple, we hit it off so well. We were foodies!
Jeramy and Stacy also believe that listening to their customers is a key factor for a successful business. New items and brands were introduced to the Blue Mountain Foods shelves, many gluten free and vegetarian/vegan friendly.
Jeramy acknowledges that, “In this time where online food shopping is easy, less costly, and more convenient, it is hurting the supermarket industry which have to now find way to compete to stay in business.”
Another huge change is the loss of the Western Family brand that has been on the shelves for over 50 years. This brand pulled out of Associated Foods, the main supplier to Blue Mountain Foods. The prior brand was Best Way, and it would have been too costly to switch suppliers to keep Western Family.
So the Youngs stayed with Associated Foods and have switched to the Food Club brand, which has been on supermarket shelves for over 100 years!
Beginning April 4, a two week case lot sale of Western Family brand will be the ending of an over half century relationship. Food Club brand will then be adorning the shelves with their green-labeled products.
But wait, there’s more change in store (yes, pun was intended) for Blue Mountain Foods loyal customers. Online meal kits (Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and others) have become a huge seller, not just for guaranteed freshness, but ease of preparation.
Blue Mountain Foods has teamed up with Home Table to offer 3-4 weekly choices for your evening meal pleasure. These meals can be ordered in advance or simply walk-in, make your choice and buy to try.
A few examples are: Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Pot Pie, Pork Yakisoba or Salmon Quinoa. Currently the meals offered only offer a service of two at $15 per kit.
Unlike the online meal kits that lock in consumers to a mandatory weekly delivery, Home Table will be buy as you need.
This foodie will definitely be trying out a couple of kits and will be reporting about the experience at a later date.
The Youngs are very interested in the “Shop Small, Shop Local” movement, especially the introduction of “cottage businesses” to San Juan County.
At home, cooks will be licensed to prepare, package, and sell to individuals, as well as small shops within the area.
For example, wouldn’t you rather have pure, delicious, locally produced honey than something shipped in from China? Guess what, that product from China isn’t even real honey, it’s flavored syrup!
Another reason to join us foodies in reading labels and knowing for certain what you are truly consuming.
Expansion for Blue Mountain Foods is looming on the horizon, either for the current location on West Center Street or through the purchase of a larger property in Monticello.
For the Youngs, they are focused on hometown roots and loyalty; on bringing in products locally sourced, fresh, and healthy; helping people deal with food allergies and illnesses; and most important of all, listening to their customers, whether local or visitor.
Best wishes to the Youngs, and let’s all of us help them achieve their goals!
Blue Mountain Foods, 64 West Center Street, Monticello, UT 84535; phone: (435) 587-2727 or 2451; website: http://bluemtnfoods.com/
Hours of operation are Monday thru Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed Sundays.