New owners at Blue Mountain Foods
by Katie Boyle
After 30 years, Blue Mountain Foods is under new ownership. While Doug and Chris Allen have retired and sold the business, the only grocery store in Monticello will stay in the family. Two of Allen’s children, Jeff Allen and Stacy Young, along with Stacy’s husband Jeramy, are the new owners of the business.
The Youngs reently returned to Monticello after spending much of the previous two decades in Texas, where Jeramy worked in the oil industry.
Jeff has been at Blue Mountain Foods for nearly 20 years. He has operated the meat department for more than a decade.
Doug Allen first moved to San Juan County in 1972, where he got his start in the grocery business managing the La Sal store for four years. He then headed south to Monticello, where he managed Jensen Foodtown for about a year and a half.
Allen worked for Frito-Lay in San Juan County and Farmington, NM for nearly ten year before he bought Blue Mountain Foods in 1987. At that time, there were three grocery stores in Monticello.
By 1995, one store had closed and Allen had bought the other store from Kent’s Foods. He consolidated to a single location and has continued to serve the community.
Despite being the only grocery store in town, Allen continued to manage the store as if he had competitors on every corner. He focused on low prices and high quality.
While his business skills have been impressive, Allen’s service to the community arguably trumps his business history.
He served as Mayor of Monticello for eight years after serving on the city council for six years. In addition, he served on the San Juan Health Care board, San Juan County Transportation District, and the Southeast Utah Association of Local Governments board.
He has also served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Four Corners School and Blue Mountain Entertainment, in addition to serving on advisory committees for Utah State University and Zions Bank and being a charter member of the Monticello Rotary Club.
Doug and Chris also raised seven children and served in their church.
Providing a well-stocked, well-staffed, and fair-priced grocery store to the remote town is also a wonderful service. Locals depend on it year round and every summer you can expect the parking lot to be full of tourists packing up their coolers.
Doug and Chris say they look forward to their new retired life. With a little bit of casual scruff on his face, Doug talked about his new Airstream RV. He and Chris plan to slowly road-trip to new places and relish being just a customer at the store.
Allen said that the new owners have done well during the change of hands and he is confident they’ll do a great job.