Aug 22, 2011 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Rumors circulated earlier this month by a small but concerned group of social media users that changes in Green Hills Farms’ management would result in an overall change in the store’s emphasis on local produce and foods.
But Green Hills owner Keith Hawkins said last week that while he was aware of the rumors, he did not know how they started.
“We’re carrying everything we carried before,” Hawkins said. “Anything that sells, we sell — and most of the local farmers’ stuff sells.”
His daughter, Cindy Hawkins Turner, a store representative, had the same reaction.
“I’ve been looking at some of the things on Facebook,” she said. “We’re very surprised, and we have no idea where they came from.”
Among the assertions Green Hills customers made on Facebook and Twitter were statements indicating the 76-year-old family business had splintered, and that the store would be taking a new direction under remaining management, a direction that scaled back the store’s well-known support of local farmers and food producers in favor of less expensive, lower quality products.
Those rumors, said Hawkins and Hawkins Turner, are for the most part simply not true, though some are based on clear facts.
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“There are so many rumors going on and people are saying things, but there really haven’t been any changes on the floor, at all,” Hawkins Turner said. “The comments that are going on Facebook seem to be coming from a small group of people, and the same people over and over.”
Hawkins noted that frequent shoppers no longer use separate kiosks to receive their discounts. Instead, their shopper’s cards are scanned and discounts entered at the check-out, a method used by most other grocery stores.
The store did recently undergo a remodel, said Hawkins Turner, which involved re-organizing the layout of the store, but the process was scheduled to wrap up earlier this week.
Green Hills has stopped setting up at the Regional Market, at least for the rest of the season, Hawkins Tuner said.
“We’re in transition now, so we may go back to it … right now we’re sticking to the grocery store.” She added that the baked goods the store was stocking at the Regional Market are available seven days a week at the store.
The store’s social media presence has been temporarily suspended while the old Facebook page for Green Hills Market, which management no longer has access to, is deactivated and a new page for Green Hills Farms gets up and running, Hawkins Turner said.
And to relieve any confusion, the store is actually called Green Hills Farms, she pointed out.
And what about Wild Flour Baking Co., a local vegan bakery that announced earlier this month it had “gotten the ax” from Green Hills?
Hawkins Turner reported the baked goods just weren’t selling, so the store decided to stop stocking them — a decision that is not indicative of an overall slashing of local goods, she said.
She also verified that Heather and Gary Hawkins are no longer at the company and “are pursuing other opportunities.”
Hawkins Turner, and her father, encouraged customers to see for themselves that the store continues to stock the locally sourced items for which it’s become known.
Green Hills Farms is located at 5933 S. Salina St. in the Valley and is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.