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Green Hills Farms says rumors are false, local products remain on shelves

Green Hills Market, on South Salina Street in the Valley, has a reputation of supporting local businesses and food producers. Some customers fear that will change as rumors of managerial and administrative changes make the rounds on social media.

Green Hills Market, on South Salina Street in the Valley, has a reputation of supporting local businesses and food producers. Some customers fear that will change as rumors of managerial and administrative changes make the rounds on social media.

— 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.

Read our original story about the rumors here.

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.

Are you a Green Hills shopper? Have you noticed changes, for the better or worse? Tell us about your experience at editor@theeaglecny.com.

“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.

Ami Olson is the editor of The Eagle. Reach her at editor@theeaglecny.com.

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