If you know Heinen’s, you know that our local roots run deep. Since our beginning in 1929, we have always carried local products, but, as with any growing business, our assortment was not nearly as large as it is today. Walk the aisles of our stores and you’ll find an endless assortment of local products — from fresh produce to ice cream to handmade pasta, our mix of local items could fill a grocery store on their own.
In the early 2000s, we began to develop relationships with local farmers who supplied us with fresh, Ohio-grown produce which helped our local sourcing initiative boom. Nearly two decades later, we are proud to partner with more than 150 local growers whose fresh fruits and veggies account for 60-70% of the produce sold in the summer season.
Just when we thought we’d uncovered the “best of the best” in our region, Cleveland began to rise as a hotspot for startups, leading us to continue to expand our selections. After years of building connections with our local farmers, it became a part of our nature to do business with smaller, local companies. Today, we carry nearly 700 locally-made non-produce items that are present in all of our departments.
Looking back on our journey, we realize that the decision to offer local products was inherently easy because Cleveland is bursting at the seams with artisans who are committed to making unique, high-quality products. However, what makes our local relationships even more special is that we are also a local business. We know what it means to be a small local company with a dream to grow into a successful business and we want to help support the endeavors of those who have helped us achieve our 90-year legacy. In working together, we can play a part in making Cleveland a stronger community.
This year, we’re excited to honor local foods found in our store with our first annual Loving Local Awards. In September, Heinen’s customers had the opportunity to nominate their favorite Ohio-made product to be crowned Heinen’s 2019 Customer Favorite. Here are our top 6 finalists:
- Mitchell’s Ice Cream
- Garlic Expressions
- Buckeye Fresh
- Patterson Fruit Farms
- Hartzler Dairy
- Ohio City Pasta
Now that we know our finalists, we invite you to join us at all Ohio Heinen’s stores on October 12th and 13th for our Loving Local Tasting Event as we sample the Top 6 contenders and vote for your 2019 Loving Local Awards winner.