Buying in bulk: Local store teaches customers how to prepare fresh ingredients, store foods properly, eat healthier - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Buying in bulk: Local store teaches customers how to prepare fresh ingredients, store foods properly, eat healthier

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 6:07 am | Updated: 1:59 pm, Sat Jul 20, 2013.

Honeyville Farms, a retail store near Ahwatukee just across Interstate 10 in Chandler, specializes in food storage, bulk wheat and grains, baking mixes, emergency preparedness items, water storage and more.

Honeyville was originally founded in 1951, but only began opening retail stores as recently as 2007. Since then the retail food chain has opened its doors to the local community and has been an innovator in the food industry, selling everything from 50-pound bags of hard-to-find whole grains like buckwheat and rye, to freeze-dried corn and peaches.

Buying direct-from-the-manufacturer, in bulk and at bargain prices, has become a growing trend in this country. Honeyville Farms has no membership fees and works with some of the largest manufacturers and retailers in the food industry. The retailer is proud of its high-quality and fresh products. Because the company produces product for some of the largest businesses and governments around the world, it must live up to the strictest quality-control standards. 

The Chandler store opened in 2009 and is only one of four in the United States. Ahwatukee resident Sandra Richards is the assistant store manager and says that one of the store’s goals is to teach customers how to prepare fresh ingredients, store foods properly, and eat healthier.

According to Richards, the Chandler store offers a wonderful service to the community by providing a wide assortment of free in-store classes, which are typically four times a week, with two or three on Saturdays.

“These are highly informative classes which teach attendees valuable skills in the area of baking, cooking, proper food and water storage, and an assortment of other interesting topics,” Richards said. “The goal is to educate.”

The store now offers these classes in its own kitchen, which was completed and certified in mid-December. Classes are taught by instructors who each have their own specialty, ranging from baking to proper water storage.

Richards said that most classes bring in about 20 guests depending on the instructor.

“Less people show up for a new instructor, but once people start to hear about them from others, the classes grow,” she said.

When Honeyville Farms first opened it focused sales on only canned products, wheat and flour. Today, the store offers a wider variety of items including kitchen appliances and camping supplies. According to Richards, this diversity of product has helped expand the customer base.

In 2012 the store was a Best of Phoenix winner, being voted by the Phoenix New Times as the “Best place to stock up for the end of the world as we know it!” The award was given based on the wide selection of survivalist merchandise that could be found, including freeze-dried foods, portable toilets and personal hygiene kits. 

Honeyville Farms is located at 33 S. 56th St., next to the Harley Davidson store. Access to online shopping, local deals, product information and weekly class schedules can be found by visiting http://local.honeyvillegrain.com.

• Jeremy Bush is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.

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