Just over a year ago, all of Cut Bank was humming with excitement when a new grocery store, Cut Bank Harvest Foods, opened its doors.
But they did not just open a new grocery store in town, they became part of our town. They gave back to the people frequenting their store, they supplied grocery items to local businesses and have spent time listening to their customers.
“We want Cut Bank to know we are their community store. We are about more than just offering competitive prices and different brands. We do that, yes, but we want to see this community grow and employ many full-time workers and develop business leaders,” said Ed Blake, co-owner of Cut Bank Harvest Foods with his partner, Jim Reiter.
As the community-minded store, Harvest Foods has been supplying many food items to local restaurants, including the Cut Bank Elks Club, the Cut Bank Golf and Country Club and The Village Dining, Lounge and Casino, just to name a few.
They also make regular donations every week to the Harvest Food Pantry, helping the food bank fill the bags they distribute each week to families needing a little extra help putting food on their tables.
Blake and Reiter feel strongly about keeping the money in the community, so they buy produce and fruit locally when possible and use local contractors for repairs at the store too.
Inside the store, the two owners have been busy making lots of changes since their opening day over a year ago.
“We have brought in hundreds of new items and filled a lot of ‘special request’ items for our customers too,” Reiter said. “Anyone who wants to make a special request, just needs to stop in and fill out the form and we will do our best to get it in for them.”
“We have put an emphasis on our exclusive brands like Food Club and Simply Done,” Blake said. “These brands are aggressively priced and deliver great quality and value to our customers.”
They have also got more “aggressive,” as Blake put it, with some of the other brands pricing in the store. “Our ads are showing changes in pricing on a number of items too. I think we have some real hot retail prices in our store,” he added.
Also new to the store are some big, box store-type items, much like what Costco and Sam’s Club carry.
“We had requests for big box items, which we have added to our selection and will be adding more in the future to create more value for our customers,” Blake said.
Reiter added, “Along with improving selection for the customers, we have expanded some categories like gluten-free, meats and large pack, just to name a few.”
Glacier Pharmacy is something else that is new at the store. The new pharmacy opened its doors just a short time ago. “This was something else our customers kept asking for, so we partnered with Ann Clark, owner of Northtown Drug in Shelby, and brought a pharmacy, Glacier Pharmacy, into the store,” said Reiter. “For many shoppers, this makes an even better shopping experience for them.”
Reiter added, “We will be holding some promotions for the pharmacy in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye on our weekly ad for those.”
Along with better and more competitive and pricing in the store, they have put an emphasis on produce freshness. “We brought on a second produce supplier to get produce four days a week, which will improve quality and the ability to expand the selection,” Blake said.
The in-store deli has become extremely popular and they are working on plans to expand that area in the very near future.
“Our in-store full-service deli offers homemade lunch entrees and soups every weekday. We have plans to enhance our restaurant style offering into dinner and more,” Blake said.
Earlier this year, Harvest Foods, in conjunction with The Village restaurant, hosted a wine tasting event. It was wildly popular. So, the second of its kind is on tap for Oct. 23 and will once again be held at The Village.
“We are planning some kind of holiday wine tasting evening and will be expanding the event to have local craft beers available too,” Reiter said.
There has been a lot of fun, new and exciting changes since Harvest Foods opened a year ago. “Harvest Gas Rewards, Customer Cash game, award winning meat, improved deli and produce experience, better retails, more selections and a big reader board to tell our story,” Reiter said.
There are a lot of good things happening at Harvest Foods, your community grocery store. Stop in and see for yourself all that is new. You will not be disappointed.