Harvard and Floy Harp founded Harps in 1930. They started the first store with $500 in cash that Harvard had saved while working in the citrus industry in California. The first store was Harps Cash Grocery and was located in Springdale, AR. Over the next 34 years they remodeled, expanded, and moved to bigger buildings as their business continued to grow.
By the early 1950’s, Harvard and Floy’s oldest son, Don, had joined them in the business. In 1964 Harps became a small chain when the second store was opened in North Springdale.
By the mid-60’s, two other sons, Gerald and Reland, were involved in making the company a success. Don ran the company from the late 60’s until 1994 when Gerald took over as president. Roger Collins, the current Chairman and CEO, became the president in 2000. In 2001 the Company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) purchased all the outstanding stock from the Harp family and management; the Company became 100% employee-owned. Since 2001 the employees have seen their stock price nearly quadruple. Participants in the ESOP were allocated over 18% of their pay in stock in their ESOP account for the year-ended August 2008. Sharing in the success of the Company has built excitement among employees. In 2008, the company promoted Kim Eskew to the position of president.
With stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, Harps has aggressive growth plans to increase the Company’s 64 stores and nearly 3,200 employees. Harps strategy has been to differentiate the Company from the competition based on quality, service, and freshness at competitive prices. The Company promotes no solution/no sodium added fresh beef, pork and chicken. With Green Giant produce, customized cakes, Martha Harp fried chicken, donuts and rolls, the Harps’ name signifies quality. Combining that image with employee-owned service, Harps has become one of the grocery industry’s most recognized independent chains and is a national success story for grocery companies competing against Wal-Mart.
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Harps Food Stores 1189 N GARLAND AVE FAYETTEVILLE, AR 72703-1682
Ph: (479) 444-8009