Haggen seeking local vendors and new nonprofit partners

For local farmers and food-producers thinking of working with Haggen Food & Pharmacy in Lake Grove, the store has three words: Rain City Crunch.

That particular snack, a product of Edmonds, Wash.-based Sisters Baking Company, was first sold at the Haggen store in Ferndale, Wash. It proved so popular that it quickly moved up the distribution chain and will now be sold in all of Haggen’s Oregon stores.

“There is the potential to grow to that level,” Corrina Poland, regional vice president for Haggen’s Oregon stores, told a group of potential Haggen vendors last week. “But the first part is working with your local store director and starting off in your community stores.”

Organic farmers, ranchers, bakers and even an independent producer of barbecue sauce packed the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center on April 30 to get more background on the grocery chain that is in the process of rebranding 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores across five states.

Haggen purchased the West Coast stores following a review by the Federal Trade Commission of the merger between Albertsons and Safeway. The Lake Grove Albertsons on Boones Ferry Road and the West Linn store on Blankenship Road were both converted to the Haggen brand in March.

Community meetings like the one held Thursday provide Haggen with an opportunity to introduce itself to individual neighborhoods and explore what its local inventory could look like, according to communications consultant Deborah Pleva. Marketing Field Coordinator Valerie Richmond agreed, saying the company has a very clear vision about the kind of locally sourced products it wants on its West Linn and Lake Oswego shelves.

Source: Lake Oswego Review

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