Stacy Young and her husband Jeramy grew up in Monticello. Her dad owned the local grocery store. Jeramy's family had the machinery company at the edge of town. Both knew Monticello pretty well when they bought Blue Mountain foods 3 years ago from Stacy’s father, former Monticello mayor Doug Allen.
The sale flyer the 2nd week of March advertised a case sale at Blue Mountain Foods. The store had been doing a case sale in spring and fall each year and even though the snow was still all over Monticello it was officially spring.
“We had no idea what was coming.” Stacy said in a phone interview on Tuesday. Anyone local who saw the after effects of that first week was kind of speechless. Most Americans haven’t ever seen shortages like this.
“Our distributor is in Salt Lake City and services from Arizona to Montana. We are having to deal with limited allotments because they are trying to share with everybody.” Stacy explained.
Stacy and Jeramy got creative. In produce where one would usually find a veritable potato pyramid of various sized bags and varieties, a simple sign stood. “Ask for Potatoes” it read. When a shopper did, a net bag with six red potatoes was delivered from safe keeping in the back of the store. Blue Mountain Foods was trying to share with everybody too. Things have normalized some. The potato pyramid is back.
There have been some long days keeping the store stocked. In the grocery business long days were nothing new. Jeremy is in sometimes 24 hours straight restocking shelves following a day of work when a truck comes in. But the hours are even longer now that additional cleaning has been worked into the schedule to keep customers safe, especially the seniors.
Three weeks have passed and things are far from getting back to normal. As a matter of fact just like everyone else Stacy and Jeramy are working through the changes on the fly. Online ordering, curbside pick up, and senior shopping from 7AM to 8AM.
“It can be tough keeping the 6 foot distancing in a grocery store.” She remarked. “With the senior hours we are keeping from 7-8 it’s a better opportunity to shop without getting inside that 6 foot distance.” And constantly things are being wiped down with sanitizers.
Being early to the game can come in handy. Take the online ordering that is becoming quite popular at Blue Mountain. “Actually we had already started online ordering before the pandemic hit so that was sort of good timing on getting that going.” Stacey adds.”Now anyone worried about coming in, we can take your online order, fill it and have it waiting for pick up, you can even pay for it online.”
For those not comfortable doing the online thing Stacy will fill an order on the phone. And in some cases delivery for those calling in is not out of the question. A changing market may mean delivery becomes an option but for now more important details are being tended to.
“In the middle of all this our door broke.” She said. “Door companies are considered non-essential services right now so I can’t find anybody to fix the door.” And there is a bit of a construction zone currently at the front of the store. An entry foyer being installed has the facade looking a little….under construction. But that isn’t keeping the shoppers away.
Stacy also wanted to thank the community for their support. The reality is Blue Mountain Foods is a very valuable asset to the community and county. Back at you Stacy.
Blue Mountain Foods in Monticello. 64 W Center St. (435) 587-2451. Click here for a link that will get you through to their website for online ordering.