Walla Walla Harvest Foods Named Washington's Grocer of the Year

The Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA) named Nolan and Kathleen Lockwood, owners of Walla Walla’s Harvest Foods, its 2015 Grocer of the Year.

The Lockwoods have operated the store since 2006 and regularly contribute to more than 26 local events and fundraisers. Nolan Lockwood has spent his career in the grocery industry beginning as a store director for Albertsons as well as president/CEO for Thriftway and Red Apple Stores. He also served as sales and marketing director for Smith Brothers Farms. Walla Wall’s Harvest Foods also was named one of Progressive Grocer Independent’s Outstanding Independents in 2015 in the bakery category.

WFIA also named URM Stores the 2015 Vendor of the Year. URM, based in Spokane, operates on a cooperative basis and was formed when five retailers joined together in 1921. URM President Ray Sprinkle accepted the award at WFIA’s annual Industry Reception.

Anderson’s Grocery, Republic, was granted WFIA 2015 Excellence in Operations award. Co-owners Kari Beedle, Julie Padilla and Judee Young have instituted profit-sharing through employee bonuses and 401(k) programs. They also established the Mary French Foundation in 2007 in honor of an employee who died of breast cancer. The foundation has raised $23,000 to date.

WFIA presented Hank’s Harvest Foods and The Myers Group with the 2015 Community Service award. Hanks’ Harvest Foods, owned by Hank Konrad and based in Twisp, stayed open during the Carlton Complex fire last year, ensuring the community and firefighters had access to supplies and acted as a hub of information. After an evacuation order, Konrad handed out money to ensure that all citizens at his adjoining service station could flee the fires. Clinton-based Myers Group co-owner Tyler Myers spearheaded the establishment of the WFIA Educational Foundation and is the current chairperson.

The annual Industry Reception also featured Washington’s Best Bagger Competition, which was won by Candice Lastimado, a courtesy clerk at the West Seattle Metropolitan Market. She received $2,000 and the opportunity to compete in the national Best Bagger Competition that will be held during the NGA Show in Las Vegas, Feb. 28-March 2.

WFIA also named two new board members. Mike Trask, president of Stanlar Inc. was named chair of the board of directors. Stanlar operates the Granite Falls IGA Market and the Edmonds IGA Market. Mike Erickson, chairman of Harbor Wholesale Foods, was named vice chair of the board of directors. Harbor Wholesale serves more than 2,500 customers.

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