The Chandler preparedness store Dorothy Jackson helps manage may have been profiled during the first episode of the National Geographic television series “Doomsday Preppers,” but even she still considers it to be a bit of a diamond in the rough.
“I think we are a fairly unknown gem. Honestly,” Jackson said. “We provide a service and a product that really isn’t widely available.”
Jackson is an assistant manager at the Valley location of Honeyville Farms, a northern-Utah-based purveyor of bulk goods that’s celebrating the fourth anniversary of its Chandler location this week.
“We’ve always focused on preparedness,” said Tim Devey, retail marketing manager for Honeyville Food Products Inc. “We wanted people to be prepared whether that’s being prepared for dinner tonight or for a disaster in the future.”
Bulk goods and grain. Freeze-dried foods. Portable stoves. Emergency tools. Survival kits. Water purifiers and filters. All with no membership required at the hardly-common retail store, located at 33 S. 56th St. near the southeast corner of West Chandler Boulevard.
The store will celebrate its fourth anniversary with two days of sales, free classes on preparedness, baking and cooking, and product demonstrations from June 7-8, Devey said, adding that the Chandler store’s birthday will have big discounts on most of its products. Free classes will be offered as well.
Devey said that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make up a noticeable portion of the store’s clientele. According to the LDS website, the church has guidelines, advice and training videos for its members on how to prepare for emergencies.
Preparedness groups connected through the website Meetup.com also appear to have a growing presence in the Valley.
Devey said the Chandler store serves its customers’ needs in a number of ways, whether by offering information on their foodstuffs or preparedness gear, or from employees accommodating them with recipes, food samples galore and even tours.
Serving its customers also includes being there for those purchasers who might just be looking for a good product and a good price.
“We’re a national company, so our product is all throughout the United States. It’s kind of amazing; chances are you’ve tried our product and you don’t even know it,” he said chuckling. “Because we have a big wholesale division as well.”
Jackson reiterated that while the store’s claim to fame may be tied to doomsday preparedness, local restaurants, bakeries and tortilla shops also make wholesale purchases from the store’s flour line.
Devey said the retail store in Chandler has gluten-free items, too, and its big-ticket seller, almond flour, is an alternative for people who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.
Jackson said the store’s dried and freeze-dried foods sold also give people the opportunity to “tailor it to their likes, their dislikes or any of their dietary restrictions.”
Mostly, the freeze-dried products are without additives, preservatives or food coloring, so “if it’s not good enough for our table, it’s not good enough for yours,” Devey said.
Corey, a junior studying journalism at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact him at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.