Stauffers of Kissel Hill
Stauffers supermarkets started as a fruit stand on the side of the road. Now standing in the place where that wooden frame once stood is a large brick building that serves as the Central Office.
With three local supermarkets, Stauffers strive to provide quality produce to their customer that is grown right here in their own back yards. Just like that wooden stand offered fresh produce picked right off the fields; Stauffers continues to thrive by offering customers locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Recently the supermarkets began to undergo changes due to customer demands. The stores have expanded their organic sections, as well as other products that are locally produced. Bags are recyclable and the store offers a five cent refund when the customer brings their own cloth bag. These are a few of the many steps they are still taking to become more sustainable.
History of Stauffers
What’s in season when?
The Shenk Family Peaches
Other Steps to Sustainability
1. History of Stauffers
Stauffers of Kissel Hill was found by Roy M. Stauffer, SR. Roy was born and raised on a fruit farm in Warwick Township (a few miles south of Lititz, PA). His family raised fruits and vegetables on the farm and sold them to local stores around the area. The family also peddled some of the produce from door to door.
In 1932, Roy opened a fruit stand along the side of the road in Lititz Pike on the south side of Kissel Hill. The stand stood on the side of the road for five years, with homegrown vegetables and fruit alike, until a fire burnt it down in 1937.
The Stauffers bought a brick home and small farm, which covered five acres to continue their fruit stand. This would be where the titles Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill was born
That same year Roy began to build the first Stauffers supermarket in Lititz. The small store soon grew with employees as well as with the help of the family. Once the supermarket was up and running the store expanded into the Stauffer’s garden center as well, by offering trees and shrubs.
As business began to come in, the family realized they needed to find additional suppliers so fresh produce could be continuously available. They found products from surrounding counties and states such as Adams Country, New Jersey, New York.Roy also attended and sold produce at various farmer’s markets throughout Pennsylvania, which is really how the whole dream began.
Over the years the business has grown even more, the management had been re-organized, but Stauffer’s has always been a family business. Today there are five men who serve on the board of directors. Of those five men 3 are descendents of Roy M. Stauffer.
Today there are currently three major supermarkets in the Lancaster, Rohrerstown, and Lititz area. There are five garden centers spread through York, Dover, Mechanicsburg, Hummelstown, and Linglestown.
The dream started over seventy years ago by one man and a fruit stand. Now because of the hard work of these five men, as well as the employees that serve in each location, that dream has turned into a major business that proudly serves the people of the Lancaster, Lititz and surrounding areas.
2. Stauffers Vision
Stauffers of Kissel Hill is a growing and ever changing group of Supermarkets and Garden Center locations, offering high quality foods, garden, floral and nursery products and services in Pennsylvania. Stauffer’s depends on people who are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, whose conducts and decisions are based on ethical business practices. Stauffer’s strives to:
Delight Shoppers: they provide customers with a clean and safe environment, along with quality products that are offered at affordable prices. The foundation of the business is impeccable service and a strong product guarantee.
Friendly and knowledgeable employees who take their feedback to create a unique shopping experience help shoppers.
Energize Employees: they assist employees by helping them reach their full potential. Through company training and development, employees are given many opportunities to advance.
Enrich Our Community: they accept their role in enhancing the quality of life in communities surrounding their business. They are committed to being a good neighbor and helping their community through involvement.
Along with their mission, Stauffers has a set of Core Values that they share with their customers. These core values are important and they strive for all their employees to remember then throughout their daily work routines and interactions with customers.
- Honesty- truthful and genuine with all interactions;
- Justice- based on the laws of this lands and principles of SKH
- Fairness- without prejudice
- Morality- guided by Christian principles
Relationships with Others:
- Respect- value the worth of others without regard to age, gender, race, religion or creed.
- Courtesy- interactions should be thoughtful, kind, polite, friendly and cooperative.
- Clean Language- communication should be without profanity, offensive slang or cutting remarks.
- The Golden Rule- do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- Positive Attitude- looking for the good in everyone first.
- Consistency- depending on our actions and attitudes to always be positive and reliable.
The Customer: customers are the lifeline of any business. Stauffers strives to maintain the highest standard of customer service, to ensure that their customers always come back and are always satisfied.
Stauffer’s Philosophy: their impact on the world around us will be guided by their desire to have a positive influence on the community, nation and world.
Performance Standard- Stauffers strives for excellence in all that they do. Never settle for meritocracy.
Employees: the well being of Stauffers employees is very important to their success. The company’s only desire is to have a positive impact on their health, happiness, and personal development.
Safety: Stauffers is committed to a safe working environment. The proper use of everyday equipment is important to the health of employees as well as the customers.
Profit: a healthy profit is necessary for continuing the success of SKH. It will help their ability to grow as a company, providing career opportunities for future employees.
The Stauffers Standard
The employees at Stauffers are committed to delighting shoppers with every single visit. It is their promise and featured on their badge, so they never forget to make the customer feel welcome. Greet with a smile, be positive, respect others, serve with integrity, and think safety first.
These standards also serve as the core values that are the heart and soul of the business. Every employee is encouraged to make sure they are always doing these things:
Embrace our Motto “We Delight Shoppers”
- Greet the customer
- Always follow through with the customer
- Personally escort the customer, rather than point and tell
- Answer the phone within three rings, using proper etiquette
- Part with a sincere message
Think Safety First
Create a safe, secure, and accident free environment
Live the Stauffers of Kissel Hill culture
- Know the company motto, mission statement, and core values
- Smile, be positive and delight the shopper
- Be neat, dress appropriately, and always wear your name tag
Stauffers of Kissel Hill promises to make the customer feel at home every time they shop.
Every employee will do their best to brighten their day, and make them feel glad that they chose them as their grocery-shopping destination.
By making the customers feel at home, Stauffers is showing them they appreciate their loyalty. Which is why they will help the shopper any way they can, with whatever it is they need help with.
Stauffers knows that there are plenty of other stores you can choose. They strive to continue to show you gratitude for your loyalty and business, by making their store the cleanest and safest shopping environment you’ll ever find.
3. Produced Local
As part of the Core Values, Stauffers mission to “Enrich Our Community” is done through enhancing the quality of life in the communities surrounding their business.
Stauffers works with THINK LOCAL, which is a community wide program that was established to help the local economy. They encourage people to shop at local businesses, and then their money is put back into the community.
They are committed to being a “good neighbor” through involvement. They support the following businesses in the community through this THINK LOCAL initiative:
All Seasons Kitchen (Mohnton, PA)
Bell & Evan (Fredericksburg, PA )
Berks (Reading, PA)
Davis Beverage Group (Bethlehem, PA)
Dean Foods (Lansdale, PA)
Delallo (Jeannette, PA)
Dietz & Watson (Philadelphia, PA)
The East Indies Company (Lebanon, PA)
Good’s (Adamstown, PA)
Hatfield (Hatfield, PA)
Herr’s (Allentown, PA)
Kunzler (Lancaster, PA)
Leidy’s (Mifflintown, PA)
Martin’s Potato Chips (Thomasville, PA)
Middleswarth Potato Chips (Middleburg, PA)
Rutter’s (York, PA)
Sauder’s Eggs (Lititz, PA)
Seltzers (Palmyra, PA)
Snyder’s of Hanover (Hanover, PA)
Tastykake (Philadelphia, PA)
Spring Glen Fresh Foods (Hanover, PA)
Turkey Hill (Lancaster, PA)
Wise (Berwick, PA)
Leidy's pork is raised on a PA family owned farm, fed grain from PA family owned Mills, and packaged in the heart of PA Dutch Country. Customers are getting meat raised right in their own backyard.
Bell & Evans has been providing the highest quality of poultry for four generations. Their chickens are raised and processed in the heart of PA in a modern facility, using the latest technology.
Sauder’s Eggs has been a family owned company for over 60 years. They built their company on integrity, product excellence, and fairness. The eggs are produced from family farms, who then in turn clean, package, and deliver them.
The George Delallo Company was found with the ideals of offering true authentic Italian food with integrity and consistency.
Food has always been an important part of life here in the Dutch valley. Lancaster County is famous for home cooking with their homegrown ingredients. Some people say that Turkey Hill saves the best for last with their freshly baked cakes, pies, and cookies and of course, any one of the rich, creamy ice creams from the Turkey Hill Diary.
The Herr Foods company began in 1946 when James Stauffer Herr bought a small potato chip company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Today Herr’s foods is a leader on the snack food industry, introducing a variety of new items as well as new packaging to satisfy the ever-changing needs of the consumer.
What is unique about these companies is many of them started as family owned businesses, and even as they’ve grown into bigger companies, they have been passed down from generation to generation. They might have more employees than the original owner, but they are still the heart and soul of a family that has gone through extreme lengths to create a successful product for the local consumer.
4. Homegrown Produce
Given the background Stauffers have always offered fresh produce. So when they became a bigger store, they didn’t want to venture away from the farm when it came to produce. They kept things local, and they still do that to this very day, some eighty years later.
Homegrown produce gives them an edge with the competition. Not many local grocery stores can say that their produce is homegrown. They have an advantage over others because their produce is grown in our county, from farmers working to make a living here in Lancaster.
Stauffers finds their farmers at the Leola Farmers market. The Buyer goes there himself and looks for the best quality products that he can put in the stores. He then tries to make a relation with the farmer to ensure that there can be a working relationship.
Not all of the homegrown produce begin like this, but many times this is where it begins: at a farmers market, where the first owner of Stauffers took his produce to sell.
Another advantage they have with keeping it local is the farmer is guaranteed to have a buyer through Stauffers, even if there is no one else to buy their produce. They are still getting a profit and the company is helping support their business.
Stauffers also goes to them again when the season comes around and they are in need of the best quality product. So the farmer goes into agreement with Stauffers that when the season comes around again, he will have a buyer waiting to see his products.
One thing of the major things Stauffers values when working to find homegrown produce is maintaining a relationship with the family. They find some of their farmers at the Leola Produce Auction, while others have been working with them for over thirty years. Either way they try to maintain a working relationship with the family.
Dave Julian, the produce buyer, sometimes goes out to the farms to help oversee the quality sometimes. By creating relationships and using local farmers Stauffers is helping keep jobs here in Lancaster for many people.
Stauffers also has the final say on all their homegrown produce. If they feel the quality isn’t up to standards with what they want to see to their customers, they can stop the shipment from making it to the stores. Quality is always the first thing Stauffers looks for when they are considering produce to sell to the customer.
Stauffers is known locally around the Lancaster area, and that helps to ensure that when a farmer agrees to work with them, they will sell their product. They know that when they sell them their product that aren’t taking a chance, the customer will get to eat their produce, and know the families worked hard to provide it for them.
How it works
Stauffers values quality over quantity when it comes to the produce they sell. The farmer’s work closely with the stores to make sure that what they are selling is up the standards held by Stauffers.
Sometimes it is not, which happens with growing crops, especially when the weather is acting up. But overall the farmers do a wonderful job supplying the product.
The process of how it works is actually pretty simple.
First the farmer grows the product, and when the time comes he harvests it. Then they take the produce to the Stauffers warehouse, located in Lititz, PA,where it is looked over before it is approved to be sent out to the stores.
Sometimes a product might not be up to SKH standards, and then it is not sent to the stores. If the product is up to the quality standards of SKH it is then sent to the stores where it is packaged and put out on the selves.
This entire process takes anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.
Produce is brought to the store in one single day. That’s because Stauffers wants to offer the freshest and ripest produce they can.
This process is much more efficient than bringing produce in from somewhere else. Because homegrown produce means that the produce isn’t sitting on a truck for weeks at a time, and getting to the store when there are only a few days of ripeness left. Stauffers standards are high with fresh quality as well as flavor.
They also keep things cleaner by their short process and cutting down on fuel costs as well as the labor. They are helping keep the local farmers in business, the farms are only a short distance from the warehouse, and they keep the produce packed in a way that keeps it fresh and safe from harm of the outside world.
The company is always thinking about the customer, and no one wants produce, or any food for that matter, that has been sitting in a truck for a week. Homegrown produce offers fresh and quality products that can be found in our own backyard, so to speak.
What’s in season when?
Since winter is a hard time to have fresh produce grown from local farms, Stauffers has provided a nice cheat sheet to know when you’re favorite produce is in season. There is almost always homegrown produce being offered in the store, as long as the season is healthy.
Potatoes (year ‘round): Red, white, and yellow homegrown potatoes are grown year round by the Huntsinger Family.
Tomatoes (May through October): families from the Leola Produce Auction grow these tomatoes. Choose from a variety of freshly picked tomatoes right off the vine.
Asparagus (Mid May through June): Asparagus is one of the best vegetables out there when looking at nutrients. There’s a wide variety supplies by this very simple plant. Stauffers provides this homegrown asparagus thanks to Vince Schwalm and family.
Blackberries (July through August): Blackberries are a summer delicacy and fly off the shelves when we stock these delicious homegrown treats.
Kale (June through August): Kale is rich in iron and Vitamin A and C. Now eating healthy is tasty with this homegrown vegetable offered by Stauffers.
Peaches (July through September): There’s no guessing game when it comes to seeing if our peaches are ripe. They come straight from the Shenk family farm, ripe and ready for eating.
Beans (July through September): There’s nothing like homegrown green beans to make you fall in love with eating vegetables. Straight from the farm, even the pickiest eater will agree they’re tasty.
Corn (July through September): Summertime and corn on the cob go together like peanut butter and jelly. Stauffers corn is sweet as can be since it’s handpicked at the peak of the season, and sent straight to stores daily.
Cantaloupes (Mid July through Mid September): Stauffers has partnered with families at the Leola Produce Auction since 1984 to bring fresh, ripe, sweet and refreshing Cantaloupes to the table.
Watermelon (Mid July through September): Summer heat is only bearable when there’s fresh watermelon around the house. Produce buyer Dave Julian selects only the best watermelons that can be found at the Leola Produce Auction.
Nectarines (August): The Shenk family doesn’t only provide peaches, but their fuzz free relative as well. These nectarines are juicy and ready to eat, just like the peaches, fresh from the farm. Nothing compares to that just picked taste.
Apples (September through March): The only produce that is homegrown through the winter, these apples are big, ripe, and ready to eat from the Schwalm family. They’ve dedicated over 50 acres of their farm to growing a variety of apples. From Fuji, Red & Yellow delicious, Gala, Macintosh, Empire, Courtland, Jonagold, and Bareburn, these homegrown apples are the perfect treat to keep the doctor away.
5. The Shenk Family Peaches
Doug and Julia Shenk might have only just purchased their peach farm last year, but it has been in the family since 1928. Doug is keeping it in the family. Doug is the fourth generation farmer.
Before Doug’s father owned the farm the peaches and other produce was grown and taken right from the farm to the Central Market in Lancaster. Thirty years ago, when his father took over he decided to switch to wholesale only. This meant he was selling to multiple buyers, not just to the Central Market. One of those buyers happened to be Stauffers of Kissel Hill. They approached his father with the possibility of buying all the peaches he produced.
Thirty years ago they asked to buy his produce, and the Shenk family is still selling exclusively to Stauffers today.
When asked about the benefits of working with Stauffers, Doug says that are many. First there is minimal trucking cost, since Stauffers is so close to his farm. There’s also no refrigeration or storage cost. He says there are minimal marketing headaches since Stauffers is known locally here. But the most important benefit is that there is a trusting relationship between the buyer (Stauffers) and the producer (himself).
“It is remarkable that in today’s cutthroat society that we can continue to work together with no written contract…just a handshake and a promise. I feel Stauffers has treated us honestly and fairly.” –Doug Shenk
Bringing the peaches to Stauffers is pretty simple when Doug explains it. First they pick the peaches by hand putting them right into wooden crates. The wooden crates are then placed onto an orchard trailer, which is then hooked up to the pickup truck and taken right to Stauffer’s warehouse.
The creates are stacked on a pallet of 54 crates, wrapped in shrink-wrap and placed in the cooler. From his orchard to the cooler at Stauffers warehouse is never more than a few hours.
Stauffers helps the process by providing the pallets and wrapping the unloaded creates, as well as putting them in the cooler. The emptied creates are also returned to the warehouse, where Doug picks them up and reuses them for the next picking of the peaches.
The consumers always want a piece of fruit that is perfect, beautiful and tasty. This brings a challenge to the grower, who wants to provide the consumer with that perfect piece of fruit.
Since perfection is the goal, a certain amount of pesticides are essential. People are concerned about this but they also must try to understand that in order to create the perfect fruit, there are guidelines that need to be followed.
Quality peaches cannot be grown without the use of pesticides. But from a grower’s standpoint overuse of them is out of the question. His profit as well as family’s health depends on it. Like the consumer he doesn’t want to use more than what is necessary when growing the crop.
“There is a tremendous amount of labor that goes into growing quality fruit of any kind but especially peaches. We do our best to get a good product into the hands of the consumer but there are so many variables with perishables. Picking them at peak ripeness and getting them to the consumers without bruising is probably the biggest challenge at harvest. The line between too green and too ripe is about a day. Getting the peak amount of flavor without being soft is the goal. Watching someone mishandle them, be that an employee of mine or Stauffers or simply the consumer makes me cringe.... for the grower always gets the blame.” –Doug Shenk
6. Organic Produce
Organic produce is something Stauffers offers a few choices of. Organic produce is harder to come by, so it is not grown locally. Since they are not usually grown locally, they can be found throughout the U.S.
The organic produce is brought in from all over the country, just not from our backyard like the homegrown produce.
To be considered organic the produce must be grown using methods of organic farming, with limited chemical and pesticides. Stauffer’s offers organic bananas, apples as well as a few other selections in their stores.
The one thing that has been found with organic produce is that it is more expensive, therefore it isn’t nearly as popular. Dave Julian, the produce buyer, says that he sees organic as a trend, it came and it’s gone.
Because of the prices, organic produce doesn’t seem to be popular among the residents of Lancaster.
Stauffers still offers organic produce to the few consumers that buy it. Although it is harder to come buy and not something they are known for.
7. Organic Products
Along with the organic produce, Stauffers of Kissel Hill offers a variety of organic products. From cleaning supplies to foods, there are entire aisles devoted to offering the customer environmentally friendly items to use around their house.
Organic products are popular, and Stauffers has been expanding their stores to offer the customers even more choices than they originally had. Some of the choices include, granola, chocolate, bee bar lotion, chips, and many more.
One of the major companies that Stauffers supplies is Natural Directions Organic. These products can be found in the organic section of the store and bare the label USDA organic seal.
This seal ensures that these products have been produced, processed, and certified according to the strict standards established by the USDA.
Along with the organic products there are a variety of gluten free foods in the Natural and Organic department of the store.
There are even organic beauty products such as Nama. This is the first hair and body care company dedicated to enhancing the practice of yoga and supporting a beautiful yoga-inspired lifestyle. Their products are made with the highest quality natural ingredients.
Some of the cleaning supplies that can be found on the shelves of Stauffers of Kissel Hill are:
Earth Friendly- these products give you great cleaning power without being made with toxins,
petrochemicals, bleach, ammonia, phosphates, or other harmful ingredients all without tested on animals.
Better Life- these products have no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
that are prevalent in other household cleaners. VOCs, such as alcohol and ammonia
actually vaporize when they are dispensed from a product. What that means is that
VOCs are loose in the air, instead of cleaning. This product is natural and safe.
Seventh Generation- offers household care, laundry, baby, and personal care
products that are all environmentally friendly. Their mission is to inspire a revolution
that nurtures the health of the next seven generations.
Biokleen- manufactures natural, non-toxic cleaning products for any home or business. Their products are formulated with quality and value that provides great results while not causing any negative side effects. The products are also biodegradable without harsh fumes, and are gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Ecover- this product is packaged in 100% plant plastic recyclable bottles.
The company uses plant-based and raw materials from sustainable sources.
Eclipse- Eco friendly cleaning tools, they offer mops, brooms, dusters, and buckets. These products help for a continued chemical free and recycled cleaning experience.
f You Care Household Gloves- these gloves are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
They are environmentally friendly, and help keep your hands clean when using all these natural supplies.
Along with organic food products Stauffers offers a variety of organic lawn care products as well. Stauffers is also a garden center, and they try to offer organic and environmentally friendly products in both sides of their stores.
Now anyone can grow their own plants with organic fertilizers and other products needed to keep their lawn and gardens looking fresh.
Organic lawn care means that the approach to caring for the plants shies away from chemicals and pesticides. You can grow a beautiful lawn with a 4 step program such as Espoma, found in any Stauffers garden center. Some of the benefits of organic lawn care include:
- Organic fertilizers break down slowly and gradually. This means you don’t have to fertilize your lawn as often.
- The results are slower, stockier grass growth, which many believe helps grass fight off disease better than other processes.
- It’s nearly impossible to burn or streak a lawn used with organic fertilizer.
- Fewer or no pesticides are friendlier to earthworms and soil microbes that improve soil health and breath down thatch.
7. Other Steps to Sustainability
Stauffers envisions a sustainable future, which means they are taking the steps to reduce, reuse and recycle resources in order to protect this world for future generations.
Stauffers is sensitive to environmental issues and have made changes to their stores and office as part of the long-term commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
For example they have saved 1.5 million kw-hours of electricity annually because of lighting retrofits that have been done in the stores. So what does the green lighting initiative represent?
1031 tons of CO2 reduced
215 cars off the road
115, 576 gallons of gas saved
26, 434 trees seedlings grown for 10 years
*2013 Stats Taken from EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
Stauffers also works with the customer to ensure they do their part as well. For every reusable bag used, they will reward with FIVE cents off the total purchase per bag. Any cloth bag, even baskets, qualifies for a five-cent refund. As long as the customer is doing their part in helping reduce the carbon footprint!
Stauffers offers their own cloth bags as well as thermal bags for reasonable prices. They are located near the register at each location, so it’s easy for the customer to grab one and have the cashier start bagging their items into the environmentally friendly bag instead of the plastic ones.
They also stress for the customer to bring back their plastic shopping bags and they will recycle them for you. Bags are sent back to the manufacturer to be reused. As well as recycling plastic bags, the paper bags are recycled and recyclable.
In order to become more environmentally friendly Stauffers of Kissel Hill has developed a Recycling Committee in 2010. Along with these committees they have identified Recycling Champions for each of their locations. This program has been a huge success so far:
Supermarket and offices:
40.5 tons recycled through single-stream collection (office paper, newsprint, aluminum, metal cans, and plastics)
Grocery t-sacs collected and recycled
640 tons of cardboard baled and recycled
Waste cooking oil collected and used as truck fuel
105 tons recycled through single-stream collection
40 tons of cardboard collected
2685 cubic feet of horticulture plastics were recycled (this consists of plastic pots and plant flats)
*As of 2012