Haren’s Market Connects People to Food with Help of Hobart

March 20, 2024 by Hasan Amin

Slicer, Food Prep

When Connor Haren purchased what was then the Troy Meat Shop at the age of 20, he saw the potential to bring healthy, locally sourced food to the Troy, Ohio community. With that vision, Haren’s Market was born and thirteen years later, it is still thriving — and not just because of the quality of the meat and produce. 

“We operate on two pillars — quality product and customer service. "We’re a small mom and pop store and to us, everyone who comes in is a regular,” said Haren. “That customer service is what sets us apart from other places. From the top down, what has to be there is focus on the customer.”

Those customers, according to Haren, are people who enjoy cooking and enjoy the shopping experience — whether it’s selecting the market’s best-selling brisket burgers, browsing produce and cheese from local farms or picking up basic canned and packaged goods. Haren’s also offers fresh, seasonal deli items, along with around a dozen standard deli offerings year-round.

“We're pretty fortunate. We've got a turkey farm and a chicken farm right down the road from us. We sell a lot of bison from a local farm, as well,” Haren explained. “My wife’s family has a huge produce farm just outside of town, so we purchase a lot from them.”

Adding to those sources, four years ago, Haren fulfilled his dream of having his own farm. He and his wife are now the owners of Haren Ranch, where they practice regenerative farming and raise grass-fed beef for the market. Improving the soil improves the grass that the cows eat, making it a sustainable option for the environment.

And while quality products are at the center of the market, Haren believes quality, durable equipment needs to be, too. That’s why he says that he relies on Hobart. In addition to an older model Hobart meat grinder, Haren has two HS9 automatic heavy-duty slicers to support his deli production.

Slicing benefits

Haren has used other slicers in the past, but he appreciates the overall performance of his Hobart HS9 slicers, one of which he uses in the deli for slicing turkey, ham and roast beef. The other is in the market’s kitchen and used for preparing deli items.

“There is something about just seeing and feeling a piece of equipment and knowing that it's solid and it’s going to work. You need to be able to just turn it on, set it to where it needs to be set and run the machine without having to deal with anything other than the machine operating,” Haren said. “These slicers are getting used all day long, every single day — and I know that the next day, they can do the same thing.”

That “same thing” Haren’s mentions is providing clean, precise cuts.

The HS9 slicers feature a 13-inch CleanCut™ knife with a cobalt edge that is designed to stay sharper two to three times longer than carbon steel knives and provide consistent cuts, a feature that Haren and his staff have noticed.

“The blade stays sharper than others I’ve used,” he said. “As long as we’re keeping up with sharpening it when it needs it, it helps the slicer just do what it’s told.”

Re-establishing that sharp edge, when needed, is simplified by a top-mounted Borazon sharpening system. This system sharpens and hones in a single action in just 15 seconds, plus the blade design ensures zero knife exposure during sharpening  to protect the operator.

Haren has found that the slicers’ ease of use to be beneficial for his current staff and says that the equipment is also easy to train new staff. He likes the double-action indexing cam that allows them to adjust for shaving, thin slicing and thicker slicing.

“We know when we set the dial, it’s going to stay there. That combined with the fact that we bring the carriage back to the home position, press the on button and the thing just runs. That's the best feature — a simple design that works every time we use it,” Haren explained.

He added, “From a management's perspective, I appreciate the ease of training the HS9 provides. Just being able to give somebody a quick rundown about how you start it and how you operate it. Outside of that, they just need to make sure they’re getting the right product that the customer wants.”

Ease of cleaning is another benefit Haren has found with the HS9 slicers. They feature a one-piece design with minimal crevices, so it’s easy to wipe down. The removable components, including the meat grip assembly, knife and ring guard cover make it easy to break down the slicers for thorough cleaning. The tilting and removable carriage adds to the ease of cleaning, while a lift assist function simplifies cleaning underneath the slicers.

“All of my dishwashers have always been high school kids. They don’t have any problems breaking down the parts, going back to the three-compartment and getting them clean,” Haren said. “With this design, there’s never a reason for them to be dirty.”

Creating a connection

Haren says that when it comes down to it, Haren’s Market is about food and people.

“We want to be honest with people and connect them to where their food really is coming from. That’s our ultimate interest: bringing quality food to people,” he said. “Hobart is helping us along the way. For any person in the industry who’s in the position to purchase Hobart, I would suggest nothing other than that.”

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About the Author

hasanHasan Amin is the product line manager for Hobart – Food Preparation Products. He has been with Hobart since 2023 and specializes in Hobart slicers and meat room equipment. See all his blogs here.

Tags: Slicer, Food Prep

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