1942, the year Emigration Market opened it’s doors. From where Emigration Market stood, you could see empty lots scattered throughout the neighborhood, a few newly planted trees eeking their way out of freshly set parking strips, unobstructed views of the undeveloped foothills, and a gas station and auto body shop flanking the northeast and west corners of the 1700 E 1300 S intersection.
The small, independent grocer would eventually become the heart of Yalecrest’s commercial center. As the war ended, and the post-war boom began, the store and neighborhood hopped with prosperity. Neighbors exchanged pleasantries as they bought the finest meats and produce in the valley. Over the decades, “Emo” as it was warmly nicknamed, became a place to see and be seen, to send your children on a hot summer day, and pick up anything and everything you needed for the kitchen and home.
Fast forward 74 years, and Emigration Market is the bustling, well-respected grocer it was in 1942. You can still find the finest meats in the valley and kids buying gelato on a hot summer’s day. Ownership has changed hands over the years and its independent status remained until 2011 when Harmon’s Grocery (a homegrown Utah business) bought and renovated the store. The result: the same neighborhood-centered, quality-focused grocer with the amenities and product depth of a supermarket.
It issui generisto live in a Salt Lake suburb and have a true neighborhood market; and not just any market, arguably a top grocer in the country. It’s a place to not only catch up with neighbors but with the people that work there.
There’s Peggy, the store’s foodie guru, who knowledgeably shares the newest products and seasonal delicacies. Cory, the butcher, who will not only find the finest cut of meat for you, but a little something for Fido too. Brent or Kimball, in produce, who will give you the scoop on what you can’t (and can) pass up, with some fine recipe tips to boot. Rae, the store manager, who generously supports the community, most especially the local schools. And then there’s the cashiers. Take Amy for instance, who knows your name, all the neighborhood kids’ names and even some of their pets’ names too.
Having Harmon’s Emigration Market in the Yalecrest neighborhood increases the walkability and likewise the property values of the surrounding neighborhoods. Its presence helps make our community a neighborhood; without it, we’d just be a collection of streets without a place to gather, shop and converse. Just another reason why I love where I live!