Annual event brings Utah products to the Nation’s capital

Salt Lake City, UT (July 30, 2018) Associated Food Stores (AFS) helped share a little taste of Utah with Washington D.C. at the second annual Taste of Utah. Held on July 25, Taste of Utah brings Utah-made products to state representatives and other officials at an evening reception that is  part of the Pioneer Day festivities. The event follows the truck send-off held at the Utah State Capitol on July 18. AFS partnered with Senator Mike Lee, Zions Bank, and Utah Food Industry Association to organize the event.

“Taste of Utah is a great way for us to show how amazing Utah products are and what our producers and growers are literally bringing to the table,” said Ryan Barnes, deli director for Associated Food Stores, and one of the organizers for the event. “We are grateful to Senator Lee and his staff for this opportunity and know that everyone there loved it.”

Started in 2017, Taste of Utah provides an opportunity to showcase the great items that come from the Beehive State on the national stage. Participation grew from approximately 15 vendors last year to more than 20 in 2018. This year’s event featured products from companies including Stone Ground Bakery, Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, Taffy Town, Beehive Cheese Company, Casper’s Creamery which produces local favorite Red Button Vintage Creamery ice cream, Wasatch Brewery, Rocky Mountain Pies, Dunford Bakers, and more. Entertainment was provided by Lincoln Highway, a folk ensemble from Utah.


About Associated Food Stores
Associated Food Stores is an independent retailer-owned warehouse based in Salt Lake City, Utah, which provides complete warehouse facilities and services to over 400 grocers throughout the Intermountain West. To learn more about Associated Food Stores or to find a retailer near you, visit

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Joining the Club: Associated Food Stores Announces Food Club Transition
Wholesaler introduces new exclusive brand offering.

Salt Lake City, UT (July 18, 2018) There’s a new member of the Associated Food Stores (AFS) exclusive brands family! The Utah-based wholesaler announced they are transitioning from Western Family to Food Club as their staple Exclusive Brand. The transition is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and will bring a variety of shopper-favorite and new items to the more than 400 independent grocery stores it serves across the intermountain West.

“We are excited to bring Food Club to our shoppers. We know they will love it as much as they have loved Western Family,” said Boyd Irving, Director of Exclusive Brands for Associated Food Stores. “We believe in Food Club so much that we’re offering a double-money back guarantee if any guest is unsatisfied with the product.”

Food Club, sold by consortium Topco, focuses on staple categories in center store including canned fruits and vegetables, baking items like sugar and flour, condiments, cereal, crackers and other snacks, condiments, and frozen items including fruits, vegetables, ice cream, novelties, and potatoes. Along with the new Food Club items, AFS is introducing Buckley Farms into the meat category and Culinary Tours into specialty foods with flavors from around the world.

With more than 1,600 products, Food Club has items that will meet the needs of every guest. Many of the products are sourced from the same suppliers who brought Western Family to grocery stores, guaranteeing great taste and quality. In some cases, Food Club is even better than the Western Family offerings. Each Food Club item comes in clean label packaging with key information callouts on the front to make it easier for shoppers to find the items they need to match their diets.

For more information regarding Food Club, product images, or exclusive interviews with the transition team, please contact Rachael Wabel


About Associated Food Stores
Associated Food Stores is an independent retailer-owned warehouse based in Salt Lake City, Utah, which provides complete warehouse facilities and services to over 400 grocers throughout the Intermountain West. To learn more about Associated Food Stores or to find a retailer near you, visit

Media Contact
Rachael Wabel


Media Contact
Rachael Wabel

Associated Food Stores Bring a Taste of Utah to Washington
Grocery wholesaler partners with local businesses and Senator Mike Lee for second annual event.

Salt Lake City, UT (July 17, 2018) From the state capitol to the nation’s capital! Associated Food Stores is excited to partner with Senator Mike Lee, Utah Food Industry Association (UFIA), Zions Bank, and multiple Utah-based vendors to bring the second annual Taste of Utah Event to Washington D.C. on July 25, 2018. Taste of Utah showcases the best of Utah products on the national stage with items from more than 20 vendors and producers including Stone Ground Bakery, Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, Taffy Town, Beehive Cheese Company, Casper’s Creamery which produces local favorite Red Button Vintage Creamery ice cream, Brigham’s Brew, Rocky Mountain Pies, Dunford Bakers, and more.

AFS, UFIA, Senator Lee, and Zions Bank will host a send-off event at the Utah Capitol on July 18 before the truck departs for Washington D.C.

What: Taste of Utah truck send-off event

Where: Utah State Capitol steps

When: Wednesday July 18, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.

What: Governor Herbert, Dave Davis from UFIA, and Bob Obray from AFS will address the group before the final items are loaded into the truck and it makes its way to Washington D.C. for Taste of Utah. Representatives from the featured companies and event organizers from Associated Food Stores will also be on-site for interviews and photos.


About Associated Food Stores
Associated Food Stores is an independent retailer-owned warehouse based in Salt Lake City, Utah, which provides complete warehouse facilities and services to over 400 grocers throughout the Intermountain West. To learn more about Associated Food Stores or to find a retailer near you, visit

Taco salad is always a hit during the summer. Check out this easy recipe for a quick dinner.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2 cups hot water
1 pkg cheeseburger dinner
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 cups tortilla chips, slightly broken
8 cups lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
½ cup sliced black olives
1 ½ cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large skillet brown the ground beef. Drain.
  2. Add taco seasoning, water, uncooked pasta, sauce mix, and chili powder.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Uncover and simmer for an additional five minutes or until pasta is tender.
  4. Arrange the lettuce in the bottom of a large, shallow, bowl.
  5. Sprinkle chips over the lettuce and top with the pasta and beef mixture.
  6. Layer on the olives, tomatoes, and cheese.
  7. Top with salsa and sour cream to taste. Serve immediately.

In 1940, 34 independent retailers joined together and established Associated Food Stores in an effort to combat the rising cost of goods. Large chains with increased buying power were driving up the cost of items, leaving many independently-owned grocery stores to close their doors. Donald P. Lloyd led the group of dedicated independent retailers against stiff competition and created the largest grocery co-op in the Intermountain West.

The determination our founding retailers displayed then has continued to drive our business decisions and goals. Since 1940 we have grown from 34 retailers in Utah to more than 300 independent grocers across Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon. Many of our retailers have multiple stores in various communities.

We’re proud of our retailers and the ways they serve their communities. Whether it be providing water and food during community emergencies to supporting local schools and community members. Our retailers truly understand what it means to be part of a community.

Thank you for a great 78 years! We’re looking forward to many more.


78 Years of Associated Food Stores


Reliable Food Stores Inc. opened with 34 member retailers. Donald P. Lloyd was elected as the first manager. The name was later changed to Associated Food Stores Inc.   

July 1: The first Associated Food Stores warehouse opened.  

Women began working in grocery stores.


Associated Food Stores served 87 members in Utah and Nevada  

Associated Food Stores partnered with Royal Canning Company of Utah to provide canned fruits and vegetables to retailers. 

The Pocatello Warehouse opened. 

The Salt Lake Warehouse moved to a new building at the Remington Arms plant.  

The Helena, Montana Warehouse opened.  


Associated Food Stores became the first Intermountain food merchant to use television advertising. 

Associated Food Stores sponsored Utah Symphony Youth Concerts.  

The Salt Lake Warehouse was expanded to include a dock with railroad siding. 

Associated Food Stores sponsored “My Favorite Story”, becoming the first food group to sponsor a television show.  

A Fresh Produce department was added. 

A Non-Foods department was added, carrying toothpaste and razor blades. 

The Frozen Food department was added. 

The Gold Strike Stamp Company was created to provide trading stamps to AFS member stores. 

The Store Development department was added. 

The first Gold Strike Stamps were issued to Associated Food Stores retailers. 

Associated Food Stores serviced 380 retailers, 42 had multiple stores. 

Meat and Bakery departments were added. 

The Pocatello and Salt Lake Warehouses were expanded. 

The Frozen Foods Warehouse was built in Salt Lake City.  

Associated Food Stores and Dependable Wholesale merged, bringing more than 100 stores to Associated Food Stores.  

A 75,000 square foot warehouse was built in Helena, Montana 

The Associated Food Stores logo featuring a shopper pushing a cart with an “a” in it debuted.  

July 1: Associated Food Stores merged with San Francisco Grocery to create the California Division. 

Western Family Corporation was established as Associated Food Stores first exclusive brand. 

A full-scale sign and print shop was added to the advertising department. 

Associated Food Stores served 845 stores. 

The Thriftway, Foodtown and Bestway ad groups were created. 

Donald P. Lloyd retired. Gill Warner became President and CEO of Associated Food Stores.  

The Billings, Montana division opened.  

March 30: The Universal Price Code (UPC) system was selected by a committee which included Donald P. Lloyd. 

The Boise Distribution Center opened.  

The Gold Strike Stamp Company was sold to Gold Bond. 

February 1: The California Division closed. 

The Scanning Department started. 

A new warehouse was built in Salt Lake to accommodate general merchandise, insurance and store engineering. 

Associated Food Stores serviced 700 stores. 

A 27-bay truck garage and IMC terminal was added to the Salt Lake Warehouse. 

Associated Food Stores began supplying convenience stores.   

The first trade show was held for the Salt Lake and Pocatello divisions. 

Associated Food Stores entered the Las Vegas market for the first time with three Food Giant stores.

Associated Food Stores served 731 stores.  

Gill Warner retired and Richard Parkinson assumed the role of President and CEO of Associated Food Stores.

The Associated Food Stores general office was built in Salt Lake. 

Category Management was established to determine and procure the products retailers wanted most. 

April 29: The Farr West Distribution Center opened, totaling 1,000,000 square feet, or  approximately 21 football fields. 


Macey’s became Associated Food Stores’ first corporate-owned store. Lin’s, Dan’s, Dicks and Fresh Market soon followed.  

The Farr West Distribution Center was expanded by 56,000 square feet. 

Fresh Market stores opened in Utah 

Richard Parkinson retired from Associated Food Stores. Neal Berube succeeded him as President and CEO. 

The Rewards department opened, allowing retailers to offer loyalty programs to shoppers.  

Associated Food Stores expanded its exclusive brands offerings to include: Western Family, Full Circle, Chuck Wagon dog food, @ease, Wide Awake Coffee, Aura, b-leve, Tippy Toes,  Buckley Farms and Boulder Burger.  

Associated Food Stores partnered with Rosie, an e-commerce company, to bring online shopping and delivery to retailers. 

Red Button Vintage Creamery Ice Cream was introduced as our newest exclusive brand. It didn’t take long for it to become a shopper favorite. Birchberry Bistro and Beehive Bread and Pastry Co. were also added to our exclusive brands line-up. 

Our distribution center in Farr West, Utah was received the HPR Award from FM Global for our efforts to protect the warehouse from fire, natural hazards, and other property risks.  

Several of our exclusive brands received national attention. Red Button won Best Packaging from Store Brands magazine. Our Red Button Vintage Creamery premium pies earned blue ribbons at the National Pie Championships. 

We added AutoSense temperature monitoring tools to the Farr West distribution center to improve food safety. 

AFS received several awards and honors including: Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart Award for energy conservation and efficiency, eight blue ribbons at the National Pie Championships for Beehive Bread and Pastry Co. And Red Button Vintage Creamery premium pies, Topco’s Outstanding Item/Category Launch for Simply Done, and Intermountain Donor Services partnership award for AFS’ support of organ donation. 

We formed a partnership with Cosset bath products to add bath bombs and soaps to our stores. 

We implemented Skip checkout in several stores, allowing guests to checkout as they shop and skip the check stand. 


July and fireworks go together like peanut butter and jelly. While the booms, bangs, and colors make for a great time, things can quickly turn dangerous if the fireworks aren’t handled properly. Check out the five tips below from the National Council on Fireworks Safety to make your 4th of July fun AND safe.

Supervise the Kiddos
Fireworks get HOT! Make sure an adult is the one lighting the fireworks and that kids are a safe distance away so that no one gets hurt. If children are going to use sparklers, make sure they are supervised the entire time so they don’t get burned.

One at a Time
Only light one firework at a time and NEVER try to re-light a “dud.” Fireworks are explosives and you never know what will happen.

Keep Water Around
Keep a bucket of water or connected hose nearby, just in case any of the fireworks go rogue. It’s also a good idea to wet down used fireworks before putting them in the trash can to ensure they are completely out and won’t start a fire.

Hide the Pets
The colors and loud noises may be fun for you, but your furry friends will think the sky is falling. Keep pets inside during firework shows so they don’t run away or get hurt.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Never light fireworks near dry grass, gasoline or other things that burn easily. Keep your clothing choices in mind too. Fleece is extremely flammable, so it may be best to skip the jacket or pajama bottoms and opt for jeans.

For more firework tips, check out the National Council on Fireworks Safety at:

Happy Independence Day!