Associated Food Stores is thrilled to announce it now has member-owners in New Mexico. Two Farmers Market stores, owned by Matt, Michael and Grant Pennington, along with Deborah Vavra are now members of AFS. Farmers Market is a third-generation owned independent grocer. 

One of the stores is in Flora Vista. Flora Vista is in San Juan Country, New Mexico and has a population of 1,383 according to the 2000 census. The store is a 27,000-square-foot facility. The store is known for its impressive meat department, large produce selection, delicious bakery goods and homemade tortillas. 

The other store is in Bloomfield, New Mexico. Bloomfield has a population of 8,112 according to the 2010 census. The Bloomfield store is a 30,000-square-foot facility. Like the Flora Vista store, the Bloomfield location is known for its impressive fresh departments and hometown customer service. 

Vice President Mike Pennington shared how his organization got its start. Mike’s grandpa, George Pennington, served in the Coast Guard in World War 2. On the boat ride home, George played cards with his compatriots and, as Mike put it, “won the big hand.” Upon arriving home, George used the money he won to buy a store in Silver City, New Mexico. Now, generations later, Mike is still proud to serve the community and carry on the legacy started by his grandpa decades ago. 

When asked why they chose AFS as a wholesaler, Mike responded,

“The thing that hit me first was the company values, specifically integrity. That means so much.”

Mike also cited AFS’ produce and other programs as reasons to join the AFS membership. 

“We were able to come to the AFS FoodShow and were wowed by the many programs offered by AFS,” said Mike. 

AFS has an all-star lineup ready to support the Farmers Market stores with Sheyn Love as their retail account manager, Matt Varoz as their GM specialist, Steve Poulson as their meat specialist, Matt Peterson as their bakery specialist, Anthony Sandoval as their produce specialist and Thomas Brown providing expertise as their deli specialist. 

“We are so excited to have Mike and the rest of the Farmers Market team as a member,” said Bob King, vice president of business development, Associated Food Stores. “They run great, community-focused stores and we look forward to a wonderful partnership as we work together.”