Friday, February 28, 2014

Feasting, Fasting, and Liquid Diets

The Lenten season is approaching.  If you observe Lent and practice any self denial during the forty-day season, you might want to get your fill of corned beef NOW!   I am NOT joking about religion, I'm just craving a reuben and a dark beer.  I'm happy to tell you that we have these delicious sandwiches and also dark beer in the store right now.

Whether or not you abstain from meat or whether you fast at all, it is hard to refrain from eating a delicious corned beef sandwich as St. Patrick's Day approaches.  Monday, March 17, is St. Patrick's Day.  This is about the only time of the year I indulge in this wonderful, salty, garlicky beef brisket rubbed with mustard seed, sliced thinly and served on hearty, aromatic rye bread.  I enjoy my sandwich piled high with sauerkraut but hold the dressing (some would say I'm missing the best part).  I also enjoy corned beef on rye with just mustard or just horseradish....or plain with thick slices of a kosher dill pickle on the side.  Kettle fried potato chips are good too!  And don't forget a tall glass of cold, dark beer.  How do you like your sandwich?

March 7-9, 2014, in Cincinnati is the 22nd annual Bockfest, the nation's oldest Bock beer festival. According to expert sources, Doppelbock beer was created by Bavarian Monks to sustain them during the long Lenten fast.  This article in the March issue of Cincinnati Magazine features some Bock beers you might want to try.

If you want us to get any of these beers into the store for you to purchase, just let me know.  We place orders for beer with various distributors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for next day delivery to the store.  If you cannot stop by the store, you can visit our website and use the contact form or give us a call.  PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

State Minimum Pricing on Beer and Wine

Homer Village Market has begun stocking your favorite beers and wines!  Please stop by to see what's new and let us know your favorites.  We have a wide variety of styles of beers ranging from pale ales, cream ales, lagers, porters, and stouts.  There are domestic and imported brands with some local and regional breweries.  We are adding requested brands weekly, so  please stop by to make your preferences known!

 So far, our beer selection includes popular brands (regular and light) such as
  • Budweiser, 
  • Busch,
  • Miller,
  • Coors,
  • Yuengling
  • Little Kings,
  • Moosehead,
  • Michelob,
  • Keystone,
  • Old Milwaukee
  • Labatt,
 and some craft beers from various breweries such as
  • New Belgium "Fat Tire" ale (Colorado)
  • An India Pale Ale (IPA) and a Nut Brown Ale from Mt. Carmel Brewing Company in Cincinnati and
  • An IPA from  21st Amendment Brewing Company in San Francisco
  • Coming soon some seasonals from Samuel Adams and Great Lakes Breweries 
For dark beer lovers, we also have
  • Anchor Porter,
  • Warsteiner Dunkel
  • Guinness Extra Stout
  • Black Butte Porter (a craft beer from Deschutes Brewery in Oregon)
More to come in time for St. Patrick's Day!

The wine selection is growing too!  Please stop by to see the varieties on hand so far from California, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, Washington, Ohio, and Indiana.  Our varieties include merlots, cabernet sauvignons, rieslings (both sweet and dry), chardonnays, malbec, red and white zinfindels, red blends, sangria, muscato, pinot noir, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, red Bordeaux, More to come! Tell us your favorites, and we will get them on the shelf for you. We also have some hard ciders and some inexpensive "wine-cooler" style, light-and-sweet, wines for your casual enjoyment.
So far brands represented include Raven's Glen, Woodbridge, CK Mondavi, Tripiche, Easley, Blackstone, Gnarly Head, Dancing Bull, Pacific Rim, Marius, Save Me San Francisco, Lambrusco, Red Guitar, Arbor Mist, Angry Orchard, and Usha Chateau Gamage. We plan to add several more popular brands from wineries offering promotions in March so that you can get the lowest possible price available.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

How wonderful that Valentine's Day is today And today is also Friday!!!   If you have been too busy this week to make plans with your sweetheart, Do It Now!!

There are many ways to show your fondness for your sweetheart!   Just remembering to say "Happy Valentine's Day" with a smile and a hug goes a long way toward making the occasion memorable.  Many folks have holiday traditions such as giving a gift of flowers or chocolates or a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant or tavern.  For others it might be a quiet evening at home preparing a special dinner and enjoying a favorite beer, wine, or other beverage that you save for special occasions.  Maybe you have a favorite place to visit together that brings back memories of all the love you have shared together over the many years of your relationship!

Why not celebrate all weekend? Many people do not work on Fridays or even on the weekends, so enjoy a great weekend together!  Whatever you decide to do this weekend, be thankful for each other!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Your Safety and Security Is Always Our Priority

Many people have preconceived notions about small, independent grocery stores.  Please let me assure you that Homer Village Market has always been and continues to be proactive to keep you safe especially in the following areas:

  • Food Safety
  • Information/Data Security
  • Confidentiality
  • Personal Safety

Food Safety

Homer Village Market is  licensed and inspected by the Licking County Health Department as a Retail Food Establishment and also has a mobile Food Service Establishment license which have been renewed annually since first issued in 2008 and 2010, respectively.    The store also pays for annual water sample tests to assure the ongoing safety of our private water source.   The store maintains an excellent record of inspection results.

All of the refrigerated and frozen foods we sell have been purchased from suppliers who are also licensed and inspected by the designated State, Federal, and Local authorities.  The suppliers deliver the foods to Homer Village Market using trucks equipped with refrigeration/freezer compartments that keep the foods safe during transportation.  Frozen foods are delivered frozen, and refrigerated foods are delivered at temperatures well below the food safe limit of 40 degrees.  The food is immediately stocked into the stores coolers and freezers, which are all equipped with thermometers to assure the food is kept at or below the required temperatures. 

Not only are all of Homer Village Market's food suppliers themselves licensed and inspected, but they also deal with manufacturers/growers who are licensed and inspected by the designated food safety authorities.  In the event of a manufacturer's recall of food due to a food safety concern, this information is communicated swiftly from the point of manufacture to the point of wholesale distribution and to the point of retail distribution to be sure it removed from the shelves. Following any recall affecting the retail store, there is follow-up contact by the wholesaler and also the government to ensure any affected product has been properly disposed.  Also, just to be proactive, Homer Village Market subscribes to the USDA Food and Drug Administrations email services to be alerted of all food and drug recalls nationwide on a daily basis, including pet foods.

The locally raised meat products sold at Homer Village Market have been USDA inspected and passed at the local meat processing facility as well as monitored by the local regulatory authorities at the store level.  The farm eggs sold at the store are not USDA classified or inspected, and are labeled accordingly for your protection.

Since government regulation can only go so far to protect consumers, please follow recommended food-safety handling and cooking procedures.  It is especially important to avoid undercooking and to avoid any cross-contamination when handling raw meat/eggs and foods that will be consumed without further processing or cooking (e.g. bread, raw vegetables and fruits).  Proper hand washing is also one of the most important food safety measures at the point of food prep and consumption.

To date, Homer Village Market has not been affected by any recalls of meat or seafood.  The recent recalls of trail mixes and prepared salads also did not affect the products at the store.  The store owner personally monitors the food safety and quality of all foods on the premises.

Data Security

You have probably been hearing and reading about all the data security breaches taking place at some of the national retail store chains and also online shopping sites.    Criminals are getting more and more sophisticated as data processing technology gets more advanced.

Homer Village Market complies with all of the latest information security initiatives.  We do not capture or store your credit card or banking information in any private data bases or computer systems.  When you use your credit card, debit card, or EBT card at Homer Village Market, the data is immediately encrypted by the credit card terminal and transmitted in an encrypted format to the credit card processing company.  Our processing service for your debit and credit card data is provided by First Data, a leading information processing firm, who also manufactures the credit card terminals used at Homer Village Market.  The processing of EBT card data (food stamps) is provided by JPMorgan Chase, a leading banking institution.  Both First Data and JPMorgan Chase have the latest information security procedures and technologies in place to ensure that your data will not be compromised. 

We  have the most advanced and secure credit card terminal that is available.  We are ready for the 2015 deadline to migrate to the new credit card terminal that uses chip and pin technology.  To date, Homer Village Market has not experienced any credit card fraud.

During the seven years that we have been accepting cards, Homer Village Market has kept up with the latest credit card terminal security.   So far, we have upgraded three times by purchasing the latest and most secure credit card terminal recommended by First Data, and twice with the EBT card terminal.    This is costly, but your data security is our top priority.   


What you do, say, and buy at Homer Village Market stays at Homer Village Market.  We do not share information about our customers, unless they ask us to help them disseminate information in the community (for example in searching for a lost dog, seeking area housing, or fundraising).  You can rest assured that all of your information that you may share directly or indirectly is not discussed with anyone else.  This is the way we would want to be treated, and so this is how we treat all of our customers.  Obviously, with the small size of the store, this is not a place to stop by for a gossip session with neighbors. 

Personal Safety

Homer Village Market maintains a state-of-the art security system and lighting to protect the property as well as our patrons and employees.  The system is monitored 24/7 and is equipped with interior and exterior cameras and alarms to prevent unauthorized access and monitor criminal activity.

We care about the safety of all of our customers and suppliers while on our private property.  We take every precaution to keep the parking lot clear of snow and ice as well free of any obstacles that would make it difficult to maneuver or access a safe entry and departure with your vehicle or as a pedestrian.   Most local customers are aware of the visibility issues of the intersection and they take care to look both ways more than once when turning into or out of the parking lot.  To date, none of our customers has experienced any traffic accidents while coming or going from the store.

Because we are located on a busy commuter highway, Homer Village Market monitors the parking lot carefully to be sure that no vehicles are stopping near the right-of-way obstructing the line of vision at the intersection.  This practice could contribute to an accident at the intersection. Occasionally, this monitoring practice results in a disgruntled driver who sees the store's wide-open parking lot access as a convenient place to stop and text or do car maintenance or exchange children.  We apologize for the inconvenience caused by our enforcement, but this is for the safety of everyone on the highway and in the store.   We also have posted "customer parking only" signs in the parking lot, which are strictly enforced,  to ensure availability of plenty of space for our customers to park and maneuver for safe entry and exit.  To date, none of our customers or pedestrians have experienced any accidents here. 

Please Be Safe

There is only so much safety and security that can be enabled by technology, regulations, and perseverance by the store owners and employees.  Everyone must do their part to practice safe and secure behaviors and watch out for each other, including our customers and suppliers.  Please be considerate of others, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Thank you for your patronage!  If you ever have any suggestions or any concerns, please let us know.  If you are bashful about speaking with someone directly, feel free to drop off a note to our PO Box at the Homer Post Office.  We want you to have a great shopping experience!