By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Crest Foods believes the time is right to build a grocery store in the “unbelievable” growth area west of Oklahoma City, the company’s third generation owner said this week.
Bruce Harroz, president of Crest Foods, confirmed a 90,000-square foot Crest Fresh Market will be built on the south side of Interstate 40 west of Czech Hall Road. Open 24 hours, the new south Yukon site will be Crest’s ninth store.
“We’ve been looking at the Yukon-Mustang area for probably 10 years now,” said Harroz, who’s owned Crest Foods since 1999. “We’re excited about coming because we know the growth out there in the Yukon-Mustang area has been unbelievable in the last five years.
“And it looks like it’s going to keep growing.”
Crest has been attracted to this area because of the public schools that Harroz called “among the best” in Oklahoma.
“And that brings large families – and that’s who we cater to,” he said.
Harroz estimates his new Crest store in the Market at Czech Hall retail development will open in fall 2020. He and his team will welcome customers from across the Yukon-Mustang area and west Oklahoma City.
“We do it the old-fashioned way,” Harroz said. “We stack it high and we sell it cheap. We can save them money. And people want to go where they can save money. We have low prices every day.
“We have full-service and wide aisles for the volume we have.”
The south Yukon Crest store will feature specialty seafood and meat departments, bakery, deli, and fresh sushi made daily.
“We carry USDA-certified Angus beef,” Harroz said.
The new Yukon-area Crest Fresh Market is expected to create 150-175 jobs.
Crest Foods now has about 1,800 employees in its eight stores and three warehouses.
Crest wants to be a good corporate citizen, its owner added.
“We have a golf tournament every year in September,” Harroz said. “We donate a large amount of the proceeds for the Food Bank for the hungry kids of Oklahoma. They fill their backpacks with food. We also support the city and schools.”
The Crest Fresh Market at I-40 and Czech Hall Road will be the company’s farthest store west. Crest Foods’ current stores are in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Moore, Edmond and Norman.
“We also bought property a couple years ago at Sooner and Covell (in Edmond),” Harroz said. “That was going to be our next store. But now that will be put in after the Yukon store.”
BORN INTO THE BUSINESS
Crest Foods’ president and owner was literally born to be in the grocery business. His father was Crest founder Nick Harroz.
Nick Harroz’s father opened the family’s first grocery store in 1929 at SW 29 and Agnew in Oklahoma City.
After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Nick Harroz returned to Oklahoma to open his first grocery store in Midwest City.
Harroz and his wife Cherry expanded the business in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, moving their operation in 1964 to a new location in the Ridgecrest Shopping Center in Midwest City.
To save customers’ time when writing checks, Harroz shortened the name to Crest.
“The new name brought a fresh image providing customers discount prices, clean stores and fast, friendly customer service,” according to the company website.
“Over the next few decades, the company continued to grow and prosper.”
The second Crest store opened in 1984 in Midwest City and the third store opened in 1997 in Edmond.
Nick Harroz’s son Bruce took over ownership 20 years ago after his parents’ retirement, opening the fourth Crest store in 2002 and the fifth and sixth stores in 2004 and 2005 in Oklahoma City.
The eighth Crest store opened in November 2013 in Norman. That was the first to be built just outside the greater Oklahoma City area.