#HomeGrownStories – Connor and Hannah Haren
Haren’s Market wants to bring the farm to market experience to Troy. The market is owned by Connor and Hannah Haren who are both Miami County natives. Connor purchased the Troy Meat Market in 2011, two years after he graduated from high school. The Troy Meat Market officially became Haren’s Market on May 7, 2016. Besides offering a wide variety of fresh cut meat, the market also sells local produce, eggs, and dairy. Connor and Hannah married in the fall of 2014 and are expecting their first child this December.
On their connection to Miami County:
Connor – I was born in Troy. Actually, my mom went into labor with me in the store. I was born at Stouder Hospital and grew up in Troy. I graduated from Troy High School in 2009. I haven’t traveled far since birth. I got a job here after high school at what was then Troy Meat Shop.
Hannah – My grandparents, Joyce and Bill Fulton, started Fulton Farms. My mom is their oldest daughter.
How they met:
Hannah – My friend tipped me off about Connor. She said “The owner of the meat market in Troy is really cute. You should look into him.” The next day I was working at the Fulton Farms market and Connor came in. I was talking to my brother and sister-in-law and said “Is that the guy that owns the meat market?” and it went from there.
About Haren’s Market:
Connor – I bought the meat market August 1, 2011. That was about 18 months after I started working here. The guy that owned the place at the time didn’t want it anymore. He basically offered it up to me. I thought “No way” – I was 19 at the time. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know how to cut meat. I didn’t know how to run a business. I was a recent high school graduate. After about a year after he offered to sell it, we closed. Within that year I realized it could be a good starting point for a career. I could sell the business in ten years or keep it and make a life out of it. There was some potential – it wasn’t what you see today – and I thought “let’s give it a shot.”
Before I bought the market, I was hesitant. I like the outdoors, I was traveling a bunch and I always wanted to farm. But I realized I also liked the idea of owning a business. Running the business, marketing, finances, all that combined. I also really love food – especially good quality, local food.
We’ve changed a lot of things aesthetically. We spruced the place up, upgraded equipment and did a lot of painting. We redid the ceiling and floors, added some pretty murals. Then we started selling a lot of local grocery items. We also added different cuts, not just the standard cuts you find in the grocery store. They’re creative cuts and novelty items. And then I met my wonderful wife, and from her produce market background, she brought changes. She quit her corporate job about 18 months ago and brought a lot of her produce knowledge to the market.
About their farm where they grow much of the produce sold at Haren’s Market:
Hannah – We bought a little farm 4 years ago. A lot of what we do on the farm is here. We have over 150 chickens so we sell fresh eggs. We have our own honeybee hives and sell our honey here. We have grass-fed lamb that we sell in the meat case. We’re also working on beef. There’s a lot more we want to do.
Connor – Yeah, that’s my second job out there.
Hannah – We want to sell more quality, local produce. Most of what we sell is from our farm or Fulton Farms. I go out every morning and bring it in here. If something is in season I like to get it locally.
Connor – This is more or less our “farm to market” experience – you know like you’ve heard about “farm to table” restaurants. My idea was to be a hub for local farmers and growers to come in and sell their stuff so we can sell it to the public. Our farm has been a huge asset to the business.
On the community response to Haren’s Market, and the name change from Troy’s Meat Market:
Connor – People love it. You know, I work pretty hard – so does she – and I think all the hard work we’ve put in warranted putting our names on it. It shows it’s a local market with a local family. It’s a different place today. Our regular customers recognize the changes and thought it was a great idea.
Hannah – The response has been excellent. With that being said, we’re still not where we want to be. There’s more that we want to do. We’re expecting a baby and it’s exciting to think about where the business will go with the next generation. Maybe they won’t ever want to do it – maybe they’ll want to be a CEO in Chicago [laughs]. But it’s still exciting.
What they love about Miami County:
Hannah – Miami County is a good place to own a business. The community is very supportive. We have a lot of awesome customers. Troy, in general, is very supportive of each other. I like that it’s a small hometown. I lived in Columbus for about 5 years but I like the small town feel.
Connor – Troy is a nice place to live. And as Hannah said, the feeling of community is great. Going out you know everybody. As big as Troy is and is getting, it’s still a very small town in the sense that you can be connected to a lot of people. Roots run deep in Troy.
Their Miami County recommendations for out of town visitors:
Connor – Just go explore. There are a lot of things to do. Rent bikes from the bike shop and roll around the bike paths in Troy. Go to K’s and eat a double cheeseburger with a peanut butter shake. Go drink whiskey at Indian Creek Distillery.
Hannah – And come to Haren’s and get some meat [laughs]!
Follow our storyteller and interviewer, Courtney Denning, at ThisOhioLife.com.