Some communities are borne of faith and others are created around geography. Communities arise around lifestyles and they sprout around causes. A community is a group of people finding familiarity, friendship and a sense of being true to your heart and your soul.

013_hillersmkt_april2009When communities are centered upon ethnic similarity or religious observance, they are places we go home to because it’s where we are automatically accepted. To gain acceptance in some communities, we pay membership fees or follow rules or wear a sort of uniform or flare as proof that we belong, that we speak the same language. And sometimes, a community is ours simply because we say it is, with nothing to show for it and no place to gather.

Hiller’s is as genuine a community as any or all of these , yet we demand no sameness from our members. Individuality and uniqueness are the tickets in our door and the only requirement to remaining a member is the recognition that quality, choice and flavor are absolute rights.

Since 1941, the Hiller name has meant a lot of things. What has endured as our stores have grown, changed, expanded and moved location is the hallmark meaning behind our signs. We are a place where you walk in the door and receive a smile just for showing up. We are a place for living out your choices, for finding flavors to match your preferences, for experiencing journey and destination all in a selection of foods.

In every aisle and department, we lovingly select items for your discovery. Each department is led by an authentic expert, and we go to the source again and again to find exactly what you’re looking for, what we’re looking for, to satisfy needs we didn’t even know were lurking.

012_hillersmkt_april2009We invite you in for special events and write you newsletters of explanation. We offer programs for greater value and band together with like-minded Michigan businesses because it’s the right thing to do. We live where we work. We integrate and meld with our community. We respect the history beneath our foundations. We tell the stories that continue to unfold. And we adapt as circumstances change, we evolve because to do anything else is to ensure certain demise.

At Hiller’s, we enjoy every step of the journey with you, because we are a part of the community. We are a community.

Like my father before me and my sons to come, I believe in the ability to adapt, to make smooth butter out of curdled cream. Times are tough now. We are seemingly in free fall, and the bottom has yet to appear. Yet I know from the histories I’ve read and the ones that I’ve lived that communities that stick together are the ones that survive the worst of storms and the ones who splinter, cease to exist.

When I walk with my Scottish Deerhound Lilly on soft dirt paths, I breathe in the ever-present scent of evergreens. The other day, it occurred to me that their endurance through all seasons is significant and a perfect metaphor for my blog.

But I also recognize the springtime beckoning and the call of Cormorants winging over water. We live in a beautiful place brimming with potential. In our tough times, we are not just defined by one anchor industry; we forget how many different talents live here.

As the poet Carl Sandberg wrote, “The shimmer of lights across a bitter night, the birds singing to their mates in peace, war, peace, hope is an echo, hope ties itself yonder, the spring grass showing itself where least expected…”

Hiller’s is different because we  fervently believe we’re in it together. We aren’t here merely to take; we feel kinship every time you choose to walk through our doors. That’s real; it’s the kind of community that will bring us through these dark times with our souls intact.

(Photos courtesy of Hiller’s customer Madison Christopher www.madisonchristopher.com)

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