Rising Above the Competition

Bright lights, pyramids of strawberries, wide aisles and signs bemoaning the sorry state of conventional farming.

Kitschy fonts, benevolent store brands, the feeling of a country market stand.

Flash and jazz, tall ceilings with visible ductwork, narrow aisles and dark colors. A circus stream of we’re-everything-they’re-not. Flash in the pan, here today, gone tomorrow.

And the typical stores: white-white-white light, no particular personality or ambience, just get-it-done service and selection. The requisite items. The expected. Accessible. Everything-in-one-fell-swoop.

“There are so many groceries in Michigan,” Melissa Castleman remarked when she visited her parents in September. The Connecticut-based travel, food and wine writer came home to familiar streets and soothing routes. “You have no idea how hard it is to find good food where I live,” she said. “I wish I could transplant just one of your great groceries to my corner of Connecticut.”

Looking around at the choices for grocery shopping here in southeastern Michigan, I realized Melissa was right – there ARE many. But you know I think you should choose Hiller’s.

Every store opens its doors with a story. Every effort aims to convert the masses to a particular way of thinking. And it works for a while.

Then there’s an e. coli outbreak. Or the meat is bad. Or the prices soar. Or they just don’t have everything you need at this very moment.

Or you’re not quite convinced that organic is absolutely essential. Or you want Pampers disposable diapers instead of earth-mother ones. Or you want to stroll along the aisles, feeling in some inexplicable way like you’ve come home, where the smell of handmade something floats on the air.

Every Hiller’s store is designed to aesthetically relate to its surrounding community. Our story is a universal one – of family, of quality, of careful selection and staying the course.

There are grocery stores everywhere in metro Detroit these days. In every location where you find a Hiller’s, you don’t have to go more than a mile to find a different store.

I want you to choose Hiller’s because you know you’ll never buy tainted tomatoes, bacteria-riddled spinach, spoiled meat or farmed fish from China in my stores. Because every person in a red shirt will answer your questions and fulfill your food desires.

Because it’s hard to feel at home in a busy, scatter-cat world and when you walk into a Hiller’s, you’ll find that unique combination of comfort and invigoration, a silent message that for the next 45 minutes of shopping, everything will be alright.


Rising Above the Competition — 3 Comments

  1. Mr. Hiller,
    This blog captures the essence of what Hiller’s is about. I began working for the company 5 years ago, when I began my college studies. Now, as my time winds down in both, I look back and realize that 5 years ago, I didn’t even know what a Delmonico Steak was. Now, I know how to cook one, and can pass along this information to our friendly and dedicated customers. I have never worked with or experienced a more knowledgeable staff in my working and consuming years. I appreciate all that Hiller’s has done for me by way of working with my education schedule and providing me with a decent wage and benefits so I can concentrate on school, not where next month’s rent is going to come from.

    Joe Karasin,
    5 Mile Hiller’s Meat Department

  2. Jim,
    My husband and I have been fans of your stores for at least 15 years. The meat and produce is fresher, better and more varied than any other markets we have been in. When we moved from West Bloomfield and the store at 14 and Haggerty, we tried all the groceries in our new area. None gave us the same quality for the price. So we drive many miles to shop at the one on Orchard Lake road now. Wish you were closer but we are hooked on the great food and wonderful staff.

    Also very glad you are doing the website and newsletter. It is a great way to reach those of us who are online all day.


  3. Jim-
    I have been shopping at your Commerce store for 12 years. I’ve always lived closer to other grocery stores, but none have the quality meat, produce, seafood, and other items I’ve come to count on. I also recognize many of the employees (and they know me and my kids, too!), and I like that I see familiar faces when I shop every week. I just wanted to commend you on having such a nice store – it’s always clean, and well-stocked and the staff is great.

    Thanks for all you do!

Leave a Reply