Veronica Garcia, Hickman's Farms marketing director, sits down with us to talk about egg farming in Arizona, rebranding, and why community involvement is so important.
Tell us a little about your endeavor and its mission.
Hickman’s Family Farms is a family owned and operated business started and grown in rural Arizona. We are local farmers doing good things within a community we love and support. We aim to be the highest-quality egg producer around and do so while also being as earth-friendly as possible through initiatives such as our recycled cartons and our cage-free and organic hen care.
Our mission is simple- we believe that eggs are the most nutritious and affordable protein for anyone, across any age and lifestyle. We aim to enrich the lives of those around us through our product and our involvement in the community. One of the things we are most excited about as we come up on our 75th anniversary is the rebranding that we’ve just announced, that’s why I was brought on in the marketing department here. We are having lots of fun with eggs and kitschy sayings like “To Get Eggs Any Fresher, We’d Have to Give You the Bird” and “One Fresh Mother Clucker” describing our chicken mascot, Funky.
What is your Arizona story? What made you choose Arizona?
Ultimately, Hickman’s is what brought me back to Arizona. I was born and raised in the west valley before moving to Texas for college. Growing up, I was very familiar with Hickman’s eggs— after he retired, my grandfather drove semi-trucks as one of their delivery drivers when the farm was still on 91st Ave and Glendale, right where the University of Phoenix Cardinals stadium is now.
Hickman’s has a deep affinity for Arizona, if you asked one of our owners why they choose to operate here, I’m sure they would tell you because there’s so much to do but also there’s a great community here!
When you started with Hickman’s, what did you hope to accomplish?
When I was brought on in the marketing department, the goal was to tell people the story of Hickman’s. Many people, like my family, have been touched by the company in some way—Sharman did a breakfast at their school, or the family donated to one of their organizations—but we are always finding new ways to be able to tell our community what we’re doing now as a company—things like our cartons or our cage-free. We are doing those things to be good neighbors, to be responsible, so I think a lot of time they go unmentioned. We would like to tell people our story in a fun and engaging way.
Is there something specific about Arizona that inspires what you do?
At Hickman’s, we are always deeply immersed in community initiatives. All of us are huge supporters of education and empowering local teachers because we believe as a company that teachers are helping raise up the next generation of the Arizona workforce. As a company based here, we know that the next generation of Arizona is important and needs to be invested in.
What are some of the challenges that come with running and growing a business?
Consumer demand plays a huge part in growing our business. We always have to be conscious of the changing market preferences while also being able to keep eggs affordable so that families of any size are able to buy Hickman’s eggs. There is a big push at grocery stores for local products, and we’re very happy to be the go-to local egg because our customers know that local means fresh and we are able to provide the highest quality eggs, laid fresh daily right here in their state.
Let’s talk about the new 5 Cs – how do they fit into what you’re doing?
Of course being farmers here in Arizona, cattle, and cotton related to us heavily. We partner with the Arizona Cardinals to put together a program called From Farm to Football, along with the Arizona Farm Bureau. Both cotton and dairy farmers have taken on months of that curriculum, which is provided for free to any local teachers who would like to participate and teaches students about agriculture in their state from an Arizona Cardinals player.
As for the new AZ5Cs, commerce and community play a big part in what we do every day. From programs like our From Farm to Football to then being able to partner with local food banks to be able to feed hungry people in our state—we are surrounded by a diverse network of people who keep us deeply rooted in our community.
Is there a C you would like to add?
What does the future hold for Hickman’s and how has Arizona helped make you successful?
We hope to keep expanding. We have just launched exciting initiatives operationally, such as our cage-free hen houses which provide hens the ability to roam freely in their climate-controlled barns and do things chickens like to do, like dust-bathe and have privacy while laying their eggs. We also have our 100% recycled cartons which came out in 2016. These are made out of post-consumer plastic and can be recycled over and over—this is the first egg carton of its kind! As for our marketing, we are gearing up for our 75th anniversary next year, who knows what kind of fun taglines that will come with—keep your eyes out!
The community around Hickman’s is what made it successful, we have people who’ve let us know they’ve been buying Hickman’s eggs for generations and they remember driving out to the farm to pick them up! As a company, we are so thankful for our Arizona neighbors who have supported us for almost 75 years in the valley, we always hope to be able to give back and feed those people.
Hickman's Family Farm
6515 Jackrabbit Trail