May Hours: Thursday through Monday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

The Harman Tradition

The Harman Tradition
          As told by owner, Maxine Aldrich.

Exceptional quality products and customer service are the foundation for the Harman Tradition. It began in 1954, when John and Kate Harman retired from life in New York City and followed their dream to own a country store to quaint Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. Soon after, John and Kate were presented with a unique opportunity — to start a mail order business. In 1955, a salesman told John that his firm had discovered some cheese that had been “forgotten” for two years. John recognized the potential of selling “aged” cheese and purchased all of it, about a half ton, at 54¢ a pound. John used his advertising expertise to start a mail-order business with that half-ton of Cheese. Word of the magnificent flavor of Harman’s aged cheese began to spread, and soon customers began calling it the “World’s Greatest” Cheddar Cheese.

Photo: John and Cathleen (Kate) Harman sitting on the front porch of their country store in 1956. They looked at 64 country stores all over New England in search of the perfect store for their "retirement." In 1954, they purchased the Sugar Hill Country Store and in 1955, they started the tradition of selling Really-Aged Cheddar in the store and through the mail order.

The key to the quality and taste of Harman’s Cheese is no accident. Each spring, the richest milk is used to make our cheese and then it is aged at least two years to duplicate the perfection of that “forgotten” cheese that launched the business.

Maxine Aldrich

The Harmans enjoyed running their business. They added other unique and unusually good items alongside their distinctive cheddar. Each product met the Harman tradition of old-time quality and good taste at a reasonable cost. The Harmans were also committed to excellent customer service, and enjoying spending time with customers in person and on the phone. Customer satisfaction was always the number one priority.  If there was ever an issue, a replacement or refund was immediately provided.

I started working with the Harmans in 1974 and took as much pride in the business as did John and Kate. The Harmans lived a long, fruitful life in Sugar Hill and passed away in 1980. My husband Bert and I purchased the store in April 1981 and since then, our family continues the Harman Tradition. In 2010, Bert passed away, and I "semi-retired" in 2018.  Today my daughter Brenda is managing the store with my son, Cliff helping out in his "retirement".

It’s been over 66 years and Harman’s Cheese is still offering superior quality Cheddar along with personalized customer service.