Andra and John Mobley, owners of A&J Market in Skamania, have been named the 2022-23 Retailer of the Year by the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA).
The award, presented at a surprise event at the store Thursday, recognizes Mobleys’ commitment to the food industry and their business leadership. The honor also recognizes the Mobleys’commitment to the prosperity, ethics, and image of the independent food industry and WFIA.
“Tucked away in one of the most scenic and beautiful communities of Washington, Andra and John Mobley have built a thriving business and become an integral part of the Stevenson community,” said Hetrick. “A&J Market exemplifies the spirit of the independent grocer. Their dedication to both their staff and the community at large is reflected in everything they do. It is an honor to celebrate them and for all they do for this community.”
Although Andra grew up in the grocery industry – her father owned a store in Oregon – neither she nor John were planning to run a store. The two moved to Skamania in 1995 and bought what was then known as Ann’s Food Fair. Twenty-eight years and one pandemic later, the couple has built a successful business, but has also helped others open retail businesses, too.
Working together, Andra and John haver eturned more than $300,000 back to the community. The store has several different charitable programs and supports other organized giving activities, including the local food bank and downtown association. They also actively support local first responders, school programs, youth sports and various other local nonprofits.
“It’s clear that both John and Andrago out of their way to help others around them, including other grocers. During the pandemic, when a neighboring community could not get necessary products, John and Andra shared what they had available,” said Hetrick. “This speaks to who they are, not only as business leaders, but as individuals as well.”
Employees of A&J are as committed to the store as the Mobleys. Three of the employees have been with the store since it first opened. About a dozen employees have been on staff for more than 10 years; five other employees have been on staff for more than 20 years.
“The employee support for this store says so much about the Mobleys and how invested they are in their people and the community,” added Hetrick. “WFIA is a stronger organization with members like John and Andra Mobley.”
PHOTO: WFIAPresident & CEO Tammie Hetrick (back row) and Ray Sprinkle of URM Stores(far right) present John and Andra Mobley with WFIA’s 2022-23 Retailer of the Year Award. The presentation was a surprise ceremony held April 13 at A&J Market in Stevenson. (Photo courtesy WFIA)