Harvard and Floy Harp founded Harps in 1930. They started the first store with $500 in cash that Harvard had saved while working in the citrus industry in California. The first store was Harps Cash Grocery and was located in Springdale, AR. Over the next 34 years they remodeled, expanded, and moved to bigger buildings as their business continued to grow.
By the early 1950’s, Harvard and Floy’s oldest son, Don, had joined them in the business. In 1964 Harps became a small chain when the second store was opened in North Springdale.
By the mid 1960’s, Don’s brothers, Gerald and Reland, were also very involved in managing the Company with Reland handling the accounting duties and Gerald the operations. Don became CEO and President in 1968 at the death of his father and continued to guide Harps with the help of his brothers. In the early 80’s, Reland retired, and in 1995, Don retired, and Gerald Harp assumed the duties of CEO and President. In 2000, Gerald retired as Chairman and CEO and Roger Collins was named CEO. In 2016, Roger stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Kim Eskew, the President, but continued to serve as Chairman of the Board. In 2018, Roger retired and Kim accepted the role as Chairman in addition to President and CEO.
In 2001, the Company did a leveraged buy-out with the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) purchasing outstanding stock from the family and management. Since becoming employee-owned, the stock price has increased from $27 per share in 2001 to $445 per share at the end of fiscal 2018. Harps is the largest employee-owned company headquartered in Arkansas and the 30th largest in the United States.