Two years before Arizona became a state–1910 to be exact–Najeeb Bashas and his family made their first footprints in the desert clay of Congress Junction. One hundred and ten years later, Najeeb’s descendants are continuing to make their mark on Arizona. His children opened the first Bashas’ grocery in 1932. Today, his descendants own and operate over 120 locations around the state. Bashas’ Family of Stores has grown to include Food City, AJ’s Fine Food, and more, but each location is still specifically laid out to best accommodate the unique needs of the neighborhood it serves. Bashas’ is proud to be Arizona’s hometown grocer, and today they show that pride in the positive impact they make on the environment.
They began recycling in the early 1970’s, and they now recycle everything from plastic bottles to shopping carts. Each year, their expanded recycling program keeps 723,000 pounds of shrink-wrap, 175,000 pounds of plastic grocery bags, and 14,400 tons of cardboard out of landfills. That equates to more cardboard recycled annually than the weight of the Eiffel Tower. To ensure nothing goes to waste, the Bashas’ Grocery Rescue Program donates food that is nearing its shelf life to local food banks. With an eye on sustainability for the future, Bashas’ is constantly seeking out new ways to reduce waste and save energy.
Through their partnership with Salt River Project (SRP), as local power and water company, Bashas’ optimizes its operations to be as energy-efficient as possible. SRP is focused on energy-saving strategies that provide sustainable solutions in the commercial sector. As part of their collaboration, Bashas’ switched all of their old light bulbs for new, energy-efficient LEDs. Not only does this keep their grocery aisles light and bright, it also saves the power-equivalence of over 550 average American homes every year. In 2017, they installed a low-impact, sustainable thermal energy storage system in their Phoenix distribution center. Along with the significant energy savings from this revolutionary equipment, Bashas’ is reducing energy consumption by shifting the distribution to Arizona’s cooler night-time hours. As Bashas’ makes strides toward sustainability, they also give back to their neighbors.
Checkout areas promising “Always Friendly, At Your Service,” are prominent features in their stores, and Bashas’ lives up to their promise. Since the 1970’s, they have given more than $100 million back to their neighborhoods through a “charity of the month” program. They employ over 10,500 fellow Arizonians, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, safety is their primary concern. Bashas’ provides complimentary disposable masks and gloves and takes proactive measures to protect their community. Bashas’ has been with their neighbors since the beginning, and they promise to conduct compassionate business for the years to come.
Bashas’ CEO, Trey Bashas, told the Salt River Project, “Arizona’s not just where we do business – it’s our home. We work here, live here, and raise our families here. We’re fully invested in making sure we’re good stewards of our environment.” Najeeb Bashas’ descendants are doing their part to protect Arizona for future generations. One-hundred and ten years after his arrival, Bashas’ family is now just as much a part of the state as the land where he first set food.