Harps Announces New Director Of Meat and Seafood Operations

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Harps Foods Stores Inc. of Springdale has named longtime employee Layne Chastain its new director of meat and seafood operations.

The previous director, Carey Otwell, recently took an executive position with Tennessee-based Laurel Grocery Co.

Chastain started his new job Nov. 10.

“As an employee-owned company, we are thrilled to be able to fill this critical position from within,” Harps president Kim Askew said in a company news release. “Layne Chastain has worked his way from the bottom to the top position in our meat department by demonstrating a great work ethic and an unrelenting willingness to learn and adapt to a changing marketplace. We expect great things in this department under his leadership.”

Chastain started with Harps 37 years ago as an apprentice meat cutter at Harps in Mountain Home.  He was promoted to the market manager position at Harps in Yellville in 1988 and was named Meat Manager of the Year five times for his outstanding achievements at the Yellville location. 

In 2005, Chastain was promoted to meat merchandiser, a position he held until 2014 when he was promoted to category manager of meat and seafood operations.

Harps is the largest employee-owned company headquartered in Arkansas and currently operates 79 stores in northern and central Arkansas, southern Missouri and eastern Oklahoma. 

The company’s 80th store is scheduled to open Dec. 9 in Bellefonte, just southeast of Harrison.