In the sixties, shortly after finishing college, Herb and Linda Trubitz made their way out west from New York. Herb’s childhood friend, Larry Dentz had just done the same, and they all wound up in Cottonwood, AZ. Together with Larry’s wife Katherine, they bought some barrels of grains, and sold scoopfuls to others in the neighborhood for just a smidge of a profit. Without an initial plan to start anything serious, Mount Hope Foods saw its humble beginnings. The name Mount Hope comes from Mount Hope Place, the street in the Bronx that Herb and Larry lived on as kids.
The business took shape over the next few years as a sort of un-official co-op. People could even come by after hours and help themselves, leaving payment in a basket. By the mid-eighties, Mount Hope had become a proper independent grocery store, and a community staple.
A chef from one of the high-end resorts in nearby Sedona, tiring of the 20 minute drive over to Mount Hope for ingredients every week, finally asked Herb if he would start shipping orders of spices and grains to him in larger quantities. Mount Hope Wholesale, the sister company to the grocery store, was born.
Herb grew this business at first in his own backyard, reaching out to other chefs and restaurants right here in the Verde Valley, up the road in Flagstaff, and over the hill in Prescott. There was a strong market for fresh ingredients, great service, and an awesome personality. Mount Hope kept growing, enjoying the fruits of an honest business model, a phenomenal staff, and quality products, with Herb ever at the front of the charge.
Now, nearly 40 years on, and with his daughters and their husbands at the helm of Mount Hope Wholesale, we sadly say goodbye. Herb was an incredible husband, father, father-in-law, grandpa, and friend. He was a gracious and generous boss, mentor and roll-model. He had a quick wit, a great sense of humor, and a passion for great food. He leaves a big hole, and some big shoes to fill.
We love you Herb.