Contributed Photo

SOLEDAD — Roy Harmon is legally blind, but that doesn’t stop him from owning and overseeing a food service operation at the Salinas Valley State Prison and Correctional Training Facility in Soledad.

Harmon and his team serve 1,200 breakfasts and lunches each weekday for employees; 3,000 for visitors to the prison on weekends.

Despite a childhood injury that left him partially blind, Harmon learned from an early age to navigate life without seeking special exceptions. His parents insisted he attend public schools and expected him to adapt and thrive despite his limited vision.

Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Harmon moved west to northern California in his early 20s, completed extensive food service training, and knew he found his passion from the time he began overseeing his first cafeteria for the Department of Defense’s naval engineering facility in San Bruno, Calif.

Though the cafeteria’s previous manager had left it in a state of disrepair, Harmon quickly turned it around. He credits the military’s emphasis on organization and presentation for instilling in him the importance of exceeding even the highest standards.

“Right after opening, they told me it was time for my first ‘white glove test,’” Harmon says. “That really left a strong impression on me — it showed me the importance of making sure every aspect of my business is always in ship shape.”

Harmon firmly believes in the importance of being a hands-on business operator, not only because it keeps him busy, but because it also helps him keep his finger on the pulse of what his customers like, and how to best support every member of his staff.

“What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Sit back, retire, and do nothing?” he asks. “I like working, and like doing it seven days a week. It’s just the way I am and will always be until I can’t work anymore.” 

Harmon is now getting ready to part of a team that is bidding for the contract to provide food service for the Marine Corps bases on the West Coast.

Previous articleAll-League Coastal team announced
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here