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PCC Community Markets

PCC has been part of the Puget Sound area for nearly 70 years, and we thought it was time to check in and see what they have to say for themselves. Kristen Woody, Director of Communications for PCC Community Markets, answered our questions.

SD!: How does PCC differ from other grocery stores?

KW: Founded in Seattle in the early 50s, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is the largest community-   owned food market in the U.S. and maintains its roots through shared values with the co-op membership. Unlike other grocery stores, a chunk of our profits is returned directly to our member-owners in member discounts - as well as in grants to the communities we serve.

Anyone can shop at the co-op locations, but members who pay a one-time fee of $60 earn a lifetime membership with exclusive access to in-store offers and unique events, discounts from like-minded partner businesses, the ability to earn toward a potential annual dividend and the opportunity to guide PCC by voting in the co-op's Annual Election determining the Board of Trustees.

We view all aspects of our business through a sustainable lens, including providing safe and transparent products, advocating for sustainable food systems, designing green stores, and promoting healthy and sustainable communities. Since our beginning, we have been dedicated to fresh, organic, seasonal food that is sustainably sourced from local producers, farmers, ranchers, and fishers.

 

SD!: Why the name change from Natural Markets to Community Markets?

KW: PCC made the decision to change our name from PCC Natural Markets to PCC Community Markets in 2017 to reinforce our longtime community legacy and make it - quite literally - our middle name.

SD! PCC was founded in 1953. What's changed over the years?

KW: Over the past nearly 70 years, PCC has evolved and grown with the community, but our priorities haven't changed. Our mission is to ensure that good food nourishes the communities we serve, while cultivating vibrant, local, organic food systems. In everything, we strive to inspire and advance the health and well-being of people, their communities, and our planet.

SD!: Organic is a big thing, yet PCC recipes often use things like vegetable oil (polyunsaturated fats or maybe highly refined), and which can have low smoke points. Are new recipes created using better oils? Your in-store kitchens use organic as much as possible, does that include oil? What else can you share about in-store kitchens?

KW: Every day, our delis make original recipes from scratch using fresh, seasonal ingredients and providing a simple and convenient meal solution. Our delis offer 300 made-from-scratch items that are all original PCC recipes using the same high-quality standards we use to decide which products hit our shelves.

Every food product in our stores is screened against criteria based on feedback from members and shoppers, and evaluated by our quality standards experts. We don't allow harmful artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, products of nanotechnology, or hundreds of other ingredients found in foods at other markets.

Readers can learn more about our product standards at www.pccmarkets.com/sustainability/honest-transparent-products/ or in the May issue of PCC's publication, Sound Consumer.

SD! Tell us about PCC cooking classes.

KW: We believe that using real ingredients to create flavorful dishes is the only way to eat and our Cooking School program inspires and empowers that philosophy through hands-on classes. Led by culinary experts like local bakery owner Charlie Dunmire of Deep Sea Sugar, Seattle-based cookbook author Aran Goyoaga, and many more, PCC's classes are available both online and in-person offering flexibility to hone your skills from the comfort of your own kitchen.

We also offer a range of kids' camps and classes, from classes specific to holidays, such as Halloween favorite "Monster Munchies" for the youngest of chefs, to more complex skills-building classes, like teen baking workshops for older kids. For aspiring chefs who want a more immersive experience, school-break classes occur on a rolling base with focuses like food from around the world, a global cookie jar, and sweet and savory tarts.

SD!: Along with healthy foods, you also design "green stores."

KW: PCC has been designing our buildings to reduce environmental impact for over 30 years, achieving LEED certification at many of our stores and some stores even going beyond basic certifications.

PCC's Ballard, West Seattle, and Bellevue locations have met the world's most rigorous green building standards established by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), to become Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal-Certified. While much of the work done to meet the LBC certification is not obvious to shoppers, each store features stunning pieces by local artists with the purpose of connecting shoppers to the spirit of the neighborhood.

SD!: PCC also offers delivery, correct?

KW: PCC members and shoppers can use Instacart and Shipt to have groceries dropped off at their homes - sometimes in under one hour.

SD!: PCC gives back to local communities. How does that work?

KW: With an active membership of more than 100,000 members, we embrace stewardship, act with integrity, and take action because we care. We're dedicated to preserving local farmland and we foster high standards by partnering with Northwest producers, farmers, ranchers, and makers.

As reported in our 2021 Co-op Purposes Report, the co-op donated nearly 2 million pounds of food and goods and nearly $1 million through donations, in-kind assistance, and funds raised by its community to support local organizations. PCC also provided more than 1.5 million meals to local neighborhoods in 2021. Readers can learn more about our giving efforts in our 2021 giving announcement in our news room.

SD! What does President & CEO Krish Srinivasan see for the future? (He was PCC's Chief Financial Officer prior to being appointed President/CEO.)

KW: Since being appointed CEO in January, Krish has introduced a framework for the co-op's focus areas and what we strive for; to be a great place to work, to operate excellent stores, to do good in our communities, and to reach more people. Krish is looking forward to continuing to connect and learn from our staff, co-op membership and local communities in the pursuit of our goals.

 

May 2022

www.pccmarkets.com

Ballard
1451 NW 46th St
Seattle, WA 98107
206-538-0130

Fremont
600 N 34th St
Seattle, WA 98103
206-632-6811

Bellevue
11615 NE 4th St
Bellevue, WA 98004
425-615-0295

Green Lake
7504 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
206-525-3586

Bothell
22621 Bothell-Everett Hwy
Bothell, WA 98021
425-492-0122

Green Lake Village
450 NE 71st St
Seattle, WA 98115
206-729-5075

Burien
15840 1st Ave S, Ste 102
Burien, WA 98148
206-708-6908

Issaquah
1810 12th Ave NW
Issaquah, WA 98027
425-369-1222

Central District
2230 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122
206-605-6053

Kirkland
430 Kirkland Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-828-4622

Columbia City
3610 South Edmunds St
Seattle, WA 98118
206-466-6182

Redmond
11435 Avondale Rd NE
Redmond, WA 98052
425-285-1400

Downtown
1320 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206-408-4260

View Ridge
6514 40th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
206-526-7661

Edmonds
9803 Edmonds Way
Edmonds, WA 98020
425-275-9036

West Seattle
2749 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
206-485-7185


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