Patricio Barrera (HE/HIM)

Meat Coordinator | Central District

When Patricio Barrera tells you he’s worked at every PCC store, he isn’t exaggerating. The Meat Coordinator started at Issaquah in 2014, jumping over to View Ridge, Redmond and Columbia City — just to name a few — to cover positions as needed, before landing at Central District PCC, his current home.

He says his two decades of experience at wholesale companies and large supermarkets prior to PCC taught him several things, including how to maintain meticulous precision and the importance of attention to detail.

It also made him realize he prefers PCC’s noncorporate vibe and close-knit culture. “Here, you’re treated like a person, not a number,” he says, which is exactly the work environment PCC aims to provide.

Patricio prepping salmon

6:00 a.m.

When Patricio arrives, his priority is making sure everything is clean. Then, he gets the morning’s wild-caught salmon fillets and organic chicken breast ready for the full-service and self-serve cases. Seafood goes out first, since he knows his regulars will be coming in shortly for the freshest — and best — selection.

6:45 a.m.

Patricio learned early on that, “People eat with their eyes,” so he takes extra care in the presentation of his cases, checking dates for freshness and quality, and displaying items so they look irresistible.

From there, he moves to the breakfast side, rotating in bacon and sausage links, and answering questions as needed. One of the most common questions Patricio gets asked is, “Where does your meat come from?” PCC prioritizes local ranchers, so their butchers know exactly where the animals were raised, how they were treated and what they were fed. These high standards apply to their seafood as well — everything PCC sells comes from responsible sources as defined by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program and the co-op’s more specific PCC Chinook Sourcing Standard.

9:00 a.m.

A few days a week, Patricio tends to the meat department solo; however, on the days his coworker is in, he’ll stock the freezers with grass-fed rib eyes and New York strips, and get the in-house products they make from scratch arranged in the full-service case.

Patricio racks up a lot of hours, but he also racks up a ton of time off thanks to PCC’s generous vacation and sick time accrual policy, noting, “You accumulate vacation very quickly.”

11:45 a.m.

Each day is different, whether it’s jumping in to load a truck with donations for neighborhood food bank partners or placing orders. Depending on what his customers are buying, or what’s on sale, he’ll need to order items moving the fastest to make sure his cases are stocked every minute of the day.

And when the store’s neighborhood food bank partners arrive to make their weekly donation pickup, Patricio jumps in to help load the truck.

Patricio packing food for the food bank

1:00 p.m.

The meat department is constantly busy, so when Patricio finally takes a well-deserved lunch break, he relaxes with a slice of pizza, bag of chips and a sparkling Topo Chico.

2:30 p.m.

It’s hard to believe, but Central District PCC is even busier in the evenings, so before he clocks out, Patricio does what he can to make things easier for the late-night shift. That means breaking down boxes and taking out trash, restocking and rotating cases, and keeping a fastidious list of everything he’s tackled during his shift.

When he’s not at work, Patricio enjoys hanging out with his partner and 12-year-old son, camping, skateboarding, practicing Taekwondo, or dining out at one of South Park’s neighborhood restaurants. He also loves to cook at home, making pizzas, gnocchi, and rib eyes with black pepper, served medium rare.

Patricio checking orders

Our meat and seafood offerings are a cut above the rest thanks to our Meat Coordinators. They manage all Meat Department operations, from scheduling staff and monitoring productivity to budgeting and inventory. They ensure the department is a safe environment for team members and shoppers alike.