2018 Annual Members’ Meeting

PCC’s Annual Members’ Meeting took place on June 6, 2018 at the Swedish Cultural Center. Sandy Voit, the Board Co-Chair, and Cate Hardy, CEO, reported on the state of the co-op with updates on our social, environmental and financial results. Several PCC nonprofit and producer partners joined the stage to talk about their work, PCC’s contributions and our combined impact in the community. Members voted for recipients of PCC’s Community Grant Program, asked questions during the member Q & A, and met and mingled with members of the Board, Nominating Committee and leadership team. Elections results and Community Grant recipients were announced at the end of the meeting. A $4,000 Community Grant for Environmental Stewardship was awarded to Got Green, and a $4,000 Community Grant for Social Action was awarded to Washington Kids in Transition. All Board of Trustees candidates were elected for a three-year term, and all Nominating Committee candidates were elected for a two-year term.


Board Chair Remarks

Tonight, at 8 pm, the second annual Co-op Purposes Report goes live online on the PCC website.

This is one way to demonstrate to our members how important it is to be accountable to you.

The Report is another example of our focus on principles that matter.

While the traditional year-end report focuses primarily on finances, our co-op adheres to a triple bottom line, which means social and environment goals are as important as our finances.

We are focusing on how PCC does our business in the future.

The retail grocery business has changed rapidly in the past year, becoming more challenging with more competitors entering our marketplace.

We are laying the groundwork for PCC to grow in this marketplace, with our newest location, Burien, opening just two weeks ago, and additional stores coming in the next three years to Madison Valley, Ballard, Bellevue, and downtown Seattle, in addition to reopening our West Seattle store.

We are blessed in that we are a co-op and responsible to our members, not to Wall Street — we can focus on principles that matter.

When we closed the West Seattle store for redevelopment a year ago, co-op management offered roles within the co-op to each of the staff, to keep them with PCC.

In traditional retail, a more common practice would be to eliminate those roles and lay off staff.

We continue to seek better ways to be accountable to our members for the full scope of our co-op’s mission to create a cooperative, sustainable environment for our members and patrons, in which the natural and organic supply chains thrive.

This report provides an opportunity to see this. Within, you’ll find new goals that management is setting in partnership with the Board of Trustees to help our co-op achieve our mission.

We are able to do so because, you, our members, support the co-op in many ways.

So, thank you for joining PCC, shopping at your stores, and attending tonight…


CEO Remarks

Thank you, Sandy, and thanks to all of you for coming to PCC’s Annual Members’ Meeting.

I’m Cate Hardy, the CEO of PCC Community Markets.

One of the best parts of this job is reading the many letters and emails I get from members like you – maybe even some of you – sharing your thoughts, ideas and feelings about what our co-op is doing.

Last year, I got feedback from members on the renaming of our co-op, the amount of plastic used in our stores, and the use of palm oil in our deli – just to name a few of the most popular topics.

We also solicited feedback about last year’s annual member meeting from those of you who attended. You told us you were hungry for more information about our co-op. You said you wanted to be inspired — and that you aspired to be part of something bigger with a mission to do good.

We’ve taken that feedback to heart. Hopefully, before the meeting started, you voted to help us select our community grant recipients this quarter, tried some of the made-from-scratch snacks from our PCC kitchen and sampled our private label yogurt made by Pure Éire Dairy from Othello, Washington.

Pure Éire is also part of our producer panel this evening, which also includes River Valley Organics, Bodyceuticals and Macrina Bakery. They’ll share their thoughts on the craft, care and passion necessary to bring organic products to our members and shoppers.

As you all know, helping the organic supply chain thrive is a core element of our co-op’s mission. These partners and many others are playing a vital role in our efforts to increase access to organic and natural foods and health and beauty items. We are excited for them to share their stories with you tonight.

We’ve also invited The PCC Farmland Trust, FareStart, and Ventures, three of our nonprofit partners, to give a presentation about their impact in the community – which, when you think about it, through our co-op’s giving, is also your impact on the community. Last year, we returned $7.3 million to our community, members, and staff.

Another thing you all tell me about in your letters and emails is the special relationships you have with many of our store staff. Our PCC staff play such an important role in our co-op – from their knowledge about our products to the relationships they create with our shoppers and members in each of our 11 stores.

In 2017, we worked with our union to enhance our long-standing commitment to our store staff. We increased wages across all staff levels and ensured that our co-op will continue to offer outstanding benefits to all staff who work 28 hours a week or more.

Perhaps the thing our members most appreciate, though, are our product standards. For most of our 65-year history, our product standards have been what sets PCC apart. Many members tell us, our doors are like a filter and they know and trust that nothing makes it to our shelves without the meticulous scrutiny of our merchandising team and Quality Standards Committee.

This trust is incredibly important to us, and in 2017, we worked tirelessly to keep the conversation around food transparency alive in the face of changes at the federal level. We aren’t resting on our laurels, and in fact, we are committed to raising our standards even higher in the years to come.

Each of the examples I’ve shared connect to our social and environmental bottom lines. As Sandy mentioned, these are made possible by a continued commitment to a strong financial bottom line.

Last year, our co-op had 275.5 million dollars in sales. This was down 0.4 percent from 2016 due to the closing in May 2017 of the West Seattle store for redevelopment.

Our same store sales – or the sales from our stores that have been open more than a year – were up 1.7 percent. While this number seems small, the accomplishment is large given the industry trend, which was down year over year, and the increasingly competitive Seattle grocery market.

Our co-op’s net income was 3.4 million dollars, or 1.2 percent of net sales. These dollars are invested back into the co-op to support remodels, new programs and other investments.

Often in business, success is measured by numbers and metrics. That’s certainly how the value of a company is determined, and why so much attention is placed on financial reports and quarterly earnings.

But the truth is, the real measure of an organization is what happens outside the metrics. It’s the things that often can’t be measured that are equally impactful, like how we treat each other, what we stand for, who we support and where we focus our energy.

Hopefully, tonight, you’ll get a sense for each of these, and you’ll leave inspired by the work our co-op is doing, and confident that you are, indeed, part of something bigger that is doing good in the world.

Now, before I introduce Brenna Davis, our VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility, I need to announce that voting is officially closed. At the end of the meeting, after Q&A, the Secretary of the Election, Freya Brier, will announce the results.

And, with that, please join me in welcoming Brenna Davis.


Contact the board

Email us at board@pccmarkets.com. Postal mail should go to the Co-op Office.