“Good food. Quality products. The farmers, the staff, the community needs PCC. Even the world benefits from PCC.” – Edmonds PCC shopper, June 2018
Two years ago, we began surveying PCC customers at checkout. Shoppers are randomly selected every day to tell us how we’re doing by completing an online questionnaire.
We receive hundreds of comments every month. I read each one and share them across our leadership team, highlighting comments — both positive and negative — that stand out to me. I believe this candid and honest feedback is a barometer for how our co-op is performing in market.
While comments range from disappointment over items that were out of stock or that we simply don’t carry — cucumber kimchi, alfalfa sprouts, duct tape — to suggestions on how to better season our made-from-scratch turkey meatloaf, the majority of them share a common theme: trust. As one Fremont shopper put it: “I trust that you have done the leg work to make sure I can feel proud to feed my family the food that we buy in your store.”
That trust wasn’t easily earned. It’s taken our co-op generations to build the relationships with local producers, the credibility in food policy, and the expertise in organic and sustainability standards that ground the trust our members and shoppers hold in us.
We continue to build that trust daily through conversations between staff and shoppers about everything from the unique story behind our purple sprouting broccoli to our decision to stop selling Chinook salmon from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
This annual Co-op Purposes Report is another example of how we strive to continue to earn our members’ and shoppers’ trust. By reflecting on our goals and results, we can offer transparency into our efforts against our social, environmental and financial bottom lines. I think you’ll find that our co-op is healthy and thriving across all three.
To share a few highlights, we achieved 100 percent renewable energy at the end of 2018, through the purchase of renewable energy credits for wind power, and we donated more than 430,000 meals to our neighbors in need, bringing us that much closer to our goal of donating one million meals by 2022.
Gross sales also grew at a healthy rate — 4.6 percent over last year. Burien PCC, which opened in May 2018, exceeded expectations, revealing both the loyalty of our West Seattle shoppers — many of whom have made it their temporary store until we reopen West Seattle PCC later this year — and the enthusiasm of the local community for PCC, our shared values, and the organic, sustainably sourced food we offer.
Looking ahead, our co-op plans to add nearly 500 new jobs to the Puget Sound area by the end of 2020 with new stores in Ballard, Bellevue, Downtown Seattle, Madison Valley and West Seattle; eliminate plastic packaging from our deli by 2022; and work hard every day to, as one shopper encouraged, “Keep taking it to higher ground.
– Cate Hardy, PCC Community Markets CEO