PCC Community Markets Announces New Store in Seattle’s Central District
The nation’s largest community-owned food market will open store at 23rd and Union in 2020
(SEATTLE, Jan. 7, 2020) – PCC Community Markets (PCC), the largest community-owned food market in the U.S. and one of Seattle’s original grocers, today announced plans to open in a location recently vacated by New Seasons Market. The site is in Seattle’s Central District at the historic corner of 23rd Avenue and Union Street. The approximately 18,000-square-foot store will open in the first half of 2020 and bring about 100 union jobs to the surrounding community.
“As one of the few remaining locally owned food markets in the Puget Sound, our co-op understands the rich history of the Central District and the historical significance it holds in our city,” said Cate Hardy, PCC Community Markets CEO. “We felt it was important that this location become a grocery store, as promised to the community. As we do with any new PCC store, we will work directly with local individuals and organizations to gain a deeper understanding of how we can best support the community, with the goal of opening the store as soon as possible.”
When the Central District PCC opens this year, it will bring the retailer’s total store count to 14. The co-op remains fully committed and eager to open its Madison Valley location and will also open additional stores in Bellevue and Downtown Seattle.
With each new store, PCC adds about 100 union jobs to the Puget Sound economy. The co-op prioritizes recruiting approximately half of new store staff from the surrounding neighborhoods and brings in the remainder from other PCC stores. The goal is to create deep community connections while also carrying forward the co-op’s culture and values. Currently, PCC employs 1,600 staff across the Puget Sound area.
“This is a huge win for Seattle workers. For nearly 40 years, PCC has been an excellent partner helping raise the bar for grocery industry standards,” said UFCW 21 President Faye Guenther. “The Central District PCC will bring quality union jobs with a written contract that provides workers with health care, a pension they can rely on, and a voice at work. UFCW 21 is excited to work with PCC to ensure that this store reflects the neighborhood’s importance as a center of Seattle’s African American community.”
As part of its decision to take the Central District location, PCC asked that some of its square footage be made available to another retailer to serve the neighborhood. PCC worked closely with the location developer, Lake Union Partners, to ensure that the square footage could benefit the community. The yet-to-be-named business will be a food and beverage establishment and, as with the other Lake Union Partner projects in the area, will have a connection to the Central District.
“We knew it was important to bring to the Central District a grocery partner who would respect the community and all that this location represents,” said Patrick Foley, Co-founder and Principal of Lake Union Partners. “In our previous experience working with PCC, they have always shown a deep regard for the neighborhoods they enter and serve. We are very happy to have them as the anchor neighborhood store at East Union.”
As with all PCC stores, the Central District PCC will celebrate products that are fresh, local, organic, sustainably sourced and seasonal. More than 95 percent of PCC’s produce selection is organic; its meats are 100 percent organic, non-GMO or grass fed; its seafood is sustainably sourced adhering to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch standards; and, whenever possible, the co-op sources its products from local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. Using those same ingredients, PCC chefs make salads, soups, hot entrées and side dishes fresh from scratch daily onsite in the PCC Kitchen.
In addition to attentive and knowledgeable staff, PCC has among the highest product standards in the country. The co-op stocks its shelves with products made without harmful artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, nanotechnology or synthetic biology. It also has one of the cleanest selections of health and body care products, turning away more than 500 ingredients allowed at other retailers.
As a co-op owned by the community, PCC is accountable to its members, not Wall Street or private equity firms. It returns a healthy share of its profits back to its members in the form of an annual dividend, and to the neighborhoods in which it operates through grants, donations, school fundraising, and food bank and grocery rescue programs.
About PCC Community Markets
Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is the nation’s largest community-owned food market with an unmatched enthusiasm for making food from scratch. PCC is a haven for those who share a dedication to fresh, organic, seasonal food that is sustainably sourced from local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. With an active membership of nearly 70,000 households, PCC operates 13 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Ballard, Columbia City, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle. The co-op also plans to open new stores in Bellevue, Madison Valley, Seattle’s Central District and Downtown Seattle.
In 2018, PCC gave nearly 50 percent of after-tax earnings to members and the communities it serves, including schools and nonprofits around the Puget Sound area such as PCC Farmland Trust, FareStart and Ventures.