2023 Second Quarter Update
In our quarterly update, PCC CEO & President Krish Srinivasan shares his thoughts on the four pillars of the organization and the state of the co-op.
Dear Co-op Member,
Thank you for taking the time to read this — summer is here, and I have no doubt that there are already enough fun things competing for your attention here in the Pacific Northwest. As someone who was raised in the tropics, I never cease to be struck by the wonderful evening light during these months. I am reminded of why my family, and I now call Seattle home.
Since the release of our Co-op Purposes Report earlier this spring, we have heard from many of you, and we deeply appreciate your collective engagement on all that our co-op is experiencing right now. You’ve shared a lot of support for PCC’s mission (now in its 70th year!), concern for our financial well-being, and above all, a desire to help. I addressed these topics at our recent member meet-and-greet event and want to touch on some of them here as well.
We think about PCC’s immediate and future opportunities by drawing upon four pillars that are meant to guide everything that we spend time, energy and money on:
- Being a great place to work
- Reaching more people with our mission
- Operating great stores
- Doing more good in our community
Each of these pillars is important to the work we do here at the co-op, but right now, being a great place to work is uniquely so — our staff are the heart and soul of PCC, and essential to our future success. We’ve begun working in partnership with UFCW 3000 (the union that close to 90% of our employees belong to) on renewing their labor contract, and this will go into effect in January 2024. We know that by providing a collective package of wages and benefits that most effectively reflect our co-op’s values, we will be doing right by our staff and our members — together, we are the owners of the largest food cooperative in the country. I look forward to an outcome that leaves everyone satisfied with why they work and shop at PCC.
We are also excited about a host of new offerings designed to reach more people. In stores, we have added and reactivated several fresh food options including sushi and self-serve taquerias! We have increased the selection of products in every department, and recently added DoorDash to our digital shopping and delivery experience. We are also reaching more people through a range of community partnerships; these include more perks for members like the PCC Partner Program, added support for sustainable agriculture and community food security, and events to introduce our customers to artists and leaders in the neighborhoods we serve.
In the face of an uncertain economy, and perhaps a lasting change in how people shop for food following the pandemic, we are learning more about what matters most to you. We know that many of you are focused on health and wellness, while others love learning about products (and techniques) in-store from our amazing staff. Some of you shop at PCC because how you eat is deeply integrated with your values — and you know that every dollar spent with us supports something deeply purposeful right here in the Pacific Northwest.
Whatever your reason, we are grateful that you chose us. And, thanks to you, we remain more committed than ever to the belief that our core tenets — combining co-op principles with a triple bottom line business model — deliver something uniquely valuable at a pivotal time in our community.
We continue to reassess all aspects of how we run the business to ensure that we are operating great stores. We are finding ways to be more efficient, and to increase profitability by trimming costs, improving processes at the stores and in the office, and finding smart ways to deliver value to customers while reducing the overall cost of doing business.
We believe that everything we do to strengthen our business model ultimately enables us to devote even more time, energy and money towards our purpose — doing more good in the community our triple bottom line model commits us to people (starting with our staff members), planet and profit. For PCC, this means identifying the most efficient and effective ways to serve our communities. Recent examples include expanding our Growing for Good program into central Washington, certifying two new stores under the Living Building Challenge, and launching our Inclusive Trade program.
Each of these partnerships successfully intertwined financial resources, relationships, knowledge, skills, systems and tools in the pursuit of a purpose that is important to all of us, and reflects the kind of collaboration that sets PCC — and the cooperative model — uniquely apart in its approach to serving the community.
Finally, to address what some of you have asked, in various ways — how can I help? With the firm belief that we are better together, I invite you to lean in with us.
Share your ideas. Your ideas matter and can help, so please share them. While we may not be able to act on each one, strong ideas come from every part of our co-op community, and many small actions can result in significant impact.
Shop PCC more! Every dollar you spend at our co-op ensures that you’ll not only have amazing food for your table, but also contributes to caring for our staff members and building an inclusive and environmentally responsible food system. So, please consider visiting your neighborhood PCC more frequently (and invite your friends and family to do the same — and to become members)!
As always, we appreciate everything you do to further the spirit and impact of cooperative principles.
CEO & President