Members-only events open up new experiences to create community

By Heather Snavely

This article was originally published in March 2020

Members-only Wine tasting event

Members-only events are a cornerstone of any co-op. For most, these take the shape of annual meetings held only once a year.

In reimagining the PCC Member Benefit program, the team realized—and member focus groups and research confirmed — that there was an opportunity to do something different. What if we could bring members together more frequently over a shared love of food and PCC’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility?

This approach was tested with the opening of the Burien store in 2018. A week after the store opened, a members-only wine and tasting of sustainably sourced oysters was held in the classroom. The response was so overwhelming that the co-op held similar events for the openings of the West Seattle and Ballard PCC stores last year.

At West Seattle, nearly 50 members sampled local cheeses paired with exclusive PCC wines. Special guest and local artist Celeste Cooning took questions about her art installation in the store, made of reclaimed boat sails and nautical rope. The artwork is part of the co-op’s pursuit of Living Building Petal Certification for the West Seattle location.

Meanwhile, following the Ballard opening, more than 20 members got the unique chance to pair wine with a sample of clam chowder from the new PCC restaurant in the Ballard store. The chowder is made to order and prepared with the same local, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients found in every PCC aisle.

This year, the co-op will continue to hold members-only events like these each quarter. The first gathering of the year was a wine and cheese tasting at the Redmond PCC on Feb. 11. Future event ideas include a coffee tasting with PCC Coffee producer Tony’s Coffee, a possible cider harvest and more.

To complement these events, the PCC Board of Trustees will continue to host quarterly meet-and-greets where members can ask questions, listen to presentations on topics of interest, and get to know the leaders of the co-op.

Don’t want to miss an event or other important member information? Make sure you’ve updated your member account with your most current email address. Interested in RSVPing for an event or learning more? Visit the PCC membership page.


Heather Snavely is PCC’s VP of marketing and head of the Member Benefit Taskforce.

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