Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Good news for Greater Redmond

To be a good progressive means you put into practice the values that you preach, or advocate for. When it comes to shopping, this can be quite difficult, especially if your community is dominated by a Wal-Mart that has driven local and independent retailers out of business.

Here in Redmond (our home base of operations) the picture is certainly not that grim. We do not have a Wal-Mart. We do have a mecca of big box stores (Target, Mervyns, Fred Meyer, and Home Depot) at the end of Highway 520, but those stores have fortunately not destroyed the local shopping scene.

Chains and independent local retailers, for the most part, have coexisted pretty well in Redmond. When it comes to groceries, though, there are few options besides the major grocery stores (QFC, Safeway, and Fred Meyer). But that's about to change. Soon residents will have an even better option:
PCC Natural Markets to open new store
Eighth store coming to Redmond

PCC Natural Markets (PCC) is opening a new store in Redmond, Washington next spring.

The new store is expected to open in March or April and will be the eighth location for PCC, the largest consumer-owned natural foods retailer in the United States. It will be 23,000 square feet, a little larger than PCC’s Fremont store and virtually the same as PCC’s Issaquah store.

Construction is under way at the new store site at Avondale Road NE and NE 116th St. in Redmond. The new location is well positioned to serve shoppers from Redmond to Woodinville, and even from Duvall to Carnation to the east.

PCC Chief Executive Officer Tracy Wolpert says he’s delighted about expanding PCC’s natural food offering to this growing community and is very pleased about its promising location. He says, “It makes sense for PCC to be part of the significant growth projected for East King County, where we already enjoy strong sales of our natural product lines through our Kirkland and Issaquah stores.”

Chief Financial Officer Randy Lee says he’s confident this store will strengthen PCC economically and produce good, new job opportunities. Lee also believes that “Our move into the Redmond market will put us back in proximity to a large number of former PCC shoppers who migrated to the area from Seattle over the years.”

The site for the new store is being developed by Issaquah-based Langly Properties and will include two buildings: a seven-tenant structure to the north and the PCC building, shared with a smaller tenant, to the south.

PCC is engaging much of the same professional team that planned its highly successful Fremont store, which opened in June 2003, to oversee store design and interior improvements. This team includes Velocipede Architects, Freehold Group as project manager, and Woodman Construction as the general contractor. The new store will incorporate many eco-friendly features, making the shopping experience both pleasant and green.

About PCC Natural Markets
Headquartered in Seattle, WA, PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retailer, with annual sales of $89 million and an active membership of nearly 40,000. Founded in 1953 as a food-buying club and incorporated as Puget Consumer’s Co-op in 1961, the company has been doing business as PCC Natural Markets since 1998.
This is the best kind of news a community could ask for. Redmond progressives should be overjoyed.

Here's what the new store will look like:

New PCC Natural Market in Redmond

What makes PCC so great? How about these core reasons to start with:
  • It is a local, independent retailer.
  • It sells organic and wholesome food that provides good nourishment.
  • It is a cooperative - it's owned by its members.
  • It provides good jobs for the community.
  • It supports family farms.
The new PCC store is slated to open next spring. We'll definitely be there for its grand opening. If you live in the Seattle area and have never shopped at PCC, try it out. You'll feel good about where you're spending your money, and we think you'll agree: organic food tastes a lot better.

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