Seattle-based PCC Community Markets, the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., on Wednesday opened its newest location in Bellevue, Wash., and its 15th store overall across the Puget Sound with stores in four Eastside communities, including Redmond, Issaquah and Kirkland.
The 26,000-square-foot store joins PCC’s Kirkland, Ballard and West Seattle locations in its goal to meet Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification, the world’s most rigorous green building standard.
Following the tradition of PCC’s green stores, the Bellevue store uses energy-efficient systems that lower climate impacts, including the use of carbon dioxide refrigeration — a greenhouse gas that is three thousand times less potent than the synthetic refrigerants used in most grocery stores. It also features unique elements, including sustainably sourced, nontoxic building materials and reclaimed materials — shelving and deli fixtures — from other PCC stores.
As part of the Beauty Petal Certification for LBC, the Bellevue store also includes an art installation by local artist Shogo Ota, called “Murmuration.” The work showcases a group of birds that while small individually, become mightier when they fly together, forming a Southern Resident Killer Whale.
“I saw such a parallel between the way the birds come together to make an impact with the way that PCC supports local communities: caring about people on an individual level and believing in the impact this can have on a grander scale,” said Ota.
With a long-standing commitment to the neighborhoods in which it operates, the co-op will expand the PCC Food Bank Program by extending its partnership with Hopelink to include Bellevue Hopelink. “PCC has been working with Hopelink for decades through our partnerships in Redmond and Kirkland,” said Lindsey Robinson, manager of Bellevue Hopelink Food Bank. “We appreciate being able to extend the relationship to help provide for our local community here in Bellevue.”
The new Bellevue location will adopt all of PCC’s health and safety protocols to provide a safe shopping environment for staff, members and shoppers. When it is deemed safe to conduct meetings with groups, the store also features a large studio to host PCC Cooking Classes that are currently being held online.
With more than 7,000 organic items and just over 9,400 local products, PCC also has one of the cleanest selections of health and body care products, turning away more than 500 ingredients allowed at other retailers. More than 95% of PCC’s produce selection is organic; its fresh meats are 100% organic, non-GMO or grass-fed; its fresh and frozen raw seafood is responsibly sourced as defined by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program; 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. Made-from-scratch deli offerings include PCC Pizzeria fresh-baked pizza made in-house; hot and cold prepackaged favorites to-go like PCC Grain Bowls, Macaroni and Cheese, Oven Roasted Organic Chicken and a selection of antipasti; meals for two that come with a main and a side dish featuring Chipotle Salmon Cakes, Linguine with Meatballs, Parmesan Chicken Fingers and Turkey Meatloaf; family-sized salads and ready-to-heat casseroles, including Black Bean Enchiladas and Organic Strawberry Spinach Salad.
In addition, the Bellevue store and all PCC locations offer full-service meat and seafood, sustainably sourced and cut-to-order; a carefully curated selection of 100% Pacific Northwest-produced spirits as well as exclusive wines and local beers and ciders; a large selection of bulk foods and bulk health and body care items that are mostly produced in Washington and Oregon; and an espresso and bakery counter.
PCC also offers its own private-label collection of 12 product lines sourced from local producers like PCC Organic Grass-fed Yogurt made by Pure Éire Dairy in Othello, Wash., and PCC Organic Pastured Eggs from Wilcox Farms in Roy, Wash., as well as almost 200 supplements and vitamins produced with the highest quality standards and packaged in recyclable brown glass to stay fresh. An affordable line of certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified pantry staples from Field Day is also available, including more than 150 items from canned beans and extra virgin olive oil to peanut butter and oatmeal.
The Bellevue PCC will be run by Store Director Tami Littlefield, who has been with the co-op for four years and is currently the store director at the Issaquah location. Littlefield brings more than 35 years of experience working with premier food retailers in the Pacific Northwest.