PCC Natural Markets has jumped ahead of the competition by offering multiple online ordering and delivery choices: Amazon PrimeNOW and Instacart.
Whole Foods has been neck in neck for some time with Puget Sound’s PCC Natural Markets (the largest and one of the oldest food cooperatives in the nation), however the corporate structure of “whole” just couldn’t match the cooperative foundation of “real,” at least as far as good food principles.
The new Green Lake Village PCC, anchored in a just-completed urban development comprising 300 apartments, clearly reflects its location. Large and well-staffed, the new PCC works hard to balance its focus and attention between weekly family shopping trips and the convenience of carryout prepared food.
On the corner of Seventh Avenue and Virginia Street in Seattle is a restaurant. It’s a restaurant much like many other downtown restaurants: tall glass windows, comfortable seating, a view into a bustling kitchen and a creative – sometimes edgy – menu. But there is something that makes this restaurant different.
Walk into any of the nine PCC Natural Markets in Puget Sound and it’s clear your not in your parents’ (or grandparents, if you’re young enough) food co-op! No more cozy slightly run-down food markets with barrels of flour and bags of rice on the floor, around which barefoot children played tag while their parents debated politics and planned social actions against “the establishment.” Today, the PCC (as it’s fondly referred to here in Seattle) is every bit the contemporary supermarket. So what is so special about the nation’s largest natural food co-operative?
Whole Foods Market® is opening a new Seattle-area market in Lynnwood on March 15, and we got a peek behind the curtain at the controlled chaos going on before the grand opening. We arrived early for a tour of the new facility and dodged between trucks belonging to landscapers, electricians, and vendors. Inside we saw what looked like a laptop-armed battalion frantically tapping away at their keyboards and small groups of trainees in the check out lanes listening closely to their instructors.
We attended one of Whole Foods Market™ Speaker Series events; this one titled “Consumer’s Conflict: The Cost of Fresh Picked Produce in the 21st Century.” The guest speaker was Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland – How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. In the end, there was too much Whole Foods and too little discussion of the real cost of fresh produce and what to do about it. And we paid $40 to hear it…
Austin, Texas is already home to Whole Foods, but that won’t stop a group of entrepreneurs from founding a new grocery store right in the natural food behemoth’s backyard. While the new store – In.gredients will also specialize in local and organic ingredients, there’s one major difference between this venture and its hometown competition: In.gredients promises to be the country’s first ever “package-free, zero waste grocery store.”