Sneak peek inside the new Greenlake Village PCC

We have neighbors who still, over 13 years after its closure, lament the loss of the original PCC (located where Ravenna Third Place Books now resides). That store was 7,000-square-feet in size. The next closest location, the still-open-for-business View Ridge PCC, is not much larger.

The new Greenlake Village PCC, that opens to the public on Wednesday, June 4? It’s a 27,000-square-foot store.

We were invited to the pre-opening event on the evening of Monday, June 2, and in the interest of our more western NE Seattle readers, we attended.

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Keep moving, sir: The store isn’t open to the public until 9 AM on Wednesday, June 4.

As you walk into the front doors of the new grocery store (via the central courtyard of the three buildings that make up Green Lake Village), you’ve got two choices: Turn left and head into the Make Your Meal sections (bulk, produce) or turn right and head into the Make It For Me area (deli, espresso/smoothies, salad bar). Everything else (toilet paper, beans, kale chips) is in between, and makes up the bulk of the store.

Left Turn

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Bulk section, produce, and a fishbowl-style classroom on this side of the store.

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BULK.

Strangely enough (to View Ridge PCC shoppers, anyway) bulk coffee is not located in this section of the store. Think about tired parents needing caffeine with breakfast and find your fix in the aisle with baby food and boxed cereal.

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Ravenna Blog recommends the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Malt Balls.

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Beyond the produce section is beer, wine, and what I’m calling the Cheese Bunker (on the right, above). It’s a four-sided, highly defensible bastion of curds.

Right Turn

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Walk in the main doors and hang a right to find the pre-prepared food (handy for to-go meals headed to the park), as well as seating lining the front windows both inside and out.

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Here you’ll also find the deli (on the right above). Both this picture and the one above it show a full view across the entire store.

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Much of the store was stocked and ready to go, except for the most perishable of items. However, I was able to find some kale being made into a smoothie.

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When shoppers are ready to check out, the main register section of the store has five assisted checkout lines with a bank of six self-checkout registers in the middle.

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Bicycle parking is a bit sparse around the rest of the Green Lake Village commercial spaces, but two full racks line the front of the new store, just to the right of the entrance (where the special event guard is standing above).

Folks on wheels will need to approach the inner courtyard from Woodlawn Avenue NE to the west or NE 71st Street to the south for ramps. The NE 72nd Street side to the north is stairs only.

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Greenlake_PCC_preopening17Full disclosure: PCC Natural Markets is (very shortly!) a Ravenna Blog sponsor. At the pre-opening we didn’t eat any of the tasty party food placed all over the new store, but we were given a frisbee as we headed out to file this report. You can borrow it anytime you like.

Further full disclosure: Being the independent local news publisher that we are, we were impressed back in 2011 when PCC broke the news of their anchor tenancy in the Vitamilk pit project with a fellow independent local news publisher, the now shuttered My Green Lake.

Comments

  1. Andres Salomon says:

    I’m really looking forward to this PCC. However, this store has some interesting challenges for walking. A lake to the west and I-5 to the east are going to limit walking access. I hope they realize how important I-5 crossings will be for pedestrian (and bike) access, and work with the city to improve them.

    NE 65th, Ravenna Blvd, Weedin Pl, NE 70th/71st, and 5th Ave are how pedestrians from the east are going to get to the store. NE 70th/71st is a horrible walking environment, for example. A narrow sidewalk on only one side of the street, terrible I-5 noise, no greenery, no shade or wind protection, wide traffic lanes, and unprotected on-ramp crossings make it pretty unpleasant. There’s a lot that could be done to improve things (much of it inexpensive). It would be fantastic if they were willing to either put money (or donations) towards these things, or at least help with grant applications for improvements.

    • For the pre-opening, I parked in Roosevelt on NE 71st Street at a friend’s house and walked across the NE 70th Street overpass to get to the store.

      Crossing NE 70th Street at 8th Avenue NE is SCARY: Vehicles are coming up a hill from the west and can’t see well, there’s an I-5 onramp on the north side, and vehicles are at speed coming from the east. For anyone waiting to cross, there is street parking bunched up around the curb cut making it very difficult to be seen without first stepping out into the road.

      A good candidate for giant orange flag-team-sized crossing flags, this intersection. And a couple bulbs for standing.

  2. I don’t get the fascination with PCC – maybe once upon a time in the long, long ago when finding organic and natural foods of high quality was a challenge – but we don’t live in that world anymore and haven’t for quite some time. PCC’s selection in the larger scheme of things isn’t substantially different than Whole Foods – and frankly I at times find it even more limited – and PCC’s prices are just as over-priced as Whole “Paycheck” or Metropolitan Market. I often think PCC is just Whole Foods for the BoBo set that feels Whole Foods is somehow too “corporate.” Though ironically, KOMO found PCC to be even more expensive than Whole Foods (and both more expensive than Metropolitan Market)

    http://www.komonews.com/news/consumer/40395622.html

    • Andres Salomon says:

      One reason I prefer PCC (at least the one in View Ridge) to Whole Foods is that I don’t have to specifically seek out organic produce. WF has an organic section, but when I’m walking through the produce section and my kid wants THOSE grapes, you can bet they’re non-organic. At PCC, other than an odd (and often local) item, it’s all organic. *And* my kid gets a free fruit, which keeps him occupied for 15 mins. It just makes shopping there less stressful.

    • the best thing about PCC is the people who work there and their overall attitude towards their products and their customers

      they care

      they donate a ton of food to different food banks and churches and volunteer organizations like Food not Bombs for which i am a regular volunteer – the work we do would be impossible with the generosity and participation of PCC

      im sure that Whole Foods and Metropolitan Market do their fare share of donating but we at Food not Bombs have no such relationship with either of them and i doubt that they would support us due to the rigid corporate structure that limits vision and participation by many companies in things such as Food not Bombs

      not every experience is about what is the least expensive option

  3. It all looks yummy! Thanks for this report, and for the first Frisbee-selfie photo I have ever seen.

  4. Susan Gregory says:

    What’s the BoBo set? Also- I’ll take our old PCC store back hands down.

  5. Seth McOmber says:

    We live on the wast edge of the U-District and are thrilled for this new PCC. The current Greenlake store is closer to us, but we prefer Fremont for better selection. My wife commutes by car and will now be able to make a quick jump off I-5 for last-minute items.
    We have both worked for food co-ops as well as Whole Foods, and strongly favor co-ops for our own groceries. Local investment, democratic control and a consumer-first philosophy make any co-op preferable to other markets. As members of PCC, we are also owners, and we applaud our co-op for this next step.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, PCC is a cooperative and gives back to the community in many ways that Whole Foods does not. Their food bank program donates tens of thousands of dollars multiple times throughout the year. They buy back organic farmland and put it in the hands of capable and willing farmers. They also just started a new community scholarship program. Sure it’s a little more expensive, but its not all going into the hands of a few people- it’s being channeled back into our community!!

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