Seattle, WA—PCC Community Markets has announced the recipients of its annual Diverse Entrepreneur Grant Program providing free capital to underrepresented small businesses, and has also announced the artist installations for the Downtown Seattle and Kirkland stores.

The grant program functions in partnership with the Seattle-based nonprofit Ventures, which works to empower local entrepreneurs. The 2021 recipients, receiving grants totaling $8,000, are:
  • Chawntee Duncan, owner of Chawntee’s Market, focused on herbal and natural supplements.
  • Mahogany Williams, owner of The Pickled Chef, a small-batch northwest BIPOC pickling company.
  • Keaomee Horne, owner of Lannie, a “free-from” nail polish and remover producer.
  • Angelo Jimenez, owner of VegBur, Inc. that produces plant-based mozzarella cheese.
  • Elena Nebreda, owner of Kisses From, producing USDA Organic lip balms.
“Working with Ventures helps us support members of our community who often don’t have access to traditional business development services or funding,” said Brenna Davis, PCC’s VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility. “Through training in the Scaling for Success program, funding with our grants and mentorship with our merchandising team, we are creating economic opportunity for diverse small businesses, while providing shoppers with the local, high-quality products they love.”

The program was introduced in 2020 to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), female, and LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. The grants are an extension of the Scaling for Success program held by Ventures and PCC each year, which includes members of PCC’s merchandising team and focuses on all aspects of developing a wholesale business.

“We are continually looking for ways to help break down barriers facing underrepresented entrepreneurs to help them achieve long-term financial stability and enrich their communities through small business ownership,” said Beto Yarce, Ventures’ Executive Director. “Our partnership with PCC is critical in providing real-world business experience that helps our entrepreneurs scale their business from concept to product on store shelves.”

Related: PCC Awards $35k to 7 Nonprofits Two New PCC Locations Achieve Petal Certification PCC Announces Recipients of Food Access Grant

Local Art

PCC first introduced local art in its Ballard store, aspart of the co-op’s effortsto achieve Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, a green building standard. PCC’s Ballard store successfully met requirements for the Materials, Place, and Beauty petals, including a large local art installation. Now, for its new Downtown and relocated Kirkland locations—due to open in early 2022—PCC is again pursuing Petal Certification, and has announced the artists that will be helping it meet Beauty petal requirements.

Downtown PCC: Andrea M. Wilbur-Sigo

Wilbur-Sigo has created a work titled “A Way of Life,” two house post wooden carvings mounted in the interior dining area wall. The house posts depict two individuals, and convey the connection between people and environment. Commenting on her work, Wilbur-Sigo said: “My works explores the balance between the environment and industrial activities, inspiring conversations about our complicated relationship with nature. I chose to collaborate with PCC because of their focus on sustainability in their products and even in-store design. I am pleased to have this opportunity to share these carvings with the PCC community—bringing nature into an industrial space. Together is the only way things work. Without one another we would not be whole. We need each other, together we are a strong community and apart we stand alone to. Together we tell a story, a written story, that will change and adapt as life changes. They will always hold the strong roots of the cedar tree and the survival of our waterways.”

Andrea Wilbur-Sigo working on "A Way of Life." Image courtesy of PCC Community Markets.

Wilbur-Sigo is a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe, and the press release states that she is the first known woman carver of many generations of carvers in the Coast Salish style.

Kirkland PCC: Mary Iverson

Iverson has created a work titled “World Tablecloths,” five columns with hand-glazed ceramic tiles, each featuring a tablecloth design inspired by the textile patterns of a unique culture that is part of the makeup of Kirkland: Coast Salish, Nordic, Indian, Japanese, and English.

Mary Iverson with part of the design for "World Tablecloths." Image courtesy of PCC Community Markets.

Iverson shared: “A tablecloth is the underlying fabric that makes a meal special, weaving colors and symbols with family traditions. As a group, the columns support this gathering space and celebrate the communities that have come together to create the City of Kirkland. PCC is such a special part of the community: as a space for neighbors to gather in or the source of the food they bring home to their tables to serve friends and family. I appreciate the opportunity to bring this work to the Kirkland community and hope to inspire their table conversations.”