S. Plainfield, NJWholeFoodsMagazine chose PCC Natural Markets as its 2016 Retailer of the Year. Operating for over 60 years, PCC Natural Markets is the largest consumer-owned food market in the country, as well as one of the oldest grocery stores in Washington State, essentially creating the market for natural food in Seattle. Starting out in 1953 as a food buying club with 15 families, PCC has evolved into a cooperative with 11 locations in the Puget Sound region, 56,000 active members and $250 million in sales in 2015, with double-digit year-over-year growth.

PCC is dedicated to maintaining a high standard of quality for all its products and providing customers with local and sustainably grown produce. The retailer has been influential in determining food policy and sets an example by revising its inventory to match new standards and working with manufacturers to  accommodate these standards.

As a cooperative, PCC members have an active role in the stores’ future, determining bylaws as well as nominating and voting for members of their Board of Trustees, who represent their interests. Because members are partial owners of its stores, PCC is uniquely accountable to them, actively working to “express and live their values,” says Heather Snavely, PCC’s vice president of marketing.

PCC gives priority to member experience and values over profitability. “We can create an experience in our stores where we’re always going to default to connecting with our shoppers or our members,” says Snavely. Look for the full story about PCC Natural Markets in the July issue ofWholeFoodsMagazine.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine June 2016