Followup: Pike Place Produce in West Seattle – more than produce

We promised a followup when we published a short item yesterday about the sign John S spotted at one of the former Huling/Gee lots on Fauntleroy Way. Tonight – the details!

Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Now we know what’s going on behind that banner, and Pike Place Produce co-owner Bruce McPherson laughingly offers an apologetic confirmation: “Sorry, West Seattle, it’s not a Trader Joe’s.”

Pike Place Produce Company — co-owned by West Seattle residents Mike Cairns and Bruce McPherson along with Bob Klein, owner of Corner Produce by Pike Place Market — has leased the former auto-sales lot (4755 Fauntleroy Way) to open a year-round farmers-market-type business – not just fruit and vegetables.

The market will be open seven days a week, with weekday hours catering to commuters. Mike Cairns says: “We’ll be open early enough that someone can stop in and grab some fruit on their way to work, and late enough that they can get something for dinner on the way home.” Right now, they’re considering 7 am-7 pm for those commuter hours.

As much as possible, the emphasis will be on featuring fresh, local produce, though they do import out-of-season produce when necessary. About 30% of the produce will be organic as well as the eggs and milk from Smith Brothers Farms.

They plan to go beyond the typical farm-fare at this market, however; they’ll also be featuring specialty items such as olive oils, pastas and cheeses, including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese from Pike Place Market. “Things that work well with produce,” notes Mike. To adorn the table laden with fresh produce, they will sell flower bouquets made by the vendors at Pike Place Market.

Especially important: they’ll be offering samples of all the products!

Co-owner Bruce McPherson also owns “The Cove,” a bed-and-breakfast near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. Right now, he is busy transforming the shack that sits in the middle of the ex-Huling/Gee lot into a display and shop area, using recycled and re-purposed materials, including tables made from the floor of a basketball court: “You can still see the free-throw line!” His emphasis is on reducing waste during the construction phase.

(Site photo taken Wednesday)
The front deck will be extended 20 feet, and roll-up doors on the front of the building will create an open-air market feel — but with protection from the drizzle. Mike Cairns says they’re going for a “funky” look, but with an “early 1900s feel.” Products will be displayed in an old wooden boat, a produce trailer from the 1940’s, fish carts and fittingly, an old pickup truck. They note that the shop area will be fully accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.

The lot itself will be transformed into seasonal displays with space for local artisans and craftspeople, and the owners hope to host seasonal events and provide activities (petting zoo, anyone?) Mike says, “We want people to have something to look forward to (and) someplace to take the kids.”

He adds that the perimeter of the parking lot will be secured, and they’re adding planter pots to soften the edges and improve it aesthetically. The current neon Huling Brothers sign will retain the yellow arrow, but the neon lettering will be replaced with the Pike Place Produce Company’s logo.

The owners plan a “soft opening” during the end of April, and the grand opening on May 1. Though both Mike and Bruce note that anything can happen with construction. Mike Cairns adds a note of thanks: “Steve Huling and John Wonder at Associates West really helped to make this happen.”

The owners are emphatic about being a part of, and supporting the West Seattle community. They hope to supply local restaurants with farm-fresh produce and look forward to getting involved with local events. Says Mike: “Supporting local business helps to preserve the character of the community,” and he promises: “We’re going to have fun!”

49 Replies to "Followup: Pike Place Produce in West Seattle - more than produce"

  • Darren March 25, 2010 (7:43 pm)

    Very cool. That will be nice. Has there been any word on what is going to go in to the old store/gas across from Tony’s Market ? I heard it was going to be a 7-11/Subway. But haven’t heard anything for a long time.

    • WSB March 25, 2010 (7:52 pm)

      That’s the last word we had. Have been watching it but no signs of life. Nothing new on the DPD page for the site.

  • JanS March 25, 2010 (7:46 pm)

    I think this is going to be a wonderful addition to the ‘hood. Welcome, welcome, welcome !

  • CurlyQ March 25, 2010 (7:48 pm)

    O, happiness! This will be walking distance from my house. What a great use of that space. West Seattle is definitely getting more europeanish (hello, Bakery Nouveau, The Swinery, WS Cellars and Bin 41!). Now, if we can get someone to develop some of the other Huling space into a funky art cinema/pub (McMenamin Bros, perhaps?), and an ice skating rink (my personal fave), life would be just about perfect.

  • Valerie March 25, 2010 (7:58 pm)

    Oh, this will be great – I’m looking forward to it!

  • OP March 25, 2010 (7:59 pm)

    A very welcome addition to West side!

  • alki resident March 25, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    Will this take away profits from sundays farmers market in the junction?

  • Bob March 25, 2010 (8:22 pm)

    Another new fruit and veggie stand opened recently. Last week, I think. Not WS, but maybe close enough. Donatelli’s Produce at 134th and Ambaum.
    It’s a little storefront with an awning, set back from the street on the right side (as you head south) and it’s easy to miss. But I stopped in there today and bought a bunch of stuff. It’s tiny and doesn’t have a huge selection but the produce looked fresher than at certain big chain stores who shall remain nameless. Nothing organic, though.
    The prices are low, and a couple of things that I eyed dubiously as being at the end of their seasons were better than at some other stores. Maybe he actually checks stuff before buying a batch.
    He might have a hard time making it in that location. It’s kind of out in the middle of nowhere.

  • PB March 25, 2010 (8:31 pm)

    Met one of them when I was getting a car delivered to the vacant lot. Seems like a really nice person and I am looking forward to having the store in the neighborhood.

  • xo March 25, 2010 (8:35 pm)

    very excited that they chose West Seattle for this!

  • Molly March 25, 2010 (8:43 pm)

    Very exciting, I’m already planning to reroute for my commute home. :) Between this place, the Swinery and Bakery Nouveau…who ever needs to leave West Seattle? Welcome!!

  • DC March 25, 2010 (8:47 pm)

    What an excellent addition to WS. Welcome!

  • rb March 25, 2010 (8:59 pm)

    I am looking forward to stopping in on my way to work in the morning! Perhaps kombucha could be offered in addition to fresh produce? I would stop in every day if this were the case! (Sorry PCC.)

  • José March 26, 2010 (3:37 am)

    Welcome! Best of luck, and much success.

  • HelperMonkey March 26, 2010 (7:08 am)

    this sounds awesome! :D

  • sun*e March 26, 2010 (7:24 am)

    This will be so great for WS… can’t wait! :) I also like the idea of the addition of a cinema/lounge type place for the Huling area. Maybe something like the one they have in Portland that has comfy chairs, serves drinks and shows indie films.

  • JEM March 26, 2010 (7:47 am)

    Subway can’t compete with the delish sandwiches at Super Deli. Cheesy British!

  • Jay March 26, 2010 (7:49 am)

    It would be nice to have something like this in the Delridge neighborhood. Mike and Bruce, want to expand again down in the Valley?

  • kitter March 26, 2010 (8:13 am)

    No more treks to Beacon Hill McPhersons, yeah! Hopefully the prices will be equivalent to the fabulous prices over there. No more risking life, limb and bumper in the parking lot at the Beacon Hill site! This is a business I’ll frequent.

  • Dale March 26, 2010 (8:19 am)

    Bruce you old KIWI you, great having you work on the Westside now. Great man, even greater family. Welcome back.

  • AM March 26, 2010 (8:21 am)

    i had the same thought alki resident, how will this effect the sunday farmers market? It does sound like a great addition though, can’t wait to check it out.

  • Krystal March 26, 2010 (9:35 am)

    I am SO excited for this. Those lots, which I live so close to, need some life in them, and this is the way to go!

    I am very excited to see the buildings in the area being brought back to life!

  • villagegreen March 26, 2010 (10:37 am)

    Does Bruce McPherson also own McPherson’s on Beacon Hill or is the name just a coincidence?

  • sun*e March 26, 2010 (10:51 am)

    I’ve never thought that Trader Joes had decent produce so I think Pike Place Produce sounds like a much better addition to WS… sorry all you Trader Joe lovers.

  • KBear March 26, 2010 (10:58 am)

    What, you don’t like half-ripe plastic-wrapped vegetables from thousands of miles away?

  • Sue March 26, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    I’m very excited about this! I can get off the 54X a stop early on my way home from work and just walk the 2 blocks home!
    I also wondered what impact it would have on the farmers market – hopefully not a negative one. I don’t just buy produce at the WSFM, so I’d still get there for certain items. But I’ll admit I’ll probably buy the produce closer to home rather than walk the 1/2 mile home from the WSFM like I usually do.

  • dawsonct March 26, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    I’m sure it will have almost no affect whatsoever on the 4-5 hours on Sunday only farmers market.

    But you could be right! As soon as The Swinery opened a few months ago, Sea Breeze Farms COMPLETELY dissapeared from the FACE OF THE EARTH!!!
    Oh, wait, no they didn’t.

  • MikeC March 26, 2010 (2:11 pm)

    Seems like a low risk proposition would be for Bakery Nouveau or some other local bakery to supply them with freshly baked pastries for the morning commute and still warm baguettes for the afternoon commute.

  • Mark March 26, 2010 (2:32 pm)

    RE: the farmers market –
    Frankly, when it comes to produce, I rarely find our Sunday market to be all that worth it. There’s one place in the summer I would sorely miss if gone, but other than that, I find it limited and often overpriced.
    Plus, I more than welcome a market like this at times other than Sunday mornings.

  • drb March 26, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    I really like the Bakery Nouveau idea..yummmy food but always so crowded..nice to be able to get a slice of that quiche somewhere else..

  • Mike Cairns March 26, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    Thanks WS for the great comments. We want your ideas and thoughts. Our goal is to make this a wonderful place to shop, visit, have a cup of coffee, and talk about what your needs and wants are, and…….if we can make your dreams come true we will. No pride of authorship. We believe that West Seattle is the “Center of the Universe”, and intend to make this your stand.

    If the city permits we have a few music surprises too.

    Mike, Bruce, & Bob

  • miws March 26, 2010 (10:16 pm)

    “We believe that West Seattle is the “Center of the Universe…….”

    In your Face Fremont! ;-)



  • Mike Cairns March 26, 2010 (10:41 pm)

    Dreams do come true…….Christine Picard

  • dawsonct March 27, 2010 (3:08 am)

    Fremont is sooo 1987.

  • tim March 27, 2010 (7:28 am)

    The Farmers Market is one of the best community-wide gathering places in all of WS. Every week you get to meet the farmer face to face, buy the absolute freshest, totally local produce and see your neighbors…I think the farmers market and grocery retailers are totally different animals; one offers convenience and wider selection, while the other offers real farmers, always fresh local food, chef’s demos, produce tastings, weekly music, kid’s events and a chance for neighbors to stop, chat and take the extra time to stop and smell the basil together…

  • Mike Cairns March 27, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    Tim is exactly right. A place to gather and to get the fresh local produce. What you don’t know Tim is that the produce we purchase is from the highest quality organic and local farmers in the northwest. We focus on local. In the real world that isn’t possible 12 months per year. So we focus on the fresh and quality produce from sources from all of our sources. The Farmers Market is great for the community. We are available 7 days per week with the best product available in the northwest at very fair prices. We will sample anything and everything. If you like it, and the price is fair, purchase it, if not, don’t.

    By the way our basil will knock your socks off it smells and tastes so good. We are farmers too. Farmers markets are good for the community.
    We have a lot more in store for people who love to shop Pike Place Market and get the best. We will provide the product, but also the fun at no extra charge. We love West Seattle and intend to bring a fresh spark to the community.

    Thanks ,

  • WTF March 27, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    OK, I can’t help it. Does anyone agree that we’d rather have a Trader Joe’s in WS than a Whole Foods. Come on. Does anyone really see the need to have an over priced store in WS vs. one that caters to the real people?

  • dawsonct March 28, 2010 (1:51 am)

    Trader Joe’s is sooo 2007.

  • RJB March 28, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Can’t wait..a block from my house. Finally a business going in there…bringing life to Fauntleroy!! Oh…(hand in your face) take that Fremont.

  • Sofia April 8, 2010 (2:53 pm)

    So excited!! That sounds like so much fun!!

  • Gina McCauley April 13, 2010 (6:07 pm)

    I’d like to talk to Mike, Bruce & Bob about – “The lot itself will be transformed into seasonal displays with space for local artisans and craftspeople,” mentioned in the article. West Seattle would be a great place for an outdoor arts/crafts market like the Saturday Market in Portland, OR., especially since there are no artisan/crafters at the farmers market. And, I know some folks who are trying to put something together and would love to work with Pike Place Produce.

    • WSB April 13, 2010 (7:22 pm)

      One side note: They have since changed the enterprise’s name to West Seattle Produce – as you’ll see on the banner at the site – TR

  • Johnny G April 21, 2010 (9:44 am)

    Grand Opening,May 1,2010 Westside Johnny will be performing for the grand opening.10:00am to 4:00 pm. Come on down for some great music and great produce. Johnny G (aka. Westside Johnny)

  • Noelle April 29, 2010 (11:46 am)

    There is plenty of room for good veggies, fruit and other fresh off the farm items in West Sea-EAT-tle! Think of all the food type stores we already have! I doubt this little one will push us over the edge.

  • Johnny G April 30, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    Hey folks,We opened this morning and we are off and running. Still getting things toghther. Grand Opening has been changed to May 8th & 9th. And yes, I will be playing the “Live” music for the opening. “Westside Johnny”

    • WSB April 30, 2010 (1:26 pm)

      Hi, we did another followup yesterday after dropping by and Mike told us June 5-6.

  • vegwest May 4, 2010 (9:45 pm)

    Checked out the stand this weekend and it’s awesome! A welcome addition to West Seattle! Who needs Whole Foods when we have real local produce and gourmet foods right here?

  • Johnny G May 7, 2010 (9:48 am)

    There has been a change in the time line for the opening of the West Seattle Produce. “Westside Johnny” who was to preform for the Grand Opening on May 8th & 9th has been moved back to the 5th & 6th of June. We are sorry for the inconvenience and hope things will move along more quickly. JG

  • Johnny G May 7, 2010 (9:52 am)

    For those who need more information about “Westside Johnny” please visit Johnny Goodwin at or or E-mail me at See you there. Johnny G

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