CLOSING DAY: Hours left to tell West Seattle PCC ‘goodbye for now’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The supermarket’s shelves are mostly bare.

The chain’s CEO stood among them, looking around, and was … happy.

That’s the unusual scene we encountered this afternoon at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor), which has hours to go before closing for the site’s redevelopment, including its new store, almost twice as big. Cate Hardy, PCC CEO and West Seattle resident, explained that the empty shelves represent a gift of sorts – they put much of the merchandise on sale in hopes of selling as many items as possible to the store’s loyal, local customers, instead of doing what a supermarket chain might do instead, just load up the leftovers and truck them to another store.

Our photos tell the story of just how much has been sold. The last prepared foods, Hardy noted, were cooked a few hours ago – the deli wasn’t sold out yet when we visited at mid-afternoon, but the store’s closing early tonight – 10 pm – and we can’t guarantee you’ll find much of anything if you visit this evening. The produce section, for example, was not only mostly bare, the center display stands had been moved out.

As Hardy walked us around the store, she noted that much of its equipment will be set up in the new Burien store opening next year. Many staffers are moving to other stores; Corinne, West Seattle manager for four years, isn’t – she told us she’s “semi-retiring.” For now.

She and other staffers have special West Seattle pins in commemoration of the soon-to-be-demolished store. Hardy observed that the “energy level is high” despite the looming shutdown, and that’s what we observed too.

The store had a Staff Appreciation Day party two weeks ago, with food trucks (including vegan Plum Bistro). And this afternoon, a mini-bash with (organic, of course) corn dogs and ice cream was happening in the upstairs break room. That’s also where employees are signing the wall:

They’re also proud of the cards and other messages they’ve received expressing appreciation:

Before customers exit the front door, they’re seeing this sign, with the reminder of other PCC stores, plus delivery options – Instacart and Prime Now – that will bring PCC merchandise to customers in West Seattle.

PCC is scheduled to reopen in 2019 as the only retail tenant in the Madison Development Group project on the site, which also will include 100+ apartments and 150+ offstreet parking spaces, including the existing surface corner lot west of the alley.

LOOKING FOR BACKSTORY? This WSB report from 11 months ago, when PCC finalized its spot in the new development, has a lot.

27 Replies to "CLOSING DAY: Hours left to tell West Seattle PCC 'goodbye for now'"

  • Chris May 31, 2017 (5:47 pm)

    Thank you to all the PCC employees for all they have done for us over the years.   We are very thankful to the employees even over the last few days helping us with products and being so kind.   They will all be missed and look forward to all those that return when the new store becomes reality in a few years.

    It was downright hard saying “goodbye” to these employees and seeing the empty shelves.

    Many kudos and thanks to each employee for all they have done.    We certainly wish them all the best and hope to see them back in a few years.  

    We thank you!!!!!

  • Al May 31, 2017 (6:08 pm)

    Its a shame there gone    

  • Guy Olson May 31, 2017 (6:15 pm)

    I just never understood why a organic and environmentally conscious store always had so many cars and SUVS in the parking lot.

    • Will miss PCC May 31, 2017 (10:13 pm)

      Because people with SUVs usually have families, hence the need to shop for healthy food for them. What a dumb comment. 

      • BryanMc May 31, 2017 (10:50 pm)

        Agreed… terribly stupid comment that makes people hate Seattlites.

      • Guy Olson June 1, 2017 (9:11 am)

        How about a bicycle? Duh

  • Seattlite May 31, 2017 (6:15 pm)

    Thanks to all of the PCC employees and management.  WS’s PCC was always first class. 

  • Kathy May 31, 2017 (8:15 pm)

    The outstanding service of the West Seattle PCC employees will be sorely missed, along with the most extensive bulk foods selection on the peninsula. Traveling across town to shop is not feasible for some of us, so I will give ordering through Amazon a try. I agree, Guy, it always seemed ironic to see the PCC parking lot packed with cars.  I hope the new store will have ample and convenient parking for cargo bikes in addition to 150 spaces for cars.

    • PCCfan May 31, 2017 (8:30 pm)

      As a neighbor to PCC, I can vouch that many people walk to the store from blocks around.  Their parking lot is MUCH smaller than most other groceries, so yes, it was packed often.   It is pretty nuts to criticize a store for having parking… and nuts to suggest that all people should bus/bike/walk for all their (heavy) fresh fruits and vegetables, milk etc etc.

      • BryanMc May 31, 2017 (10:53 pm)

        Agreed! Shut up! If I want to drive my car to buy overpriced organic food because I feel that’s best for my family and I don’t want to spend 3 hours to d ao, I will. You are the reason people hate us Seattlites.

        • Guy Olson June 1, 2017 (9:22 am)


          • momof3boys June 1, 2017 (10:53 am)

            Guy – Have you ever tried to carry four gallons of milk, four loaves of bread, and all the other groceries a family with growing teenagers needs, for one week, on a bicycle?  Really?  Such short-sightedness.  There are many of you without kids – but I will NOT apologize for having a family that needs to be fed.  Sheesh.

          • Guy Olson June 1, 2017 (5:18 pm)

            I don’t have kids, but I can carry four bags of groceries and cat litter on my 1973 Schwinn.

  • justme May 31, 2017 (9:45 pm)

    Can’t wait for you guys to come back. In the mean time, I guess I’ll have to settle for gross food. ;-p

  • BryanMc May 31, 2017 (10:54 pm)

    Love you OFC! Going to miss you, but will drive to Fremont for the next couple of years. Hope all the employees are taken care of!

  • wssz June 1, 2017 (2:15 am)

    I’m missing PCC already! There’s nothing like it here in WS. Will be going to the Columbia City store and then Burien  when it opens, but the employees here were a close-knit family and made this PCC store truly special. They were a big reason that I shopped there. Good luck to everyone who worked in our store. You will be sorely missed here in WS!

  • aa June 1, 2017 (6:06 am)

    I can vouch for instacart. I started using them when I was laid up after surgery and still do.  You can get groceries from PCC and a variety of other stores in the area.  Yes, there is a fee and you have the option to add a tip but if Bryan is considering driving to Fremont,  (yikes!) that’s a pricey trip considering gas and stress from traffic. And if you must go to a store, I have to think Columbia city is closer?

    One thing about instacart to watch out for is the increased delivery fee during some primetime hours.  

  • Blinkyjoe June 1, 2017 (8:53 am)

    Thanks to PCC and their wonderful staff!! We need a PCC-Reopen countdown timer up in the menu bar. Tracy, can you add that widget?  ;-)

    Was there two days ago and saw more than a few people like, visibly upset. One poor soul kept saying to herself ‘What am I supposed to do? Where will I go?”

  • Gina June 1, 2017 (9:31 am)

    The NW Center donation bin has moved to the corner of 44th and Stevens. 

    When you look at the map of PCC stores in the South end, it explains to me why there were so many cars. Vast distances between stores.

  • PCC Veteran June 1, 2017 (9:39 am)

    Many thanks to our very own WSB for the excellent and engaging PCC closure backstory, interviews and photos!  I had the pleasure of working at the then-brand-new PCC when it first opened decades ago.  Yes, a  little less “granola” culture now, but the sustainable, compassionate, healthy ethos is still front and center at PCC!  Looking forward to the next generation WS PCC – please hurry!!!

  • Gene June 1, 2017 (10:33 am)

    Guy Olson- surely you’re not surprised that folks got riled over your comment- there are many who bike, walk, bus , not only to PCC , but any store.  But it shouldn’t have to be pointed out that there are just as many  who drive –by necessity to the store- ( & what kind of car they drive is no ones business) – really- 2-3-4 bags of groceries & often a child or two or more along?  But even if someone’s driving a big SUV solo- why is it anyone else’s business?

    Cant really grasp that you felt the need to not only comment on that –  but comment in a negative manner- then be surprised at the response .

  • Salal June 1, 2017 (12:03 pm)

     Pcc is a luxury not a right

    • Dudeling June 1, 2017 (1:03 pm)

      Your comment seems……irrelevant to the conversation?

  • cartwheeler June 1, 2017 (1:59 pm)

    • Judy June 1, 2017 (8:13 pm)

      Now that’s an innovation!

  • Don June 2, 2017 (12:55 pm)

    Too bad, sooo sad West Seattle.. I am in BURIEN and can’t wait until PCC opens up.. Oh and Guy, let’s see how fun it is to ride your bike to Burien for your 4 bags and cat litter…Hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa….

  • ts June 6, 2017 (12:58 am)

    I’m suggesting a fence before this lot turns into an RV lot.

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