Central Co-op is opening a new store in Tacoma. The Seattle-based co-op merged with Tacoma Co-op in 2015 and shortly thereafter shut the Tacoma store, before announcing it had found a new location the following year. The grand opening festivities kick off on Saturday, June 15.
“We are overjoyed to be opening the doors of our new Tacoma store,” said Central Co-op CEO Catherine Willis Cleveland. “This celebration feels like the culmination of all the input from our community and hard work from our Tacoma store team. I am so proud of the store that we have built together, and I think that our members and neighbors will be delighted with it – from the Washington producers on our shelves to the space for people to enjoy a meal together on our wrap-around porch!”
The Pearl Street store emphasizes fresh foods with a large produce department, featuring organic produce and offerings from area farms. The deli features items made in-house including a taqueria, grab-and-go meals, and a hot bar. The new store also has a fresh meat and seafood department. Another emphasis of the store, and the historical cornerstone of the Co-op’s offering, is a complete bulk department that offers a wide variety of products like grains, spices, coffee, oils and honey, and fresh-ground nut butters. The store will also feature a large selection of local produced items.
In addition to these offerings and a normal selection of grocery items, members and customers will also find an extensive health and wellness section, deli seating, and a wrap-around porch. The building on N. Pearl St. was originally home to a grocery store, but has been a thrift store for many years. The opening of the Co-op in this spot returns a full-service grocery store to the neighborhood.
“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on opening day and over the coming weeks,” said Tacoma Store Director Victor Fontaine. Fontaine worked at the 6th Avenue store before its closure. “This is a homecoming for the community members who shopped at the grocery store here years ago, and a place to make new memories and try delicious local products for everyone in Tacoma. We hope everyone comes to check out what we have to offer.”
Opening day will begin with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting and special guests including Rep. Jake Fey. Saturday’s opening day festivities will continue with a parking lot celebration including a range of local vendors to sample, face painters, games and giveaways, live music, and pygmy goats. Discounts will be offered throughout the week in the Tacoma and Seattle stores starting with 20 percent off all fresh produce on Saturday, June 15 and ending with 20 percent off all bulk foods on June 22.
Originally founded on Seattle’s Capitol Hill in 1978, Central Co-op is a community-owned natural foods cooperative. A complete grocery store dedicated to sustainable practices and the Washington food economy, Central Co-op features organic produce, humanely raised meat and wild seafood, a large selection of bulk goods and herbs, an extensive health-and- wellness section, and unique gifts. It merged with Tacoma Food Co-op in 2015.