Shoppers can purchase products from Ventures entrepreneurs at PCC locations.
PCC Community Markets, the largest community-owned food market in the United States, has revealed the recipients of its annual Diverse Entrepreneur Grant program, which provides free capital to underrepresented small businesses in partnership with Ventures, a Seattle-based nonprofit that aims to empower local entrepreneurs.
The 2021 recipients, who will be awarded grants totaling $8,000, are as follows:
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., which produces plant-based mozzarella cheese.
Elena Nebreda, owner of Kisses From, which makes USDA Organic lip balms.
“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.”
PCC debuted the Diverse Entrepreneur Grant program in 2020 to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); female; and LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. This year’s recipients will use the grants to fund a variety of business needs, among them research and development, permits, and inventory. The grants are an extension of the Scaling for Success program presented by Ventures and PCC annually. Scaling for Success courses include members of PCC’s merchandising team and focus on all aspects of developing a wholesale business, from creating business plans with a focus on wholesaling and inventory management to efficient communication between business owners and potential customers.
“Working with Ventures helps us support members of our community who often don’t have access to traditional business development services or funding,” noted 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.”
PCC shoppers can purchase such products from Ventures entrepreneurs as JT’s Original Louisiana Bar-B-Que Sauce, brittles from Lanier’s Fine Candies, Capuli Club teas, and, in the co-op’s Health and Body Care section, skin and self-care products from Deschampsia and OOliva.
Seattle-based PCC Community Markets is a certified-organic community-owned food market with 100,000 members and counting. Its fresh, organic, seasonal food is sustainably sourced from more than 800 local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. With an active membership of more than 95,000 households, PCC operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound area. The co-op also plans to open new stores in Downtown Seattle and Madison Valley, and relocate its Kirkland location.