Frequently asked questions
We get lots of good questions about PCC. Here are a few of the most common, with their answers!
What is PCC Natural Markets?
PCC stands for Puget Consumers Co-op. PCC is a full-service natural foods grocer, featuring a great selection of natural and locally-grown organic fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat — produced without synthetic chemicals, additives or genetically modified ingredients.
PCC started as a food-buying club of 15 families in 1953. Today, it has grown into the largest natural food retail cooperative in the United States. Explore our history and learn how we went from 15 families to 45,000 members.
Why does PCC remain a co-op?
Being a co-op is an important part of our identity.
We were started by a community of people and we maintain our roots by being member-owned and operated. Our members are actually partial owners of our stores. They determine bylaws, elect the Board of Trustees each year (an important activity, as the board members represent the interests of the members), and participate in committees and individual volunteer projects. And unlike other grocery stores, our profits go directly back into our stores or to the communities we serve.
Do you have to be a member to shop at PCC?
No — everyone is welcome to shop at PCC Natural Markets! But there are great reasons to become a member.
What are the benefits of membership?
There are lots of benefits to membership! Below is just a sampling:
- Save 10 percent on the shopping trip of your choice. Look for your 10% off coupon on page two of your home delivered Sound Consumer. Bring your coupon and member card to any PCC store on the shopping trip of your choice and save 10 percent — for members only!
- 5 percent off on everything purchased on Member Bonus Days on the 15th and 16th of each month (cannot be combined with above savings).
- Free monthly home delivery of our Sound Consumer newspaper.
- Free "Natural Foods Kitchen" class with nutrition educators.
- Discount on PCC Cooks cooking and wellness classes.
Find out more on our member benefits.
More reasons to feel good about joining PCC!
- You can be assured that PCC operates in an environmentally friendly way.
- Your membership strengthens our advocacy for high-quality food standards: Added to the voices of our 45,000 members, your membership supports fair trade, local and sustainable products and helps us advocate an even stronger message to state and national policy makers.
- We'll actively keep you informed of important health, nutrition and food policy issues through the monthly newsletter PCC Sound Consumer, PCC Cooks classes, our e-mail newsletters and Web site.
- Your membership helps support local organic farmers, bringing you the freshest, most delicious produce available. We also partner with the Farmland Trust, a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving organic farmland.
- As a PCC member you become an active supporter of your own community: A portion of the money members spend in our stores is given back to the ten communities in which our stores are located.
How do I become a member?
What does PCC do with my $60 membership investment?
This is our capital, a fund of money that helps us make improvements in our stores. The more member capital we have, the less we have to borrow from the bank. Members use the services PCC offers and the money stays in our community, benefiting local sustainable agriculture and consumer cooperation.
In conventional business models, capital is provided by private investors intent on making a profit.