Rain couldn't dampen their enthusiasm. Neither could 18 flat tires, one broken derailleur and a 12-plus hour journey over 100 miles. The nearly 20-member crew of PCC's third Tour de Neuf managed to visit all nine co-op locations by bike on Memorial Day! And what a day it was.
The crew, led by organizer extraordinaire and PCC Fremont assistant store director Layton Wakatsuki (far left), posing in the parking lot of the newly remodeled Issaquah PCC, the tour's official start.
The ride itself was just one aspect of this logistical challenge. The day began at 7 a.m. at PCC Fremont, where the crew loaded a rented truck with bikes, then piled into rented vans for the trip to the starting point: PCC Issaquah. They (and a pair of support vans piloted by customer service manager Mimi Simmons and Jeff Johnson from PCC Fremont's produce department) journeyed from there to Redmond, Kirkland, Edmonds, Greenlake, View Ridge, Seward Park, West Seattle and finally, many hours later, Fremont.
Check out that form!
A shoutout to PCC Cooks on the jersey of Craig Scheak, husband of PCC Cooks manager Marilyn McCormick.
And on the back as well!
The crew was beset with repairs throughout the journey -- 18 flats total! Ouch. That's enough to fly through anyone's backup supply, hence, the group bought six extra tubes at one point during the day.
Wet weather made for a soggy ride early the day. Rain = soggy shoes. Thank goodness for this afternoon sunburst!
A contingent of the determined crew. From left: Alana Anderson, Esther Gorsuch, Dylan Hendricks and Jacqui Levy of PCC Fremont and in the yellow, Rachel Marcotte of PCC Edmonds.
There's a lot to like about grass-fed meats: Higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids; Less fat; Delicious flavor; Cattle and sheep eating a diet their bodies were designed to eat. At PCC we offer 100-percent grass-fed meats from Thundering Hooves in Walla Walla, Wash. (find it fresh at PCC Fremont, with more locations to come, and frozen all stores for now), Eel River Organic Beef from northern California and Umpqua Valley Lamb of Oregon.
Our PCC crew headed to KING 5 TV's studios Wednesday to talk (and cook) grass-fed beef on New Day Northwest. It was great fun being a fly on the wall as the broadcast came together.
Sven, our meat merchandiser, shares his favorite cut of beef: a hefty bone-in rib steak.
PCC Chef Lynne Vea mixing up ground grass-fed beef with carmelized onoins for moisture. She pre-cooked the burgers to medium rare so that they'd finish cooking quickly during the show's cooking segment.
Ever wonder how to perfectly form a burger? Roxanne's dainty hands form these lovely patties with a biscuit cutter (note: I'm so entranced by this I can't get my finger out of the lens!).
Lynne is an amazing cook, a lovely person, and highly skilled at making things look wonderful on television. Here's some of her handiwork for the show. Check out some of her past work.
Dress-rehearsal in the studio. Wednesday's show also featured violinist Regina Carter, reps from the Salvation Army spreading word of a giant food packaging party for Haiti this weekend and much, much more!
See the finished video here! Catch New Day Northwest weekdays at 11 a.m. on KING5, and don't miss PCC's segments every other Wednesday. Coming up: PCC talks summer sun protection. Not that we would know anything about the sun on a dreary day like today...
In a town of beloved co-ops, there's always room for one more. So we're excited that University of Washington students are launching their own food cooperative to ensure a supply of healthy and organic prepared foods within easy reach. Even better, much of it is grown right on campus! The rest they hope to source from local farmers and artisans.
The crew celebrating the gift of life, otherwise known as Cedar Grove Compost. (all photos courtesy of UWSFC)
Right now, they need seed money (pun intended) to buy a food cart to better distribute the goodness. Join them for a fundraiser dinner and dessert auction (plus live music and dance performances!) 6 p.m. Saturday, May 29 at OmCulture, 2210 N. Pacific St. in Seattle, right near Gasworks Park. Tickets are $11 for students and $18 for the general public (visit Brown Paper Tickets to buy them in advance) or $15 for students/$22 general public at the door.
The UW farm in full swing last summer.
Help them get their start.
Where will the Kid Pick Mobile turn up next? Connect with Kid Picks on Facebook and you'll always be in the know! For now, we'll give you some strong hints...
ENJOY HEALTHY SNACKS at the Girls on the Run 5K, 10 a.m. Saturday May 22 at Seward Park. This run/walk is open to the comunity -- women, men, children, leashed pets and all-terrain strollers are welcome. Make sure the kids visit the Kid Picks Mobile for free healthy vittles.
FREE NUTRITION CLASSES at PCC Edmonds, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday, May 23. PCC nutrition educator Leika Suzumura will use each 45-minute session to help parents provide the meals and snacks kids need to be their strongest. Enjoy delicious samples, hands-on activities and leave with information that will help feed the whole family. Kids, picky eaters and dedicated parents all welcome! Registration is not required, but you can call 206-547-1222 for more details. And yes ... you'll find the Kid Picks Mobile there, too!
HELP SEATTLE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL by buying Kid Picks-approved items at PCC. Through June 15, 5 percent (up to $10,000!) of all Kid Picks sales go to support the important work done at Children's. Click here to learn more about this Families Helping Families promotion and don't forget you can always consult our handy dandy Kid Picks Database!
Some of you have asked how to celebrate the life of the late Robert Hansen, a longtime "Real Change" vendor at our Seward Park store who passed earlier in May at age 58. PCC is contributing to a new newsroom at the newspaper's offices that will be named for Mr. Hansen; "Real Change" welcomes any additional donations to the newsroom in Mr. Hansen's memory. Call 206-441-3247 ext. 201 for details.
Also, a public memorial service is scheduled 1-2 p.m. Friday, May 14 at the plaza in front of Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. "Real Change" welcomes those who would like to share their memories of Mr. Hansen. Call 206-441-3247 ext. 207 to volunteer.
Kirkland cooks, don't miss your chance this June and July to enjoy special classes from our award-winning PCC Cooks culinary program at the Peter Kirk Community Center!
We've teamed with the Kirkland Parks & Recreation Department to offer a pair of engaging classes from two of our most-popular instructors -- Lynne Vea (left) and Pranee Halvorsen. Learn the art of Dining Al Fresco or discover delicious Thai Basics. You'll go home with a full belly, new recipes and fresh ideas for summer cooking.
Please note: Registration for these special classes is through Kirkland's Parks & Recreation Department. Click here for details and registration information, or call 425-587-3336. Bon appetit!
At PCC, we take pride in the many adjectives shoppers have given our coffee beans over the years: Fragrant, bold, smooth, rich, delicious. But three in particular make us stand up a little straighter: Organic, shade-grown and Fair Trade-certified. And as of today, here's another to add to that wonderful trio: Locally roasted!
Equal Exchange, a fellow co-op, has begun roasting its PCC-bound coffee beans in Oregon, creating local jobs and further minimizing the time it takes for their fresh-roasted beans to reach your home grinders, espresso machines and coffee makers. They join fellow local roasters Tony's Coffee (roasted in Bellingham, Wash.), Kalani Organica (roasted in Seattle), Caffe Ladro (roasted in Seattle) and Fidalgo Bay Coffee (roasted in Burlington, Wash.).
This marks the culmination of an effort that our grocery merchandiser, Stephanie Steiner, launched earlier this decade, to build a coffee selection that could be delicious, easier on the environment and beneficial to coffee growers. The Fair Trade movement helps coffee growers earn a living wage. Shade-grown beans provide habitat for migratory birds. Organically grown coffee results in fewer pesticides entering our environment.
Tastes even better now, doesn't it?
Sure, you can get your hands on strawberries just about any time of year. But in this part of the world, they're at their absolute best when plucked ripe from local fields in June, their scent sugary and their texture perfectly pliant, each mouthful a burst of juicy flavor. Same goes for corn in late summer; so tender, you can eat it straight on the cob, no cooking required.
Want to eat like a local? Reference our handy chart so you'll know when each of your organic and local Northwest favorites is due in our produce department. It's a delicious way to support local growers and enjoy seasonal favorites at their peak.
Our Seward Park community mourns the passing of Robert Hansen, 58, a "Real Change" vendor who regularly sold the paper in downtown Seattle and outside our Seward Park PCC store. He's described as an advocate and a kind, jovial person, a man with infectious enthusiasm, who always had a kind word to say. Read more about Mr. Hansen here. Hear more about Mr. Hansen here, via KPLU. And here's another tribute to him via Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur. May he rest in peace.
Did you know children 12 and younger can pick out a free piece of fruit each time they visit PCC? It's part of Kid Picks, our taste-test program that since 2004 has identified hundreds of kid-tasted and approved items sold in our stores.
Parents look for the orange Kid Picks signs when shopping to find items given a thumbs-up by youngsters around the Puget Sound region. Actually, plenty of people beyond parents look for those signs, because anything marked with them is bound to be tasty. Kids, after all, have some of the most discerning taste buds around.
Through June 15, there's even more reason to seek out Kid Picks items on your next trip to PCC: PCC will donate five percent of Kid Picks product sales, up to a total of $10,000, to support the Seattle Children's Hospital outreach as part of the Families Helping Families partnership.
Stay in the know on the latest Kid Pick events, newly approved items and the whereabouts of the Kid Picks mobile on the program's new Facebook page, or follow the Kid Picks crew on Twitter. Next stop: Sunday, May 9 at the Kirkland Half Marathon, where the crew will hand out healthy samples for the younger crowd and fresh fruit to race participants. Visit kirklandhalfmarathon.com for more details.