Kress-IGA Supermarket to stock local favorites
When Kress IGA Supermarket opens in downtown Seattle next month, it will bring bread, eggs and lettuce to a grocery-starved part of the...
Seattle Times business reporters
When Kress IGA Supermarket opens in downtown Seattle next month, it will bring bread, eggs and lettuce to a grocery-starved part of the city.
It also plans to offer chocolate, flowers, soups and pasta from local chefs and bakers who do not sell to other grocery stores.
Xai Cha's Garden in Pike Place Market doesn't have the delivery trucks or bar codes to market on a large scale.
"She hand-wraps them in paper," said Catherine Willis, Kress' assistant store director, of the owner's product. "We've added a custom register key just for her product."
Xai Cha will walk extra bouquets to Kress when necessary, Willis said. "You can't beat that for fuel conservation."
Piroshky Piroshky, also in the market, will sell its popular Russian dumplings to Kress, which is just a few blocks away at 1423 Third Ave., a space occupied by the department store S.H. Kress & Co. for 50 years until it closed in the 1970s.
In an unusual step for any grocery store, Kress will deal with each of these vendors directly, including taking separate invoices from them. Most supermarkets order from distributors who manage relationships and give them a single bill for everything.
When Willis talked to Tyler Myers, CEO of the company that owns Kress, she loved the idea of having a supermarket downtown. "He said the good outweighed the paperwork," said Willis, who left PCC Natural Markets after 14 years to join Kress.
She scouted the city for unique vendors for the store and came up with nine. Another popular name is Dahlia Bakery, which will walk about 25 loaves of bread to Kress each afternoon.
"We've been approached [by grocery stores] before and always turned it down," said restaurateur Tom Douglas, who also owns the bakery and catering services. "We can't control the product once it's in grocery stores."
With Kress, the loaves will be available for a short time each day — about 2 p.m. to closing — to keep the bread fresh, he said.
"When people get a loaf of my bread, it needs to be perfect," Douglas said. "We felt like with Kress, we're going to be neighbors."
— Melissa AllisonTidbits
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Redhook Ale Brewery will ask shareholders to approve the issuance of common stock for its merger with Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland at Redhook's annual meeting at 2 p.m. on June 24 at its headquarters office in Woodinville. — MA
Retail Report appears Fridays. Melissa Allison covers the food and beverage industry. She can be reached at 206-464-3312 or email@example.com. Amy Martinez covers goods, services and online retail. She can be reached at 206-464-2923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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