As you know, our Heart of Seattle Awards are underway and now that the top finalists of each category have been chosen, it's time for them to tell YOU why they should get this prestigious recognition. All of the groups have some pretty solid cases, so we've selected some of the best quotes from each finalist and they will be viewable and accessible on blog posts for the next two months. After reading the quotes, vote for the business that you think should be chosen for the Heart of Seattle award in each category. Here are the grocery finalists:
PCC Community Markets
"[PCC] provide[s] honest and transparent products offered in green stores, pioneering work in organics, farmland preservation, and food systems that laid the groundwork for the organic movement today. In 2016, they donated over $1 million in in-kind and financial support to community programs, representing over 10 percent of pretax net income. They are dedicated to preserving local farmland and partnering with Northwest producers and ranchers."
"... [Central] Co-op offers over 250 everyday items at especially low prices, and offers 10% off to those receiving government assistance twice a week, through their Healthy Community Program. Central Co-op follows a solidarity model with both worker and consumer ownership with more than 14,500 active owners, and in January of 2015 became the first grocery store in the nation to pay better than $15/hour at entry level with full benefits for full-time workers. They give over $30,000 annually to local non-profit groups. Central Co-op was instrumental in the effort to make Seattle a "Bee City USA" and are part of the pollinator task force that helped the City adopt a formal ban on Neo-nic pesticides on City property."
Acme Farms + Kitchen
"[Acme Farms + Kitchen] gives weekly to local food banks. They support programs that educate children regarding local and healthy food through Common Threads Farm, Tilth Alliance, and Sauvie Island Center. They donate monthly meals to a local homeless housing project for women and children. They also work with PTA's on fundraising, and donate healthy, local snacks monthly to an elementary school and worked with local groups to make more local food available to school cafeterias. They participate in the community's Eat Local First program, advocating for more consumption of local food and making it available to underserved populations in the community."
Community Food Co-Op
"[The Community Food Co-op has] implemented sustainability projects including a new customer recycling center in their downtown store location, creating a more comprehensive tracking system in production departments to track organic ingredient purchases; eliminating GMO ingredients from deli and bakery production departments; becoming Energy Star-certified at our Cordata and Downtown store locations; installing electric car chargers at the downtown store location; improving water filtration in the downtown store parking lot; and eliminating foam packaging from meat and specialty cheese departments."
"Viva Farms is a non-profit farm business incubator established in 2009 is located in Skagit County Washington, supporting aspiring farmers by providing bilingual training in sustainable organic farming, and access to land, infrastructure, equipment, marketing and capital (The Essentials). They lower the barriers for beginning farmers and create the opportunity for success. Viva has educated over 700 small farmers (100+ Spanish speakers) in sustainable organic farming and is currently incubating 13 independent farm businesses (7 Latino-owned)."
Now that you've heard why each business believes they deserve their category's award, you are given the daunting task of voting for which of these 5 fantastic businesses should win.