PT Food Co-op

Port Townsend Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St., Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Open Every Day 8am-9pm
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Your Co-op Needs You – Run for the Board

March 3rd, 2015 by Rachel Williams

Your Co-op Needs You!

Run For The Food Co-op Board

A healthy co-op requires dedicated people, and this spring we need cooperatively minded people who care about community and local food to run for The Food Co-op Board.

Does that sound like you? Then pick up a Candidate Packet from the Member Services Desk at the front of the store or download the packet here: Board Candidate Application Packet. The packet is chock full of information about how the board works and how to run for the board.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Board Assistant Rachel Williams at or 379-5798 for more information. You can also contact the board directly at

Join our hard-working and fun-loving crew!

BOD Tractor Photo


Announcing the “Centsibles” Program

February 23rd, 2015 by Kathie

Shopping at The Food Co-op now makes more sense than ever. To help you stretch your food dollars further, we have lowered our prices on 60 of our bestsellers — items that fit everyone’s pantry. Our new price program, “Centsibles,” is a sensible list of whole food and other goods at a good price:

peanut butter
ground beef
bath tissue
laundry soap
diced tomatoes
coconut milk
almond milk
sunflower oil
dish soap







This program is an expansion of the former Co-op Staples and “Every Day Great Price” price programs, two programs which are now discontinued. Look for the Centsibles logo throughout the store because it makes “cents” to save.


News from the Board: Advisory Poll Responses

February 10th, 2015 by Rachel Williams

Coop EvolutionAdvisory Poll Responses Are In!

By Janet Welch, Board President

The miracles of electronic communications allowed 622 members to weigh in, repeatedly as the rankings changed, on what qualities they valued most in a Food Coop facility.

Many members also took the opportunity to include comments, either in the comment box or by sending a letter to  Those comments will provide the Board with further insight in the creative ways that members are thinking about our facility.  Keep those letters coming; we love hearing what you are thinking.   We hear that a few members believe that we’re just “going through the motions” of getting input and that our minds are made up about what we want to do.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  We love our location, but it has problems with drainage and no space to expand.  Everything is on the table as far as our evolution; we are actively looking for ways to retain what we value most, while planning for the long term as more members shop in the store.

Here are the results:

Report date: Monday 02 February 2015 10:07 PST

The Food Co-op Facility Advisory Poll

Rank Choice Votes %
1 Ample space for produce, local and bulk 519 83.44
2 Efficient workspace (backroom and receiving) 356 57.23
3 Accessible by bus, bike or walking 335 53.86
4 Energy efficient 309 49.68
5 Modest scale with country store feel (not “trendy”) 279 44.86
6 Adequate parking for a growing membership 246 39.55
7 Visible location, central to community 223 35.85
8 More storage to keep backstock of product( for food security, etc.) on site or off 159 25.56
9 Sized for growing membership (larger, more spacious facility) 133 21.38
10 Adaptable, expandable facility (possibly through modular design) 124 19.94
11 Sized for full service (one stop shopping) 96 15.43
12 Some functions or departments off site 54 8.68
13 Space for recycling, including #5 plastics write-in 44 7.07
14 Delivery service (bike or otherwise) to offset need for additional parking 38 6.11
15 Engaging transitional entryways with room for produce, starts, etc. 31 4.98
16 Space for seated dining write-in 30 4.82
17 Site on higher ground, to avoid water damage write-in 16 2.57
18 Off site warehouse write-in 12 1.93


One advantage to inviting the entire membership to participate in the poll was to test for similarities and the differences between the responses gathered at the member meeting and through the poll.  The similarities were notable.  So were the differences.

One of the striking similarities was the importance that both groups placed on three qualities: an efficient workspace; ample space for produce, local, and bulk; and a capacity for food storage.  “Energy efficiency” and “accessibility by bus, bike, or walking” both rose decisively in the poll as members continued to rank their preferences.  I thought it was interesting that, among meeting participants, one of the most important qualities was “retain central location” while on the poll this dropped to #7.  Perhaps the importance of location was heightened at the meeting because of the discussion we had about the implications of moving.

What is next?

In the process we’ve laid out for the “evolution” of our facilities, Phase 1 culminates with a prioritized list of essential facilities qualities. We are hoping to sift through the poll results and the comments to create that list by late March.  Phase 2 will involve brainstorming as many options as we can and then whittling them down to create a short list of options that will best address our short and long-term needs while providing as many of the essential qualities as possible.  Then we’ll bring those options back to the membership for more input.  This will be a very creative time, since we’ve found that no obvious option could possibly give everyone everything that they want.  Stay tuned!


January 20th, 2015 by Mindy

COMMONS Winter 2015 cover ocean teapot

COMMONS Winter 2015 cover ocean teapotIn this issue of the Co-op Commons Winter 2015, get the latest from the Co-op Board: new study groups, elections, and our path of evolution — exploring the long-range needs for our Co-op’s facility. Learn about the versatility and nutrition of mung beans, beets, how to make soup, and what makes our register receipts better than ever. Read about Beans for Bags, laugh at bean jokes, and enter to win a $25 Co-op store card by guessing the number of beans in the jar located at the front of the store. 

Your Turn – Advisory Poll on Facilities

January 16th, 2015 by Rachel Williams

Coop EvolutionWhat qualities do you most value in a Food Co-op facility?

On January 5, The Food Co-op held a member meeting to talk about the evolution of our facility. Whether or not you came to that meeting, you now have a chance to weigh in online with this advisory poll.

The Board will soon make decisions that impact the short and long range use of our facility, and we want your input. Some members have asked, Why do anything? We love it as it is! We love it, too, but the store is getting squeezed, especially in the back rooms where much of the work is done. We need to fix our current problems and set the stage to meet our future needs.

So, to begin, the Board wants a clear idea of what our members value in a co-op facility. A prioritized list of those qualities will help guide us when hard choices need to be made. And, alas, hard choices, or at least creative ones, are going to be necessary because we’ve looked for the easy solutions for years without success.

At the core of the hard choices we must make is the fact that we all love our location AND it suffers from multiple limitations such as inadequate room to expand either the parking, loading dock area, or building footprint; it is subject to flooding because of its low elevation and problems with city storm water drainage; and it is vulnerable to earthquake and/or tsunami.  What to do?

At the January 5 meeting, about 80 members created a list prioritizing the qualities they believe should be a part of the long-range facilities solution, whatever that might be.  Now it’s your turn to give feedback, telling us how you would prioritize the choices. (For a more complete write up of the meeting, please see the prior blog post News for the Board – Jan 2015.)

You may notice that staff safety is NOT on our list of things we want your opinion on and that’s because to us, staff safety is non-negotiable. And while our current worksite is crowded and inefficient, we work hard to ensure our staff are well trained and follow all established safety guidelines.

This advisory poll allows each member to select five top facility priorities.  If you believe that a desirable quality is missing from the list, you may suggest it as a write-in, and we will periodically add suggestions to the list.  In real time, the list will be automatically updated and arranged so that selections with the greatest support rise to the top.  Over the course of the two weeks (January 19-February 1) that polling is open, you may change your selection—up to 10 times—if you change your mind or if a new choice is added that you believe is more important.  Only your last selection counts. (You can return to the poll from the main Co-op web page.)

Thank you very much for participating!

Click here to go to the Advisory Poll.

Member & Board Discussion Groups

January 14th, 2015 by Rachel Williams

Discussion Groups are coming!

Thought Provoking ~ Fun ~ FREE

Study Groups Boardby Janet Welch

This winter The Food Co-op is kicking off a series of study and discussion groups, hosted by board members. The sessions will be held on Monday evenings at the Co-op Annex, 2482 Washington Street. Dessert and tea will be provided. See below for topics, dates, and additional details.

What Does It Mean To Be a Co-op Today?

Hosts: Monica le Roux & Lisa Barclay

Monday January 26th, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Co-op Annex 2482 Washington Street, Port Townsend

Our first discussion will explore the role of the Cooperative in today’s communities and economy. We’ll begin with a screening of the film Food for Change.  This excellent documentary shows the role cooperatives have played in different eras in U.S. History, from their role in addressing the problems created by the Great Depression, to the re-emergence of cooperatives in the 1960s, and finally, how cooperatives continue to be used by consumers and farmers to gain more control of their local economies.

Following the film, we’ll have 45 minutes of discussion. This will be an opportunity to make connections between historical co-operative movements, starting with the Rochdale Pioneers in the United Kingdom in 1844, and our current needs, challenges, and opportunities.

  • Screening of the documentary Food For Change at 6:30
  • Discussion from 7:45-8:30

Contact Monica le Roux if you have questions: 643-0821

How Can We Be Ethical Consumers?

Host: Janet Welch

4 week series: Mondays from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, February 2, 9, 16 & 23

Co-op Annex 2482 Washington Street, Port Townsend

In order to receive reading materials, pre-register by emailing Janet at

Through the month of February, we’ll discuss the hurdles and opportunities to ethical consuming, using readings from the Northwest Earth Institute’s course Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability. We encourage participants to commit to all four Mondays. By signing up in advance for the entire series, you’ll receive a copy of the coursebook. It is also possible to sign up for one or more individual sessions and receive the readings via email the week prior to each session.

February 2:  The Bigger Picture behind Food Choices

February 9:  A Healthy Appetite

February 16:  Respect and Compassion in the Food Chain

February 23:  Eating for the Earth

Contact Janet Welch to register or for information at

News from the Board – January 2015

January 13th, 2015 by Mindy

Coop EvolutionConsciously Choosing Tradeoffs

by Janet Welch, Board President

Facilities Visioning Meeting Recap

In case you missed it, on January 5, the Coop Board held a member meeting at the Uptown Community/Rec Center to talk about our crowded facilities. Eighty or more members showed up to tell us what is important to them in a Co-op facility. We wanted to brainstorm ideas in this opening stage of what we are calling our Co-op Evolution—Where do we go from here with respect to our facilities?

We’ve all experienced times when the parking lot is full, the aisles are congested. But there is more than meets the eye of the average member. Kenna, our General Manager, showed photos of the back room that most shoppers never see, a small, crowded space that is difficult for the staff to maneuver in. Photos of the outside receiving area showed the pallets of food that have to be moved into the store at night and then back outside during the day. Lots of inefficiencies! Our minimal back room space also makes us dependent on daily shipments to keep product on the shelves, which in turn makes us more vulnerable to disruptions in supply. I then presented other issues that impact our options. We are built out to the limits of our property and any increase to the building footprint would mean a smaller parking area. Options for a second story aren’t promising because the building won’t support the load, and the parking issue would simply get worse. Space constraints forced us to move our offices and meeting rooms off site years ago, adding to inefficiencies. One of the most significant constraints is the low-lying topography of the area and issues having to do with city stormwater drains. Did you know that the city has to pump stormwater up to the bay for discharge? When faced with the size and topographic limitations of the existing site, one obvious solution would be to relocate. Unlike the 2001 move from Uptown to our existing location, however, there isn’t a nearby property that has the size and zoning for a store like ours. The most likely option would be in upper Sims Way, out by the Goodwill. And therein lies the problem: we love our location and we love the scale of our store, and retaining those things doesn’t provide many options for relieving our crowding.

Next Steps – Advisory Poll Coming Soon

Much thought and many discussions about these issues have not so far resulted in an obvious solution; it appears that any change must be arise from thinking creatively and making conscious tradeoffs. And that is where the member meeting came in. At that meeting about 80 members worked to create a list prioritizing those qualities that must be a part of the long-range facilities solution, whatever that might be. The plan is to use that list to seed a discussion among a larger group of members through an advisory poll, which you can access either through email—if we have your email address—or in the store. This poll allows each member to vote for the qualities you believe are most important in a facility. If you believe something is missing from the list, you may add it as a write-in, and then it too may be voted on from that point on. In real time, votes will be automatically counted and arranged so that selections with the greatest number of votes rise to the top of the list. Over the course of the two weeks that voting is open, you may change your vote–up to 10 times–if you change your mind or if a new selection is added that you believe is more important. Only the results of your last vote count. If you do not have access to a computer, one will be available in the front of the store near the Board’s board.

News from the Board – December 2014

December 26th, 2014 by Rachel Williams

Coop EvolutionCo-op Facilities Evolution—You Can Help

If you shop in the Co-op around lunch time or mid afternoon, you may have noticed that it can get a bit crowded in the store and in the parking lot. What is less visible to shoppers is that the back rooms (receiving, storage, prep, etc) are even more crowded. The challenges and opportunities that this presents are not new. The need has been apparent and ideas have been percolating for years, hemmed in by various factors: we own our building and land, we don’t own the neighboring land (making expansion difficult), we are located on a low spot (drainage issues), the building wasn’t constructed for expansion, etc.  Meanwhile many adjustments have been made to optimize use of the space that we have.

The Food Co-op leadership team is embarking on a process to identify our facility needs and assess options that will set us up for success long into the future.   We need your help! The first phase involves asking the question: What does the ideal co-op facility provide? To arrive at a useful, thorough answer, we need input from our members, staff, farmers, producers—everyone with a stake in the Co-op. We have lots of opportunities for you to participate including in the store, at a stakeholder meeting January 5th, and online.

In the store:

Stop by the alcove to talk with board members and share your thoughts during the next week at the following times:

  • Friday, Dec 26th 3-5: Patricia, Henry
  • Saturday, Dec 27th 12-2: Monica, Henry
  • Wednesday, Dec 31st 12-2: Henry, Janet
  • Thursday, Jan 1st 12-2: Monica, Lisa
  • Friday, Jan 2nd 3-5: Patricia, Janet
  • Saturday, Jan 3rd 3-5: David, Lisa

At a special stakeholder meeting:

Listen Like Crazy II

Monday, Jan 5th from 7-9 pm at the Uptown Rec Center (upstairs)

On January 5, we will have a stakeholders meeting, which we are calling Listen Like Crazy II (after a Co-op brainstorming event in 2007). We are inviting all Co-op stakeholders to participate. That means you! General Manager Kenna Eaton will give an overview of the issues and challenges of our current facilities. Board President Janet Welch will review the outcome of the previous Listen Like Crazy as a starting point for this discussion. We’ll use the majority of our time to break into smaller groups to brainstorm answers to the question: What would an ideal co-op facility provide? Finally, we will gather back into one group to discuss and prioritize the ideas that were generated. Carrot cake and vegan chocolate cake (everyone’s Co-op Deli favorites) will be provided.


Member Advisory Poll

We are planning a member advisory poll (both online and in the store) for mid February, to engage a wider group of members in responding to the ideas and priorities that that were generated at the January 5th meeting. Look for updates in your email, on the Board’s board at the front of the store, or check back here on our blog for details on how to participate.

Please stop by to see us in the alcove, be sure to come to the stakeholders meeting on January 5, and look for the opportunity to participate in the poll in February. These are just the first steps in a process that will involve lots of hard work and creative thinking by the Board and management to reconcile the vision and values that you help us shape with the practical possibilities defined by geography, zoning and budgets, so be sure to stay tuned for further updates as we move through this process.

News from the Board Nov 2014

November 21st, 2014 by Rachel Williams


PATRONAGE DIVIDEND VOTE graphicMembers Approve Patronage Dividends

The results are in from the member vote on adopting a Patronage Dividend System. Members had the opportunity to vote, during a 25 day period beginning October 25 and ending November 19th, whether or not to adopt changes to The Food Co-op’s Articles of Incorporation that would allow for Patronage Dividends. We are pleased to announce that the initiative passed with 94% in favor. A total of 973 votes were recorded, with 915 Yes votes and 58 No votes.

Board Vote December 2 on By-Law Amendment

The next step in the process of establishing a Patronage Dividend system is for the board to approve changes to The Food Co-op’s bylaws. These changes will bring the bylaws into alignment with the new Articles of Incorporation, and further specify how Patronage Dividends will be implemented. The Board will vote on adopting these By-Law changes at the December 2nd 2014 regular meeting. The By-Law Amendment can be downloaded below and is also posted on the Board’s Board in the store.

By-Law Amendment 12.2.14

Thanks for taking the time to be an engaged member of The Food Co-op!


October 22nd, 2014 by Mindy

COMMONS Autumn 2014 cover

COMMONS Autumn 2014 coverCoopCommons Autumn Issue 2014 web