450 N.E. 71st St.
Seattle, WA 98115
We were excited to try out Puget Consumers’ Co-op (PCC) when we moved to Seattle from our small Oregon town in 1984. We joined up at the old Ravenna store. In those days, it cost $60 to become a member for life, paid in tiny monthly increments we could just afford. Coming from the early days of the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op in Corvallis, we were shocked that PCC did not require us to bag our own groceries and surprised by the luxuries that awaited us there—packaged cheeses, a delicious deli, chocolates. But even with these differences, we felt at home at PCC, members of a smaller community instead of bumpkins lost in the Big City.
Time passed and passed. The Ravenna store became Third Place Books, and our PCC shopping shifted to other stores. View Ridge on the weekends. Greenlake en route to our daughter’s place. Even Edmonds as part of a trip to visit friends. We purchased almost as many pairs of thick wool socks and beeswax candles as pastured eggs and organic carrots in those stores.
Recently, PCC opened its newest store in the vertically-rising Greenlake Village area, which is about 10 minutes from our house, and we were there to sample the free cake (divine) and check out the layout. The store is bright and beautiful with its tomato, avocado, and strawberry gems glittering in their bowls and baskets, its shelves of organic condiments and goodies, and, yes, its lovely array of wool socks and beeswax candles. This new PCC provides excellent access for wheelchair shoppers!
Parking: Wheelchair parking spaces are easy to find in the underground parking area. They are clustered around the elevator and, when necessary, ramped to the elevator door at an easy slope.
Entrances: There are no stairs and big double-wide automatic doors open into the store from the elevator, which drops you outside into a courtyard. (The courtyard is nice, too!)
Aisles: The main aisles are wide and the smaller ones are ample. The area around the bulk foods can be a little bit of a traffic jam if three or more people are gathering grains there, and wheelchair shoppers won’t be able to reach the upper level of bins. Staff members are friendly and will provide help if asked. Reach is a problem in most grocery stores; often, that bottle of gecko curry sauce is just too high for us to grab when seated—and, as noted in previous posts, we don’t always like drawing more attention to ourselves by asking for help. But, hmmmm–what about some grabbers hanging here and there, the good red-handled ones, not the yellow-handled ones?? It’s a thought.
Restrooms: Restrooms are spacious and accessible for all. There are grab bars around the toilet, and the toilet paper is reachable. Outside the restrooms, the water fountain heights are staggered for walking and short or seated drinkers.
Photos of interior space online: Yes, a very helpful little slideshow can be found if you go to the Greenlake Village location on the PCC website.
Photos of entrances online: Yes
Reservations taken: Nope but if you talk to someone there, tell them Spoken Wheel highly recommended them!
What the wheelchair pusher has to say: Parking is really good and free for 90 minutes. Navigating the aisles is no problem, whatsoever. Five wheels–which is what you’d expect for a brand new building!