STAYING THE COURSE. Cate Hardy, CEO of PCC Community Markets, lauds the company’s remarkable employee loyalty.
GOLD AWARD: PCC Community Markets
Cate Hardy, CEO
Founded in seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets is the largest community-owned food market in the nation. Selling organic seasonal food that is sustainably and locally sourced, the co-op has an active membership of more than 60,000 households. From preserving the local farmland and stocking shelves with ethically sourced and Fair Trade items to giving money back to the members who own it and donating to local food banks, nonprofits and schools, PCC looks for ways to give back in every aspect of its business.
This past spring, PCC committed to donating $1 million by 2020 to PCC Farmland Trust, the nonprofit it founded nearly 20 years ago to conserve local farmland. Today, PCC Farmland Trust is an independent 501(c)(3) organization and is the only statewide land trust focused on farmland. It has preserved 23 farms — more than 2,500 acres — across Washington state.
In 2017, PCC returned 57 percent of its profits to members and contributed an additional 11 percent to organizations in the communities it serves, including schools and nonprofits around the Puget Sound region. That same year, it renewed its labor contract, working to ensure a robust benefits package for its employees. “Nearly 20 percent of our staff has been with PCC more than 10 years,” says PCC CEO Cate Hardy. “In an industry that regularly has a turnover in excess of 100 percent annually, this is a huge achievement and statement about how our staff feels about PCC.”