PORT TOWNSEND — A ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday celebrated an expansion of the Food Co-op that will begin Monday.
The $2.9 million expansion to the store at 414 Kearney St., will add 2,900 square feet, giving the store 15,305 square feet of retail and work space.
Work is expected to take three to four months to complete. Refreshing and resetting the interior will add an additional six to nine months to the project. The store will remain open throughout the renovation period.
Marketing Manager Andrea Stafford said a traditional ceremonial dig was performed by board and staff using garden shovels. Carrot cake was served, prepared in-house by the deli staff.
“We gave thanks to the staff and to the land,” Stafford said.
“We are thrilled to foster the economic growth of our local community and appreciate all of the support from our member/owners and customers as we navigate this large project,” said Food Co-op General Manager Kenna Eaton.
“Our plan is to stay open through the entire expansion/remodel process, so we encourage you to come down and check out the changes as they happen.”
According to Stafford, the structure will be expanded out to the property line at the east end of the site. The hillside will be excavated and a retaining wall will be built.
All recycling, composting and trash bins will be relocated to a new covered area in front of the wall. The wall will form the east end of the addition, where staff will receive, process and stock all of the products that arrive daily.
Also planned is a new break room and second restroom facility for staff.
Stafford said seven of the 54 parking spaces will be lost temporarily during construction. The library drop box will be unavailable during this time and the bicycle racks will be moved to another location. Staff will work out of the south entrance which now has been closed to the public.
Customers will notice several changes, including a 28-foot salad and hot bar, expanded sustainable meat and seafood offerings, a redesigned bulk foods section, a refreshed certified organic produce department and an expanded frozen foods section.
The Wellness Department will be redesigned, and the dining area will be relocated closer to the front of the store.
Established in 1972, The Food Co-op is a member-owned cooperative organic food market with 6,538 members. For construction updates, see www.foodcoop.coop/expansion.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]