As Value Village empties out the store at 8700 15th Ave NW, the owner of the new Grocery Outlet is looking forward to moving in.
Grocery Outlet is an “extreme-value retailer” with stores that are individually owned and operated. The owner of the new Crown Hill store is Steven Campbell. He, his wife and two kids have lived in Seattle for five years. “We’re really excited that we don’t have to pick our family up and start a Grocery Outlet,” Campbell tells us in a recent phone interview.
“The first time I walked into Grocery Outlet, the thing that shocked me the most was the quality of customer service. You don’t always equate customer service with discount or bargain stores,” Campbell says. That customer service, he tells us, is something that will be prominent at the new Crown Hill store.
Campbell and his wife are strong supporters of giving back. The store as a whole is also going to be very involved in the community, with relationships with organizations such as the Ballard Food Bank and Food Lifeline, the new owner tells us. Campbell plans to offer employees the chance to volunteer, with pay, at least one day a year and possibly one day a quarter.
As for the store itself, Campbell says customers will find everything they’d find at a traditional store, including organic foods, just for less money. He does admit that if you shop for specific brands, shopping at Grocery Outlet might be tough.
When asked about the products they carry, “We have some very strict guidelines,” Campbell says. He explains that there is a difference between “use by” and “best by.” The store will sell items past the “best if used by” date, such as on cereal boxes. “I wouldn’t sell anything that I wouldn’t buy for my own family,” he says.
Campbell is looking to hire 30 to 35 people, both full-time and part-time employees. “We’re excited about putting people back to work in a down economy,” he says.
The new store is slated to open around the first week of May with remodeling of the place starting sometime next month. There will be a job fair as they get closer to an opening date.
“We’re really looking forward to being part of the community,” Campbell says.