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Owner of new Grocery Outlet excited to move in

Posted by Geeky Swedes on February 25th, 2010

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.

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53 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 SMB // Feb 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Ooooh! So happy to be getting a new Gross-Out!

  • 2 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I must admit I have heard a lot of horror stories about these types of stores selling products that are past due dates and less than fresh. I hope that the new store can follow the proper regulations for selling past prime food. I believe it is okay to do, as long as the food is clearly sold and marked as past prime.

    We will need to keep an eye on this store to ensure they follow the rules.

  • 3 ballarbbill // Feb 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    sour grapes

  • 4 zipper // Feb 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Yes, we must impose our will on these people, for we know better than them.

    Seriously, how much time do you have to get worked up about this crap?

  • 5 atworkcat // Feb 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I, personally, am very excited that there will be a new Grocery Outlet just up the street. I didn't go to the one stopgo mentions as being just 3 miles away, mainly because I like to do my shopping on foot whenever possible.

    I like that Grocery Outlet sells stuff that isn't food for much cheaper, too, like laundry detergent and toilet paper. I also like to get pantry items for casseroles (dried noodles, canned goods, etc.) that I'm not so concerned about the freshness of the items.

    I won't do *all* my grocery shopping there, but I know I will save quite a bit if I don't buy those items at the Safeway, QFC, or Ballard Market, and just use those stores for my fresh items. I remember getting out of a Grocery Outlet with $80 worth of stuff for just $40 and I felt like I won the lotto.

    As for the upkeep of the grounds, I'll leave that to those that are affected by the store. I might recommend, however, that you keep in mind that these fine folks are not going in thinking about how they'll mess up your neighborhood, and they're surely looking to do the best by everyone.

  • 6 Ytoo // Feb 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I have never seen a single item with a past due date at the Shoreline store.

  • 7 hypolita // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Ytoo, I concur. I've shopped at the shoreline store many times and never seen an out of date item. What stopgo probably doesn't realize is that regular stores pull dry and canned goods when there is 6 months to a year left until it expires. When it hits the outlet shelves there is still plenty of time left. These stores are not just about close to expiring goods either, but overstocks, over orders and packaging changes. You can find really great stuff that just has an old label on it. I, for one, am excited that Grocery Outlet is coming closer to home.

  • 8 linusrox // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Here's a great Slate article about expiration dates.

  • 9 linusrox // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm

  • 10 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    If you look at the link:

    you can clearly see what I bought today. Proof is there for all to see.

  • 11 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Well, I'm not sure who would buy it, but I am okay with them selling it as long as it is CLEARLY marked as required. Its not fair to the stores that follow these regulations that they should have to complete with stores who do not.

  • 12 Ytoo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Sad for you and off since no one else has had such issues.

    karma perhaps?

  • 13 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Most people don't pay that close attention, I suppose. Trust me, this was a small sample of the expired products there. I could have found many more. Even at those UNBELIEVABLE prices, I didn't want to buy half the merchandise in the store.

    I should note that NONE of the items purchased in the pictures above where sold or marked as past prime.

    I'm looking forward to welcoming the GO to the neighborhood, but will be keeping a watchful eye on them. I am planning on taking a job there as an undercover agent to keep a very watchful eye on them. The story begins now.

  • 14 Ytoo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    A double naught Spy like Jethro Boudin? LOLOLOL

  • 15 Ivermectin // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I know it's tough, but don't feed the troll. It's been pretty active for a few days now, and if we've learned anything from history, we should have some quiet time VERY soon.

    I got a Seahawks snuggie for less than $15 recently. I LOVE Grocery Outlet! My friends, even the ones who don't live near Ballard, are very anxious to visit the store.

  • 16 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Wow, imagine that they can visit one THIS VERY DAY, if they travel just three miles from the proposed location of the new store!

  • 17 DogLover // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    This is an excellent article. Thanks for sharing! I've always thought expiration dates are suspect. If someone is really concerned about the freshness of their food – don't eat processed food to begin with! Do your shopping at the Farmer's Market and eat fresh meat, veggies, fruit and nuts – cut out gluten and dairy all together and you'd be a happier camper. For the rest of us eating on a budget, this is an excellent option.

  • 18 Ivermectin // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I forgot to ask, where is there a Grocery Outlet in Shoreline? I can't seem to find an address for it.

  • 19 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Here you are Sir. Really if you drive to the location of the Value Village now, and throw a rock to the NE, it will land in the lot of the other GO.

    Neighborhood: Bitter Lake
    13201 Aurora Ave N
    Seattle, WA 98133

  • 20 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Is there something wrong with Disqus, or have I been blocked from commenting on here? I can't tell. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. If I did get blocked, the block is not working well. Can someone fill me in?

  • 21 NoraBell // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Well, I'm excited. I don't drive so rarely get to the one '3 miles away.' I can walk to this one.
    And shouldn't you check expiration dates on anything you buy anywhere?

  • 22 Alysse M // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I don't think you understand the concept of “best if used by” vs “use by” You equate them. I looked at a bunch of your pictures and didn't see even one single example of a product beyond the “use by” date. Lots of examples of beyond “best if used by”.

    The owners mention the difference in the article.

  • 23 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I certainly do understand the difference. Regardless, they should be properly marked and sold as such in a store. I don't actually think expired use by stuff can be sold in a store. Now if you want to eat a GIANT jar of lite mayo that is 3-4 mos past due, more power to you. The customers should be made properly aware that they are buying products that may not be at the peak. That is all.

  • 24 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Of course you should, but everyone does not. The burden should ALWAYS remain on the retailer to provide you with this information. It's not just some 'idea', mosts states have regulations stating just that.

  • 25 boardbrown // Feb 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    What? Check expiration dates? Who me? That would make too much sense.

  • 26 woohoo206 // Feb 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    “Pull dates are established by the Washington State Department of Agriculture for all perishable packaged goods that have a shelf life of thirty days or less because they have a high risk of spoilage. It is legal though to sell products that have exceeded their “pull” date. If the product is being sold past the “pull” date, the retailer is required to verify that the product continues to appear wholesome and is without danger to health. these products need to be clearly identified as having passed the pull date.”

  • 27 Ivermectin // Feb 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Oh my, slow down a bit, young man! You obviously misunderstood. I had asked for the address of Grocery Outlet in Shoreline, but the address you provided is in Seattle.

    If there are too many Grocery Outlets within three communities, I'd let that be between the store owner and their bank. If you really want to be an activist, why not go pursue the Missing Link?

    Oh, wait….

  • 28 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Woo Hoo.

    Amen. That is exactly what I am asking the GO to adhere to! Unforunately the store in Shoreline did not properly mark their products as past date, as the regulation requires.

  • 29 angelatini // Feb 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    No. the ULTIMATE burden should remain on the individual to READ packages. If you don't look at what you're about to ingest then you're really rather stupid, and deserve what you get. What happened to personal responsibility?

  • 30 NoraBell // Feb 25, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Personal responsibility in Washington? That would make for a nice change. ;-)

  • 31 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Who cares about the missing link?

    say what you will, but that area is more shoreline than seattle. maybe the lines are drawn a bit further north, but it is only a matter of time until shoreline swallows that area up.

  • 32 DogLover // Feb 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    AMEN Angelatini!!!!!!!!

  • 33 stopgo // Feb 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    well why have regulations at all then if nobody has to follow them, and the burden is then thrust on the individual to keep themselves safe. Why post speed limit signs on roads, people should know the speed limit on a residential road right? and why even bother with yield and slow signs? why bother making packaging on cigarettes say that it is harmful to your health. people should just know, right?

  • 34 Bark more, wag less // Feb 26, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Walk into one of these places once by accident. Half the customers were obese but the boxes of 'food' were cheap, so they seemed to be happy fatties.

  • 35 darnative // Feb 26, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Let the people that want to shop at Grocery Outlet and you can shop where you want. What's the problem? Different strokes for different folks…You eat your mayo and they can eat theirs…Everybody is happy…

  • 36 darnative // Feb 26, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Not really Shoreline, more north Seattle. 130th & Aurora.

  • 37 darnative // Feb 26, 2010 at 2:45 am

    I think you should get off here and go buy some mayonnaise with a pull date of 2012!

  • 38 stopgo // Feb 26, 2010 at 3:46 am

    tee hee. i like you

  • 39 wildernessbarbie // Feb 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

    “…the burden is then thrust on the individual to keep themselves safe”

    Absolutely!!! Who else do you expect to hold your hand to help you get through the day in one piece?!!?

  • 40 PinkGirl // Feb 26, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I'll be happy to shop at your new store. The Grocery Outlet across from kmart is horrible. They sell spoiled food and the owner doesn't seem to care and the service there is awful as well.

  • 41 angelatini // Feb 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    You deliberately misunderstand.

    You're either an idiot or a troll. Either way, I don't have time to explain how the world works to you.

    I never said we didn't need labels on the packages. I said that in the end the INDIVIDUAL is responsible for it's own actions. So yes, the short answer is “the burden is then thrust on the individual to keep themselves safe.” That's just common sense, mate.

  • 42 Black_Sheep // Feb 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Was your Seahawks snuggie expired?

  • 43 onederfullone // Feb 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    ok, you are twelve, really. 'burden'? 'thrust'?
    quit expecting mommy to look out for you.
    just stop thinking that we need you to protect us
    see boogeyman much?
    Regulations?…'nobody has to follow them'….and nobody is forced to breath either, yet somehow, they do…
    I know, total miracle…

  • 44 atworkcat // Feb 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I think it's a great idea for you to keep a watch on those products you're buying and the expiration dates. It seems to me that it was a good lesson you learned and you're now more aware of what you put in your basket. Kudos!

    But, once again, please keep in mind that these folks aren't going into this endeavor with the mindset of poisoning their customers. These are good folks looking to bring something they feel is beneficial to the neighborhood. As he said, he's not going to carry anything he wouldn't personally serve to his family.

    The world is not out to swindle you, stopgo.

  • 45 atworkcat // Feb 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I'm fairly certain the existence of the item WITHIN the Grocery Outlet means that it is likely past its pull date.

    Has anyone in the history of time gone into a Grocery Outlet and thought, “wow, these are the freshest items I've ever seen!”? No. You step one foot in a Grocery Outlet, and even if you did not read the huge signs explaining what kind of establishment it was, you'd know instantly these were second run items.

  • 46 stopgo // Feb 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm


  • 47 angelatini // Feb 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Common sense is not so common.

  • 48 SPG // Feb 27, 2010 at 2:20 am

    I wouldn't worry too much about the competition angle…a lot of people wouldn't be caught dead setting foot in a grocery outlet.

  • 49 Name // Feb 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Awesome! Love Grocery Outlet. Glad to hear they're moving into Crown Hill.

  • 50 stopgo // Feb 28, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I have to hit myself in the head several times to get down to the comprehension level you both share.

    the guy asked if I was twelve, and then stated 'nobody is forced to breath'. okay, yeah I'm the idiot.

  • 51 stopgo // Feb 28, 2010 at 1:27 am

    And what about the whole fat people argument Bark More was putting forward? I'm personally shocked more people haven't gotten behind that 'brilliant' approach.

  • 52 stopgo // Feb 28, 2010 at 1:28 am

    onederfullone – how about you come work for us. we need someone to take out the trash after our town hall meetings.

  • 53 angelatini // Mar 1, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Have you noticed that nothing you say is making any bit of difference yet?

    And I didn't expect your little pea brain to comprehend, that's why I didn't go more in depth for you.

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