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This week, Haggen is hosting a series of events will mark the latest Northwest Fresh store concept introduction at the former TOP Food & Drug in Shoreline – the closest Haggen/TOP store to downtown Seattle.
"We put a lot of thought and research into what it meant to be a Northwest grocery store," explained C.J. Gabriel, Jr. (Gabe), president and CEO of Haggen. "The pillars that emerged from that research were community, homemade, and delight. And in every store where we've implemented the Northwest Fresh ideals, we've seen customers jump in with both feet because there's nothing else quite like Haggen."
When Haggen decided to remodel all of its 28 stores to fit the Haggen Northwest Fresh brand, it tapped into 80 years of history in the Pacific Northwest to create a grocery experience that was unique to this region.
Following the principles of the Northwest Fresh concept, celebrations in Shoreline are focused on building excitement for customers. Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Wednesday, August 1 with local dignitaries and Haggen leadership team, the store will hold a day-long celebration on Saturday, August 4.
Events planned for the Saturday event include:
- Northwest Food Fair (featuring more than 20 local Washington state vendors/producers)
- Splash The Otter Scavenger Hunt for kids
- Northwest Harvest Food Drive
- Surprise! Your Groceries are Free! for randomly-selected customers checking out between 11am-4pm
- Golf trip giveaway
Haggen is the oldest and largest independent grocery retailer in the state with 28 stores in Washington and Oregon. Its roots run deep into Northwest culture and the company is uniquely able to translate that culture into a grocery experience for a region that is three times more likely to value local, quality food than the rest of the nation, according to surveys from both Yale University and NSON Opinion Strategy.
"Local food has always been important," said Rick Haggen, whose family started the company in 1933. "But it's the little things that make all the difference. The cow, for example. People love the cow in our new Northwest Fresh stores."
The cow has become a new iconic element of the stores; a life-size dairy cow replica that is moved to different departments and has been loaned out to community members who want to borrow her. Most recently, a 13-year-old boy from Bellevue borrowed "Betsy" (named by local students in a community contest) to help raise money for the Heifer Foundation as part of his held at his bar mitzvah.
The Shoreline store marks the fourth of 10 stores to be remodeled and converted into the Haggen Northwest Fresh brand this year. Additional stores planned for 2012 include Woodinville, Lake Stevens and several others in Bellingham.
Bellingham, Wash.-based Haggen operates 28 supermarkets in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Food & Pharmacy and TOP Food & Drug names.