Bruce McPherson, owner of West Seattle Produce is moving the business across the street, into the 4000 square foot former Hertz Equipment Rental location. Construction crews have been busy prepping the building to make it thematically right and the soft open is set for Dec. 1. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE
SLIDESHOW: West Seattle Produce is moving, expanding and will open Dec. 1
West Seattle Produce, the produce store on Fauntleroy Way, after opening in the spring of 2010 has been through some changes. But on Dec. 1 they will see the biggest change in their brief history as a company when they physically move across the street to 4722 Fauntleroy Way s.w. into the former Hertz Equipment Rental location and open for business there. A grand opening celebration is likely coming this spring.
Owner Bruce McPherson said it was time to make a change and the move will be especially significant since it will represent entirely new directions for the company. "We needed more indoor space," said McPherson. The former location only had 700 square feet total and especially for ladies produce shopping on colder days, it meant having to be uncomfortable. The new retail space is close to 4000 square feet but is all windows so it lets in a lot of natural light.
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That much space will permit the company to offer more of what they have been selling in the way of produce but also potentially offer coffee and espresso, and even sandwiches, wines and more. "It's baby steps right now, because all this costs money."
They've been in discussions with Locöl Barley and Vine about food preparation, "which we'd love to do," said McPherson. Those changes are still tentative because it involved permitting and the right mix of money and timing.
They are going to concentrate on "exceptionally local" suppliers and are looking for local crafts people, who make things to sell them at the store. "There are a lot people who do a lot of creative things and we want to carry them." Contact McPherson if you'd like to sell what you make.
"That's what has rescued me," he explained," the local people. In the winter it's tough for the produce business but we now supply 11 local restaurants and they have been absolutely fantastic. They really got behind me."
"We're trying to make this place look a little 'farmhouse' but we don't have much of a budget. Alki Lumber gave us the lumber for a great price, and I can't thank them enough and our construction guy Randy Garcia is doing a great job. He's got a lot of imagination."
What the company absolutely will be doing surprisingly enough is adding furniture sales. In a partnership with Tim Dillon and the owners of Timeless Elegance Estate Furniture & Fine Antiques downtown the store will, "weave into the space furniture pieces" that might include dining room sets, sideboards, china cabinets, chairs and more. "It would be priced at like one third of what you'd pay at a place like Masin's but it's comparable quality," said Dillon. Dillon's wife, Jill, owns Between Friends consignment on the eastside and she will be bringing pieces in too.
In the side spaces on the property the vision is to bring in craftspeople who would rent space and make or just sell their products on site.
They have space for 30 cars in the lot right now (though it's full of Christmas trees at the moment going for $10 per foot).
Beloved Mexico, the gourmet mexican food truck in the lot is, according to McPherson, moving too. "We sure hope they're moving with us because we work together very well, plus we can give them some indoor dining space with they can really use. So the last conversation we had with them was they were coming."
They will be open this winter from 8am to 7pm and in the summer they will add an hour till 8pm.
"I just thought I'd build it and see who comes," said McPherson.
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