Two National Co+op Grocers (NCG) members have earned top honors in the prestigious Progressive Grocer’s 2020 Outstanding Independent Awards. Both recipients are also members of NCBA CLUSA.
Oneota Community Food Cooperative in Decorah, Iowa, earned outstanding Single Store. PCC Community Markets—with 13 locations in the greater Seattle area—was named top independent grocer in the Sustainability category.
Progressive Grocer recognized 18 grocers in this year’s awards, released in February, noting that a “new breed of consumers…want stores that are more ‘local,’ that serve as meeting places in their communities where one can find products and service that are personalized right down to the ZIP code. All of these features provide these Outstanding Independents with a level of innovative differentiation not found at most supermarkets or online grocers.”
In its profile of Oneota Community Food Cooperative, Progressive Grocer wrote, “Judging by shopper surveys indicating that consumers increasingly want more personalized service and higher-quality foods, independents such (as) OCC are well positioned to compete with big chains and online grocery alternatives in today’s competitive retail environment.”
“PCC Community Markets has a deep and long history of environmental responsibility,” the trade magazine wrote. “Last year, the…largest community-owned food market in the nation became the first grocery store in the world to pursue Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification, the most rigorous green-building standard. The retailer also became among the first to launch compostable deli containers, thus removing 8 million pieces of single-use plastic from the waste stream annually.”
C.E. Pugh, CEO of NGC, congratulated Oneota and PCC for earning “tremendous recognition” from some of the nation’s top experts in grocer operations. “These awards arrive weeks after shoppers in seven states named a retail food co-op as the best independent grocery store in their respective states. Together, these honors further demonstrate the co-op business model resonating with consumers in markets of all sizes and locations.”