Jan Gee, president of the Olympia-based Washington Food Industry Association, described the independent retail sector in the state as “very healthy” and cited Town & Country as a good example.
“I always like to cite Town & Country, where they do weekly tours for customers and talk about the different fresh produce and what it is, how to store it to prolong the life of it, ideas on simple preparation,” Gee said.
That kind of communication is a vital service for produce connoisseurs, Gee said.
“Because we don’t have the old-fashioned schooling of having home economics, there’s a real lack of knowledge on the types of produce in stores and storing and prep, and they do that,” she said.
It’s emblematic of what’s going on in general in the independent sector in the region, Gee said.
“I think retailers have really honed their skills on creating very appealing displays of fresh products. It has been fun to see some local programs that the independents have had,” Gee said.