Sure, a downtown Target is swell but how about that Pike Grocery! When last CHS caught up with Won Williamson, he was opening up a new market at Summit and Thomas. Now he’s about to do the same thing at Boren and Pike.
“When you go shopping, you don’t want your shoppping to be boring even though it’s a small store,” Williamson tells CHS. “It has to be quality.”
Williamson’s part in these ventures — Pike Grocery will be his fourth, he says — is the launch. He finds the locations, wrangles the permits, gets the space built out, arranges distribution and starts the business running. The, as he did at Thomas Street Grocery, he sells to family who own and operate the store.
It’s the equation that created Williamson’s most well-known grocery, Trinity Market in the U-District. Like Trinity, Williamson says that Pike Grocery will be more of a cafe and deli than the small Thomas Street space. He expects people to stop through for coffee and to pick up a few essentials for the pantry. Williamson also promises an impressive beer selection.
Williamson said he likes the location, a long-empty retail space beneath the Hilton Homewood Suites, because of its proximity to a large population of apartment dwellers and extremely heavy foot traffic. He expects to open within the next two months.
Williamson didn’t get too philosophical when we asked about what brought him to the grocery start-up business. “This is the right idea for me,” he said. “So far it’s working.”
CHS asked Williamson if he might be involved with what comes next on 12th Ave where the Capitol Hill Market just shut down. “Where is that?” he asked. “I’ll have to look into that.”
Won Williamson market #5?
Thanks to @alexjon for the tip about Pike Grocery!