Madison’s Central Co-op is trying to decide if it wants to join the six+ retailers planning to sell booze on Capitol Hill after the June 1st transition to privatized spirit sales in Washington.
As we reported earlier, the co-op has submitted an application to receive a spirits retailing license but is still weighing whether it will put the license to use. On one hand, it would represent an uncertain market for the 34-year-old co-op. On the other, Central could represent one of the few independent entities that would qualify to retail spirits under the provisions of Initiative 1183.
In true co-operative style, Central has posted an “advisory survey” for members to provide feedback on the proposal:
Washington State voters approved Initiative 1183 by 57.7% when the initiative appeared on the November 8, 2011 statewide ballot. The measure called for closing state liquor stores and allowing state licensing of private parties. Central Co-op fulfills the requirements necessary to legally sell spirits as of June 1, 2012.
Central Co-op believes this is an opportunity to bolster our mission of supporting the local economy by selling spirits made in local micro-distilleries. With big-box stores vying to gain an edge in the spirits market, we are in a unique position to lend support to the smaller local businesses that may otherwise have challenges finding shelf space in conventional stores.
We will not displace food items to make space to sell spirits. We have identified space in the Wine Department that is suitable for merchandising spirits, minimizing impact to wine selection. We will establish appropriate security measures for storage and sales.
We have made contact with the following micro-distilleries:
- Bainbridge Organic Distillers
- Skiprock Distillers – Snohomish County
- Fremont Mischief Distillery
- Woodinville Whiskey Company
- Sun Liquor Seattle – Capitol Hill
- Pacific Distillery – Woodinville
- Oola Distillery – Capitol Hill
- Sound Spirits – Georgetown
- Dry Fly Distillery – Spokane
As a consumer cooperative, we exist to provide our owners with the goods and services they desire, to fulfill the Co-op’s purpose and mission. The Board of Trustees and Product Issues Committee have requested that we survey the owners for feedback on this question, and the Grocery Department wants your input.
This is an advisory survey, not a binding vote. All input will be carefully considered. Please take a moment to let us know what you think. For consideration, please provide your input by Monday, April 30. If you have specific questions regarding this proposal, please speak with Info Central or e-mail [email protected]. Thanks!
In March, we posted this map of the dozens of grocery stores and drug stores applying for the spirits license. Since we created that record, many more have applied including most Bartell’s — including the one above QFC at Pike/Broadway — and Rite Aid stores in the area. Nearly all are local outlets of national and regional chains. One Capitol Hill chain location that is not applying is the Rite Aid at Broadway and E Olive Way. We’re checking with company representatives to try to find out why. The store has applied, however, to begin selling beer and wine.