By Carolyn Tamler
The Goose Community Grocer (known simply as The Goose or The Goose Grocer) opened in September 2009 at Bayview Center in the location that was formerly Casey’s Red Apple Grocery. When it first opened, it projected a low-cost image with concrete floors and a system of funneling customers through a channel of bargain shelves. A customer base quickly developed, but it wasn’t until 2014 that The Goose began creating enough profit to support the original vision that Goosefoot, the store’s owner, had for the store.
Plans to renovate The Goose began in January of this year, and the remodel was completed by June. The upgraded Goose Grocer includes:
- New low-maintenance floors that do not require waxing or chemicals to clean
- Elimination of the bottleneck at the entrance that was not customer-friendly
- Removal of the stack wall that held the specials and provided a new open look coming into the store
- A greatly expanded bulk foods section for the local demographic that wants to buy only what is needed and not waste any food
- A re-arranged wine area that promotes improved traffic flow
The Goose Grocer is a part of Goosefoot, which is a non-profit economic development organization on South Whidbey. Goosefoot is committed to using its real estate properties and collaborative partnerships to “Achieve a vision of a thriving, socially and economically vibrant environment on Whidbey Island,” according to Executive Director Sandra Whiting. Profits from The Goose, and other Goosefoot enterprises, are put back into the community. This year, a percentage of the profits from The Goose went to the South Whidbey School District “School Garden Program.”
“The Goose is now in a position to give back, and the school garden program appealed to us on many different levels,” said Sandra Whiting. Through this program, students are taught how to farm vegetables such as peas, carrots, broccoli and kale in the school farm located between South Whidbey Academy and South Whidbey Elementary, and in a field at Langley Middle School. The produce raised is served in school lunches.
The Goose Grocer is managed by The Myer’s Group, headquartered in Clinton, and operating several grocery stores in Washington State and Alaska. From 1978 to 1999, The Myers Group owned this very same grocery, known then as Casey’s. Tyler Myers, President and son of founder Kent Myers, worked as a courtesy clerk while attending Langley High School. When Goosefoot decided to take over ownership, they arranged to have the operation of the store handled by the Myers Group.
The remodel was directed by Charlie McKissick, who was hired as the Store Director in April 2014. McKissick has been in the grocery business since 1979 and has 18 years working for the Myers Group. He says, “I’m excited about being on Whidbey Island and becoming part of this close-knit community.” He also notes, “The Goose has a very loyal customer base.”
Regular customers, and those who are new to The Goose, are quick to share their positive responses to the new store environment. Best of all, profits from The Goose are continuing to grow and provide more support to The Goosefoot vision of service to the community. If you haven’t been to The Goose Grocer in the last six months, stop by and take a look.
To see the latest Annual Report for Goosefoot, visit: http://www.goosefoot.org/pdf/goosefootannualreportweb.pdf
|“Hats Off to You” was at The Goose on September 24, as an event to thank the community for shopping at the store and businesses at the Bayview Center. Over 55 people entered the decorated hat contest, and an estimated 300 people showed up to participate.