Food. People. Love.
Those three simple ingredients make up what Town & Country Markets Inc. calls its “recipe,” a recipe handed down through three generations of the families who started the company. We are so excited to share a bit more of their legacy and commitment to this community – Town & Country Markets was one of our first partners to step up for program sponsorship this year, excitedly adding their name to the Save Seattle’s Apples campaign!
If you’re not familiar with their story, you’re in for a treat – they are an incredible model for corporate responsibility in our region….
Ed “Ashcan” Loverich (of UW basketball fame) and brothers Mo and Johnny Nakata (nisei – or second-generation Japanese-Americans) opened Town & Country Market to Bainbridge Islanders in 1957. They had one simple goal: Nourish their island neighbors with the best customer service and highest-quality food they could find.
The founders placed a high value on relationships and innovation (it was, after all, the island’s first “supermarket” as well as the first automatic doors to be found on the island). Fast forward 60 years and T&C has partnered with Blue North fishery – provider of clean and tasty cod and creators of a unique fishing vessel that harvests fish humanely while protecting the crew from harsh marine conditions. Another partnership of note is with Strauss Beef, because T&C believes it’s not only the best grass-fed beef in town, but because they use regenerative agriculture to raise their cattle with less fossil fuel and greenhouse gas on a Montana prairie reserve. These are just a few of their most recent examples – they maintain dozens of lasting friendships with local farmers and producers, as well.
Town & Country’s commitment to the environment has brought about a 19 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas footprint since 2015 with more progress planned. The Bainbridge market was awarded LEED® Gold from the US Green Building Council. They’ve replaced lighting and upgraded refrigeration and heating, ventilation and air conditioning to save energy and now divert about 78 percent of their waste from landfills by donating edible food to local food banks, composting and recycling. All employees are given the opportunity to attend sustainability classes.
Besides all that, they’re passionate about food and where it comes from. And not just until you buy that food – they work to enhance eating experiences whether in the market or at home. Recipes, demonstrations, ideas and inspiration for the choosing, preparing and sharing of all kinds of food drives them, and their employees. They understand the changing nature of “eaters,” as well – and you can now see a lot more prepared food in their markets. The idea is you can get fresh, high-quality ingredients for eating on the go – they’re creating if for their neighbors.
When you walk into one of their neighborhood markets in Ballard, Lakemont or on Bainbridge, or you enter a Central Market in Shoreline, Mill Creek or Poulsbo, you may get a sense that there is a rich history that is being honored, which you can only get from a family-owned market that relies on three simple ingredients – Food. People. Love.