More than 50 people were lined up at the new Metropolitan Market in Houghton on Thursday morning, an hour and 15 minutes before the grand opening. By 9 a.m. the crowd swelled to more than 500 customers as the line wrapped around the building.
“We only have 200 parking spots,” said Metropolitan Market Chief Executive Officer Terry Halverson.
The grand opening was a proud day for Halverson and his employees, who handed out 400 free gift bags to customers. The opening for the store located at the recently remodeled Houghton Center, 10611 N.E. 68th Street at 108th Ave N.E., also included free samples, cake and balloons for kids.
“We have been hoping to get a store in Kirkland for over a decade,” said Halverson. “We feel that Kirkland is a perfect match for our company.”
During its first three weeks of June, as part of its grand opening celebration, more than 250 demonstrations with well-known food producers, experts and local chefs will happen in-store. Some of the events include a Dad’s Day Bar-B-Q from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, June 9, 10, 16 and 17; “All about the thrill of the grill,” from 12-6 p.m. Sunday, June 20; and the Kirkland Guest Chef Series at the Culinary Kiosk, 5-7 p.m. Monday to Friday, June 21-25, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Saturday, June 26.
The new store is now the sixth Metropolitan Market in the Puget Sound region and boasts 27,500-square-feet that will be open 24 hours a day and staffed with 120 full- and part-time employees. It is the first Metropolitan Market on the Eastside.
“Our stores target neighborhoods rather than regional destinations,” said Halverson. “We are very proud to get voted the best and we are not going to change our recipe.”
Halverson said that the store typically carries 40,000 products with half being typical in many grocery stores.
“The other half we have accumulated over the last 40 years,” said Halverson. “We have a lot of local products. We travel to Europe and other places to find products and we are the only ones that have those products.
We have 800 suppliers and most other grocery stores have 20 to 50 percent of that.”
Store Director Jeff Baskett and Assistant Store Director Tom Stark oversee the team and all store operations.
One unique aspect of the store is the community conference room that Kirkland residents can reserve at no cost for non-profit and civic uses.
Departments in the new Houghton Metropolitan Market include:
• A coffee shop featuring Caffe Vita coffee
• A bakery with Gelatiamo gelato and the largest selection of baked goods from local producers, more than any other supermarket
• Charcuterie – including Salumi salami and local, farmstead, and artisan cheeses
• Deli – featuring Met Market’s unique selection of ready-to-eat meals, sushi and hand crafted side dishes
• Seafood – featuring seasonal specialties such as Copper River King salmon, Alaskan King crab legs and local shellfish
• Wine – with wine stewards to help navigate through a robust selection of Pacific Northwest wine; Metropolitan Market won the Seattle Magazine 2010 Readers’ Choice Winner for Grocery Store with Best Selection of Washington Wine
• Produce – showcasing top quality, locally grown, seasonal, organic fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs
• Housewares – Metropolitan Market’s biggest housewares department to date on a dedicated lower level, chock full of kitchen tools of the trade and expertly staffed by culinary professionals
• Wellness – with more than 100 new, food-based, top quality vitamins and supplements
• Floral Shop– offering the widest selection of cut flowers and hand-tied bouquets to suit
• The Kiosk – with everyday food classes, cooking tips and meal suggestions from Metropolitan Market’s Culinary Artists
• Meat – Choose from premium, naturally raised beef including prime, choice, dry-aged, and Wagyu
The Metropolitan Market is located at the recently remodeled Houghton Center, 10611 N.E. 68th Street at 108th Ave N.E. in Kirkland. For information, visit http://metropolitan-market.com/home.php”>http://metropolitan-market.com/home.php