5 National Brands That Got Their Start in Pike Place Market
June 23, 2017
Did any of your favorite brands get their humble start in Seattle’s very own Pike Place Market?
The sights, sounds and flavors of the lively Pike Place Market have been a hallmark of Seattle’s history and culture for over 100 years. Bursting with fresh produce stands, small family-owned restaurants, antique dealers, collectible shops, craft shops, and the world-famous Seattle flying fish, Pike Place is memorable, unique, and above all, insanely yummy! You can truly spend a whole day here, meandering through the unique vendors and sampling the absolute best food Seattle has to offer. It comes as no surprise that our Food and Cultural Tour of Pike Place Market is our most popular tour! A visit to Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a must-do historical, cultural and culinary experience.
Did you know that many of today’s big, national brands got their start right in Seattle’s very own Pike Place Market? It’s true! And we here at Savor Seattle Food Tours, as well as local Seattleites, are pretty proud of that! Some brands are well known, but there may be a surprise or two as well! So, get ready for an awesome chapter in Seattle’s “Fun Fact” history, as we review 5 big brands that began in Pike Place!
That’s right—America’s most famous coffeehouse chain was founded right here in Seattle! Starbucks is surely the most famous brand with Seattle roots. And forget just national…this one has gone international! Starbucks certainly has come a long way since its humble Seattle beginnings back in 1971. The original Starbucks store was located at 2000 Western Avenue in Seattle from 1971-1976. The café was then moved to 1912 Pike Place, where it still remains to this very day! (We’ll take you to it on our Food and Cultural Tour of Pike Place Market). While the company originally only sold whole roasted coffee beans (no brewed coffee), that’s definitely no longer the case! The original location still stays true to its roots, selling coffee and a few other beverages, but Starbucks has different menus all over the world and is now famous for a large variety of hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, frappuccinos, lattes, teas, fresh juices, and food items such as sandwiches and pastries! The next time you’re in the mood for a tasty, refreshing beverage, stop by your nearest Starbucks (there’s 24,000 of them worldwide, so it’s probably not far), and indulge in a little piece of Seattle’s history.
BONUS FUN STARBUCKS FACT: The company partly attributes the inspiration for their name from the chief mate Starbuck of the famous novel Moby Dick.
Sur La Table
If you’re in the market for some top-quality kitchenware products, such as cookware, cutlery, bakeware, appliances, linens, glassware, and cooking tools, then look no further than Sur La Table—a retail kitchen goods store selling its goods in over 100 storefronts in 30 states across the country, as well as through their website. How about some cooking tips? Sur La Table has you covered there too—offering cooking classes in 75 of their stores, as well as a blog that offers recipes, tips, and videos.
This king of kitchenware (second only to Williams-Sonoma in the world of specialty cookware) got its modest start in 1972, when a woman named Shirley Collins opened a single retail location in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Although Collins sold the company in 1995, its corporate headquarters are still located in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood.
Cheese. It just might be the perfect food! Good cheese makes everything better- crumbled gorgonzola on a steak salad, an aged cheddar perfectly paired with wine, and who can resist the ultimate comfort food of macaroni and cheese? Seattle happens to be home to the best mac and cheese in the world from Beecher’s Cheese, located in our very own Pike Place Market. You don’t have to take our word that it’s the best, both Martha Stewart and Oprah agree! If you still want to decide for yourself, you can sample the aptly named “World’s Best Mac and Cheese” on our Signature Tour or our VIP Tour. We couldn’t have you miss out on this deliciousness.
Beecher’s started crafting artisan cheeses in the market in 2003 as the only artisan cheesemaker in all of Seattle and the awards began to pile up. Local, national, and even world cheese awards were bestowed upon Beecher’s and the demand was so high that they had no choice but to expand. Today, you can find Beecher’s cheeses on most grocery store shelves and restaurant menus in the Pacific Northwest, in-flight on Alaska Airlines, and in the Flatiron District of New York City with a store and restaurant.
Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt
What’s velvety soft and perfectly sweet? Ellenos real Greek yogurt! Serving up real Greek yogurt using a traditional secret family recipe, Ellenos is the pinnacle of yogurty perfection. All of their fruits and toppings are 100% natural and sourced locally. The purity of the ingredients, combined with a family recipe that has been perfected over years, makes the most swoon-worthy yogurt! How delicious do flavors like huckleberry, lemon cheesecake, mocha and pumpkin pie sound? Yum! And if you live in Seattle, you can get their delicious yogurt delivered right to your doorstep via the AmazonFresh service!
Where can one get their hands on this amazing yogurt? Pike Place, of course! (Get a sample on our Signature Tour) Although all of Ellenos’ locations are on the West Coast today, this is a brand that is rapidly expanding—you never know when Ellenos could appear in your neck of the woods!
Rachel’s Ginger Beer
Ah, ginger beer—delicious, refreshing, and unique. And Rachel’s Ginger Beer knows just how to do it! If you’re scratching your head asking, what exactly IS ginger beer?—listen up! Rachel’s Ginger Beer is in a class of its own. By carbonizing fresh-squeezed lemons and ginger and adding organic sugar, it’s got a serious flavor kick! Ginger “beer” is actually a misnomer, as it does not contain alcohol. Brewed right in Seattle, Rachel’s Ginger Beer offers their traditional recipe as well as several seasonal flavors. In the summer of 2013, Rachel’s opened their flagship store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, where you can have a Montana Mule (your favorite ginger beer and whiskey) on our Booze 'n Bites Tour, or a Rachel’s ginger beer ice cream float! Although Rachel’s Ginger Beer hasn’t made it off the west coast in the physical sense, they ship nationwide! Have some ginger-y goodness delivered right to your doorstep!
We told you that Pike Place is a super amazing place, but even more so because it has such a national name for itself! The next time you’re sipping on a refreshing Starbucks frappuccino, remember that you’re savoring a little piece of Seattle history! And when you’re in Seattle, don’t forget to stop by Seattle’s most popular tourist destination (and the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world!) and see, hear, and taste the awesomeness of Pike Place for yourself. Or consider taking our VIP Early Access Tour of Pike Place Market, which gets you exclusive access to a side of the market you’ve never seen before. You’ll taste Seattle’s best food while your charming guide teaches about the market’s rich history and culture. Just watch out for the flying fish!