Laconia Market brings groceries to Washington’s Snoqualmie Pass

Among the things the growing Snoqualmie Pass population put on their wishlist last summer – more powder days, shorter lift lines, and a grocery store at least one comes to fruition this fall.

The Laconia Market, which will open in the historic fire station in mid-September, will bring a full grocery store and coffee shop to the community, with take-out sandwiches prepared on site, draft beer and wine by the glass. to drink on the terrace.

While a few places have opened patios for the Pass in recent years, “there isn’t enough space to meet demand yet,” says Kirsten Van Swearingen, one of the co-founders of Laconia Market. While only around 300 people live at Snoqualmie Pass full time, the area welcomes thousands of people to its hiking trails, ski areas, and cycle routes.

The Laconia market opens in the historic Snoqualmie Pass fire station in mid-September.

Courtesy of Laconia Market

The fall opening of the Laconia Market will miss much of this year’s summer crowds, but it will allow the team, which includes Kirsten’s husband, Garret, and their third co-founder, Katie Marconi, to prepare for the winter when the throngs of snow sports enthusiasts will flock to the Pass – and give the Market time to establish itself with its main audience: locals who are finally getting the groceries they have long wanted. Laconia plans to open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, with the option to open later, especially next summer, when the long days add to the patio’s appeal.

The Laconia Market Kickstarter launched last week and has already more than doubled its stated goal – although rewards are still available for pledges until the end of the month – giving the trio a boost to get in. in the final phase before opening. But the idea has been circulating for years: Kirsten and Garret mentioned to a few neighbors that if a spot came up, they would open the grocery store they all wanted so badly. The rumor of the offer reached Bryce Phillips, the founder of Seattle-based outdoor sports equipment store Evo, who had them in mind when his Evolution projects began to develop the century-old fire station.

The Laconia market opens in the historic Snoqualmie Pass fire station in mid-September.

The Laconia market opens in the historic Snoqualmie Pass fire station in mid-September.

Courtesy of Laconia Market

The building dates back 100 years, according to the developer, and was recently used by the Department of Transportation. The market has also turned to history for its name: Laconia was the original name of the railway stop at Snoqualmie Pass. Joining the Laconia Market in the building is an Evo outpost, a collaborative workspace, and a new visitor center for the National Forest Service – on whose land the building is located.

The Van Swearingens have teamed up with Marconi, another Snoqualmie Pass resident who recently made the pastry and coffee for The Commonwealth at the Pass. She brings honed baking expertise to Seattle’s Macrina and management knowledge from Café Fiore to her leadership role on the coffee side of Laconia. Kirsten and Garret both come from careers in branding, marketing and design, including roles on the founding team of Loge Camps, the group that turned former Western motels into Hostel, hotel and camping hybrids with a focus on outdoor adventure. They also looked at the operational side of running a cafe in Loge’s onsite cafes. The couple have always hoped to open their own business, and now that they do, they aim to foster the same sense of community they cultivated at Lodge.

The Laconia market opens in the historic Snoqualmie Pass fire station in mid-September.

The Laconia market opens in the historic Snoqualmie Pass fire station in mid-September.

Courtesy of Laconia Market

At its heart, however, Laconia will be the grocery store that locals need, offering a full selection of produce, sourced from local producers, including dry goods, basic household items, dairy and meat. The cafe will feature fresh breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, soups, bowls, baked goods and a coffee bar, with the seasonal menu rotating a variety of foods, depending on the season – and prepare all food on site for the store. wide choice to take away. They hope to blend the grocery store harmoniously with its coffee, marketing the groceries in meal kits with recipe cards and making the patio a gathering place. “We feel like shopping for groceries is tedious,” says Kirsten. “We want to make it more fun.”



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