Co-op Blog

Co-op Update: Third Street Cafe is Closing

It is with deep sadness that we’re announcing the closure of Third Street Cafe at the end of January. The last day for takeout will be Sunday, January 31st. The decision to close the restaurant was a difficult one, but we believe it to be the right one for the good of the Co-op. While we would love to pursue the vision of a Co-op restaurant, it is no longer sustainable to keep that portion of our business open. With COVID restrictions still in place and an unpredictable future, even a half full Third Street Cafe feels impractical both in economics and community, and we can all agree that takeout just isn’t the same.

We want to emphasize that our decision to close Third Street Cafe is in no way an indicator of how business is going in our main store. In fact, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, our Co-op is healthy, and sales are steady and stable—even growing in many departments. For that, we thank you for your unwavering support. Our community is so resilient.

So what happens now? Like most plans in recent history, we’re reluctant to make them too concrete, or too public, for fear of change. However, what we can tell you is that opportunities abound, and the main goal is to use the space to improve your shopping experience in the Co-op by improving our offerings, creating more space, and maximizing efficiency.

We’ve already laid the groundwork: we’ve been handcrafting amazing food for decades and will continue to churn out incomparable fresh baked goods, meats, ice cream, and other novelty items. We want to bring you even more of those unique, quality products on a consistent basis! Expanding our kitchens and production in the C-SQUARE Building will allow us to do so.

Storage has never been tighter at the Co-op, and our teams are Tetris masterminds when it comes to maximizing space, but if you’ve ever wondered why your favorite ice cream bar or frozen berries are out of stock, lack of storage just might be the culprit. By increasing space for product backstock in the C-SQUARE Building, you’ll be more likely to find what you’re looking for in the Co-op every time you shop.

It is also clear now that what we imagined would be a temporary online ordering and curbside service isn’t going anywhere soon, maybe not ever. We’ll be able to use our extra space to streamline our processes even further, making Co-op Curbside easier to use, with more product availability.

As for the Third Street Cafe team, we have been running our restaurant takeout service fiercely and efficiently with just ten amazing employees, all of whom have been offered work here at the Co-op. While their job descriptions are shifting, we feel very fortunate to be able to provide steady employment in uncertain times, and more importantly, to care for the people who have contributed so much to our business over the last few years.

If you have a Third Street Cafe gift card, we’d encourage you to use it before February 1st for a delicious last hoorah! For instructions on how to use a physical Third Street Cafe gift card click here. To order with an e-gift card, simply enter your e-gift card number during checkout. If you’re unable to redeem your gift card between now and then, we’re working through other options for redemption and will have more specifics on that soon!

For those of you with questions, comments, or other feedback in regard to the restaurant closure, we’ll be scheduling a time to share in the near future and will provide more details when we have them. In the meantime, feel free to email us at community@skagitfoodcoop.com.

Closing the restaurant is not at all what we had envisioned, but we’re excited for the opportunity to bring you even more of the food you love right here in the Co-op.

As always, thank you for your support and cooperation as we head into another year.

In Cooperation,

Tony White, General Manager
Lisa Gilden, Director of Prepared Foods

By: Co-op Staff

Our marketing and outreach team has news to share with you! Each week, we bring forth new FRESH DEALS, features, recipes, the Produce Report, and more!