by Sheila Julson

When Jim Read started selling discounted military surplus under the name Cannery Sales in San Francisco in 1946, little did he know he was paving the foundation for Grocery Outlet, a successful chain of value grocery stores. The North Spokane Grocery Outlet location opened June 1999, and in November 2012, Lisa Weaver, who worked at the North Spokane Grocery Outlet for nine years in the produce department, as a cashier and in management positions, purchased the store. Lisa and her husband, Russ Weaver, strive to continue the Grocery Outlet mission with vast offerings, including healthy and organic options, for a great value.

Lisa says the biggest customer draw is the deeply discounted prices. “We strive to be 30 to 50 percent lower in cost than conventional grocery stores. Our customers also say they love shopping here because it’s like a treasure hunt—they’re never sure what they’re going to find,” she enthuses. “I always tell customers that if they see something they like to buy it now, because we might not get it again. The buyers for Grocery Outlets source all over the world, so we never know what will be available, which is why every Grocery Outlet has variety and each store offers a little something different.”

In addition to friendly staff, North Spokane Grocery Outlet has recently completed a store remodel with new shelving, a larger meat case, and new coolers. Lisa places orders based on what customers at the North Spokane want. Popular items include non-dairy milk such as soy and almond. North Spokane also has a good selection of natural, organic, specialty and healthy foods and products, also discounted 30 to 50 percent lower than most grocery stores, making these items very affordable. Lisa and Russ are proud of their meat case, and they get fresh produce delivered three times per week. Economical pricing isn’t just limited to food items; North Spokane Grocery Outlet has good prices on beer and wine, and they’re proud to offer many wonderful wines from Washington State.

The Weavers take pride in being part of the North Spokane community. They donate to schools, churches, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Mead Food Bank, to which they contribute leftover food, and Habitat for Humanity. Lisa’s flexible schedule allows her to participate in a variety of community events, as well as spend time with her family.

North Spokane Grocery Outlet also participates in Hillyard Days, where they host an interactive booth filled with prizes and giveaways. The store’s staff also enjoy taking part in parades, fairs and other events.

“It’s rewarding when customers tell me they like shopping in our store, and they are so happy we are here,” Lisa says. “Grocery Outlet stores are able to offer customers something that a lot of stores can’t—highly discounted food, beverages, beer, wine, gifts and other products. We care about and truly enjoy serving our north side neighbors and the community.”

North Spokane Grocery Outlet is located at 7810 N. Division St., Spokane. For more information, call 509-484-4850 or visit GroceryOutlet.com..

Stay tuned for spotlights highlighting the Spokane Valley Grocery Outlet in April, the Coeur d’Alene Grocery Outlet in May, and the Downtown Spokane Grocery Outlet in June.