Specialty Food Magazine

SUMMER 2015

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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C one & Steiner is part old-fashioned mercantile, part modern-day specialty shop stocking an eclectic mix of locally made food and beverages. Both of its locations—one downtown in artsy Pioneer Square, the other in trendy Capitol Hill—feel homey and warm, yet the decor also reflects a contemporary urban aesthetic. Clean, open, and well-lit, each store has uncluttered shelf space surrounding a center island that serves as a bar, cashier counter, demo area, and community dining table. Co-owner and Seattle native Dani Cone strives to capture the familiarity of a corner store while showcasing the region's best small- batch food items and creating a space where local residents and foodies can come together. "Food creates community," says Cone. The Concept… "A market with meaning" is Cone & Steiner's slogan, and Cone takes it to heart. "I've always had an affinity for the general-store concept, where people shop for grocery items and use it as a neighborhood hub," says Cone. She got her start in the food business as a barista for several Seattle coffee outlets before found- ing her own shop, Fuel Coffee (which currently has three branches throughout Seattle), and then a Seattle bakery called Hi-5 Pie, both of which she still owns and operates. "But I've also always wanted to work with the outstanding independent producers in Seattle and throughout the Northwest region," Cone adds. The contemporary general store blends the two ideas. "Our specialty and local products, along with the tried-and-true grocery basics, make us different, but we're really a throwback to a type of store that always had a presence in cities in older times." The Backstory… General stores are in Cone's blood. Her great- grandfather founded the original Cone & Steiner, a traditional early 20th century grocery in Seattle that carried a little bit of everything. "Growing up, my family had an old black-and-white photo of my great-grandfather's store hanging on the wall of our house, and I was always intrigued by it," Cone says. The two locations of this Seattle specialty food retailer offer a destination shopping experience with the convenience of a corner store. BY ESTHER CRAIN Cone & Steiner General While running Fuel Coffee in Capitol Hill and also living in that neighborhood, she often heard from customers asking her to carry more staples so they didn't have to walk blocks in the rainy Seattle weather to the nearest grocery store. Those requests got her thinking. "When I learned that a new building was going up on the next block with some small retail spaces, I introduced myself and my general-store idea to the developers. They thought it would be a good fit," she recalls. "After 21/2 years of planning and finding the right team, we opened." Cone & Steiner's Capitol Hill store made its debut in January 2014. A month later, while still getting the first store off the ground, a space became available in Pioneer Square. Talks began with her three business partners: restaurateur Josh Henderson, and Jon Milazzo and Lori Pomeranz, who co-own Retrofit Home, a retail home goods store in Capitol Hill. "The neighborhood had so much potential for us, my partners and I decided we couldn't pass it up," she says, acknowledging that running two new stores is a challenge. "I'm at one of the stores every single day, checking in with management and staff daily," she says. CONE & STEINER GENERAL Capitol Hill 532 19th Avenue East Seattle, WA 206.582.1928 Pioneer Square 135 South King Street Seattle, WA 206.402.3682 coneandsteiner.com PHOTOS: SARAH FLOTARD SUMMER 2015 143 store snapshot

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