Grower: Gene Kahn, founder
Located in: Rockport, Wash.
Supplying PCC since: 1972
Supplies PCC with: Frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen juice concentrate, frozen potatoes, and breakfast foods including cereal and granola.
Keeping the land in good hands: The original Cascadian Farms home base in Rockport, Wash., still operates as an organic farm, producing a range of produce for its roadside stand.
Bringing organics to the world
Cascadian Farm and PCC Natural Markets have a long partnership. Based in Rockport, Wash., just an hour north of Seattle, Cascadian Farm began supplying PCC with delicious organic fruits and vegetables in 1972.
Gene Kahn, founder of Cascadian Farm, moved to Seattle from Chicago in the early 1970s to get a master's degree in English literature from the University of Washington. His grandfather was a farmer and his father a grocer, so Gene developed an interest in agriculture at an early age.
Organic, cooperative farming appealed most to him, but he didn't become serious about it until meeting others in Seattle who shared his egalitarian philosophy. With the vision of creating a market for local, organic foods, he dropped out of his studies to become a farmer.
In the beginning, Gene sold his fresh, organic produce out of the back of a VW truck. PCC was one of Cascadian Farm's early customers, and Gene often sat in on PCC Board meetings. The partnership proved to be mutually beneficial: The natural foods co-op received high quality, locally grown fruits and vegetables and Cascadian Farms realized the cooperative vision of selling community produce.
With the help of a small group of dedicated supporters, including PCC, Cascadian Farm grew and began offering organic foods such as jams, cereals and frozen fruits and vegetables in addition to fresh produce.
In 1998, along with Muir Glen tomatoes of California, Cascadian Farm became part of Small Planet Foods. In 1999, Small Planet Foods was purchased by General Mills, giving Cascadian Farm the opportunity to bring quality products to even more people around the world.
Cascadian Farm may have had humble beginnings, but today, it's a worldwide grower, manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of delicious organic products, which are sold throughout the country in natural food stores and select supermarkets.
By Susan Dumett, April 2003