In Seattle – and throughout much of the Pacific Northwest – residents place a heavy emphasis on the word "local." The community openly encourages the act of eating and drinking locally sourced goods, and now retail has gotten in on the movement, too.
In 1984, Gillian and Jack Mathews opened the first Made in Washington store at the iconic Pike Place Market. The store brought a new concept to the region, stocking a wide variety of quality products – all made in Washington state by local artists, craftspeople and small businesses.
Today, Made in Washington continues to celebrate the rich bounty of the state's food, art and lifestyle at its five locations throughout the Puget Sound. According to the founders, the company "remain[s] thoroughly dedicated to the ideals of that first store: offering a wide variety of quality products which celebrate the very best of Washington state."
Made in Washington stores dazzle with vibrant color — Photo courtesy of Made in Washington
Artisan gift baskets make present-giving easy, with collection themes ranging from the "Columbia Crowd Pleaser" and "Breakfast in Seattle" to the brand-new "Spa in a Basket" and the "Ultimate Tower of Treats." Visitors will also find a slew of "Sasquatch Approved" gifts and beach-themed goodies, as well as mugs, pottery pieces and hand-blown and fused glass artwork.
The shop thrives in the the culinary department, too, stocking tasty Washington wines; boxes of salmon; jars of jams (like local favorite marionberry!); bags of popcorn; and treats with regional twists like "Space Noodle Pasta" and "Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard." While many staples remain year-round, other items rotate in to celebrate the season.
Springtime proves an especially appropriate time to stock up on chocolate indulgences for holidays like Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and those "just because" days.
Thankfully for Seattle shoppers, this town knows its chocolate, too. Made in Washington stocks decadent brands from Chukar Cherries and Fran's to Theo and – in the Southcenter Mall, Post Alley and Westlake Center locations – coveted goodies from Seattle Chocolates.
Find Seattle Chocolates' goodies at the Southcenter Mall, Post Alley and Westlake Center shop locations of Made in Washington — Photo courtesy of Seattle Chocolates
Seattle Chocolates says it "understands that chocolate is more than an exquisite treat. It is also a way to connect, a gift, a salve. It’s one of life’s fabulous little pleasures."
With a team dedicated to community, CEO Jean Thompson and her staff work hard to better the lives of American families (specifically those groups dedicated to abolishing hunger), and in making delicious chocolate bars, they source only the most flavorful and responsibly grown ingredients they can find.
Tasty treasures ruling the Seattle Chocolates scene at this time of year include their "Fresh Mint Bar," "Fluffy Toffee" and "Spring Surprise" with roasted almonds, coconut and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt paired with dark chocolate that uses Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa.