In 1999 before "organic" and "fair-trade" were buzz words in North Idaho, Joe and Sarah Hamilton sought a new life for their family, one where they could "make a difference" and prayerfully "make a living." So, seeking a greater quality of life and a way to share their passion for natural foods and socially-responsible living, they chose Coeur d’Alene as the home for their humble, natural foods store.
The changing face of this small, North Idaho town seemed to resonate with the Hamilton’s ideals. Coeur d’Alene is in a region that was once devoted to logging and mining but is now finding a new identity as a destination for those who seek the serenity and quality-of-life that is provided by outdoor activities and the many, easily accessible forests and lakes.
In 1999, their original store was 1,200 square feet. The following year, Joe and Sarah moved across the street into a portion of the store’s current location. At that point, the store occupied 4,000 square feet and barely filled the space, but thanks to passionate staff and loyal customers, the shelves slowly filled. In August 2005, 2,000 square feet were added and another 2,000 in 2007. In 2008, a large, adjacent space that would triple the store size became available, and Pilgrim’s Market "went for it!"
Who We Are
Today, with the store measuring 25,000 square feet, Joe and Sarah have been joined by many passionate and skilled managers, like Edward Brown with 35 years experience in natural foods and produce, Bob Beusan with 44 years experience in meat and seafood, Jim Hanson with over 20 years baking artisan breads, and Erick Hidalgo with 25 years food and culinary experience. Although we mention only a few employees here, your customer experience is the result of our entire team, and we are grateful for every contributing employee.
Pilgrim’s Market is proud to still be an independent, locally-owned business. Many of our customers choose to support local businesses, because they know that their money stays in and grows the local economy. Conversely, they recognize that dollars spent with businesses headquartered elsewhere can cost Coeur d’Alene jobs. Not only are we a local business, but we also put emphasis on local products and choose to work with other local businesses to meet our business needs.
FULL SERVICE MARKET
Since 1999, Pilgrim's Market has been the Inland Northwest HOT SPOT for the finest natural and organic foods, education, green events and more. As the health-seeking "green" consumer seeks and supports local food growers and retailers, Pilgrim's remains the perfect example of a homegrown, locally owned alternative to massive, foreign-owned national chains like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Pilgrim's 25,000-square-foot store offers everything from organic produce to gourmet cheese, beer, wine, bulk foods, meat, deli foods, bulk foods, fresh produce, supplements, wellness services through an innovative in-store clinic and even health education in our sizeable event center. Located just minutes off I-90, Pilgrim's Market is a frequent destination for locals and a must see for the health-conscious traveler.
In addition to our value-priced, fresh market items, our store offers a wide variety of lectures, workshops and cooking classes in our Education Center. Our 2,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility hosts between 10 and 15 events each month, including cooking classes, lectures, workshops and film screenings. This space also serves as a community center where various non-profit advocacy groups can meet to build community-enhancing programs.
In 2009, we leased space in our store to Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic where customers can find professional services like naturopathic medicine, chiropractic treatment, nutritional counseling, massage and personal training. Natural food stores are often a first step towards healthier lifestyle choices. We feel that having highly educated wellness professionals in the same building compliments our existing customer service and makes it easier for our customers to fully realize the joys of healthy living.
HOW WE DO THINGS
At Pilgrim’s Market, our commitment is to build a business where “everyone wins.” Our staff labors daily to offer our customers the greatest variety of healthful foods and services available, in a manner that provides our customers, our community and our employees with the greatest benefit possible. We insist on win-win-win relationships.
When selecting the foods and products to put on our shelves, we ask ourselves these three questions:
1. Is it healthier? When consumed does this product provide a greater health-benefit to our customers than a conventional alternative?
2. Is it local? Does purchasing this product make a positive impact on the socio-economic condition of our community?
3. Is it Natural or Organic? Does purchasing this product support a produce and supply chain that embraces a greater stewardship for the environment than a conventional alternative?
Pilgrim's Market Mission Statement
Click here to read our Mission Statement.
Medical Advisory Board
A new vision of health and medicine is emerging in this country and abroad that promises to safely diminish disease and discomfort, and replace them with optimal health. More and more leading authorities are realizing that diet and lifestyle play perhaps the most critical role in your healthcare. As simple as it may sound, making those changes in our lives often prove to be very difficult and take place over time. Changing your diet and lifestyle is not one simple act, it’s a journey and our medical advisory board helps us assure that the products and services we offer make your journey as simple, effective and enjoyable as possible.. Click here to veiw our Medical Advisory Board.
We have been voted the “Best Natural Food Store in North Idaho” many years in a row by reader’s of the Pacific Northwest Inlander, the North Idaho Business Journal and Northwest Woman Magazine. In 2009 we also received the “Business Excellence Award in the category of “Innovation” from the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce. We also have been privileged to receive Kootenai Environmental Alliance’s 2013 Community Business Award.
People sometimes wonder why we originally named our Market and later our Wellness Clinic after “pilgrims.” Here is one way to look at it.
Pilgrims are people on a journey from one place to another, pursuing a greater experience or desirable destination. Although the connotation is often religious, it is doesn’t have to be. Throughout history, many different types of people have been called pilgrims and for a variety of reasons.
- John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrim's Progress (regarded as one of the most significant works in English literature) details the journey of a man pursuing “The Celestial City” through a Biblical, Christian perspective.
- Every year, thousands of Muslim “pilgrims” journey to Mecca.
- The early Anglo-Saxon settlers of North America risked disease and death in their journey across the Atlantic Ocean, seeking a new life free from socio-economic and religious oppression.
In our minds, anyone seeking something better than what they currently have is a “pilgrim.” So if your journey through life takes you on a path to more informed, healthful or conscientious living, then you may well be a “pilgrim”...just like us!