Kitchen & Market Expanding to Mercer Island

August 29, 2022 | by Naomi Tomky

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Image courtesy Kitchen and Market

Five years ago, Stephanie King quit her job to build the perfect grocery store. The Mercer Island resident worked in the industry for years, building private label brands for major national retailers, but she dreamed of building the kind of store she looked forward to shopping in. Last November, she opened a slightly evolved version of that, Kitchen & Market, in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. The company’s second location will soon open on Mercer Island, where she lives.

In September, the store she describes as “a corner store built around feeding people” will take over the former Eat Local location. Kitchen & Market aims to ease the pain of the eternal conundrum of what to make for dinner, making an especially timely debut as fall hits and people return of school and adjust to new schedules.

The shop focuses on meal kits for assembly at home such as Korean Bo Saam Pork with braised pork and jasmine rice, lettuce wraps with kimchi, chili crisp, and gochujang aioli; and Chef Ethan Stowell’s Rigatoni Bolognese, featuring freshly made bucatini and Tavolata’s Bolognese sauce served alongside a crisp green salad with supremed oranges and pistachios. The kits feed four people and require a little time at home but no other ingredients, and “Kid Kits” feed two to four from the small set with little-friendly foods like chicken tenders.  

Shoppers can also pick up frozen entrees for future dinners; shortcut vegetable sides with seasonal sauces, and baked goods like chocolate chip cookies. Kitchen & Market hopes to ensure customers can make it home for dinner with a single stop, so the shelves hold some basic groceries like milk, bread, and jam, and some breakfast fixings in the form of smoothie kits and granola. Plus, they’ll have soft-serve ice cream.

Image courtesy Kitchen and Market

Along with the unique meal kit focus, Kitchen & Market sets itself apart from other shopping options through quality, preparing all the food in the company’s own kitchen. King describes it as “If Trader Joe’s and Dean & DeLuca had a baby that was Blue Apron.”

The concept came about when King started making meal kits during the pandemic. Finding an opportunity to open in the Pike Place Market, she merged that with her original dream store. After the initial success there, she began looking for the second location with easy access for her Eastside customers.

Despite being a long-time islander, King never intended to open here. But when the Mercer Island option came up, she saw the advantages – she lives right around the corner and knows how supportive the community is. Though the lease is only for three years, she hopes to establish a presence so she can either extend the lease or expand to a different space locally. The Mercer Island location is smaller than the Pike Place spot, and by next summer, the company will add a new flagship store in Kirkland. But regardless of shop size or location, the same thing drives both King and her brand: “I love food, I love eating. That is what our store is about.”