Local business continues its passion for supporting a healthy community By Jillian Chandler It was 1999 when Joe Hamilton, with just one employee, opened Pilgrim’s Market in Coeur d’Alene. The goal was to invest in the local community, with a focus on providing healthy foods and supplements.
Today, Pilgrim’s Market has flourished to now occupy an entire city block, with 120 staff members.
In addition to the plethora of fresh produce and grocery items, Pilgrim’s produces its own line of fermented foods—The Cultured Mama. “Fermented foods are the traditional way to get probiotics; a very healthy tradition that’s been lost in the modern American diet,” shares Joe. What started with just sauerkraut and a fermented cashew vegetable dip has grown to offer more than 60 different items. They recently added Fermented Cashew Cheesecake to the list, with seasonal offerings utilizing raspberries and strawberries grown in Pilgrim’s organic garden, and huckleberries later in the summer and fall months.
Last year, Joe acquired the vacuum store next door to Pilgrim’s and plans on moving their Cultured Mama fermented foods production space into that building, which sits at approximately 1,300 square feet.
Making hundreds of healthy and tasty food items from scratch every day, Pilgrim’s provides an experience and product selection not found anywhere else. They recently began a bakery renovation by updating their equipment. Though not all of the equipment has arrived yet, they are already seeing wonderful improvements from the ovens that have been installed. “Next up is the steam-injected Italian deck oven that will produce deliciously crispy and chewy European breads,” says Joe.
The one-of-a-kind deli is filled with the healthiest foods available in town. “The reality is it is prepared food that is fresh, fast and healthy, and very affordable for the quality of food we’re producing,” Joe affirms. Pilgrim’s offers a hot bar, organic salad bar, as well as pre-made grab-and-go meals–enjoy items like the Keto Steak Salad, Salmon Rice Bowl, and Tarragon Chicken Salad. And there’s more, with a grill where items are made fresh to order. If you’re in the mood for a Yak Burger, Veggie Bean Burger or Chicken Chipotle Sandwich, this is the place to go.
Behind the store is where you’ll find Pilgrim’s organic urban farm, which produces thousands of pounds of farm-fresh foods each year. “Anytime a customer sees the GRH (Grown Right Here) logo, they will know that it was grown, or made with items grown, in our organic farm,” says Joe.
Don’t miss demos with Lorri five days a week, allowing customers to try Pilgrim’s house-made items and hand-picked products. “We try to demo foods that you may not have purchased yet to expose them to new flavors, new brands,” smiles Joe.
For the past 24 years, Pilgrim’s Market has continually expanded its space and offerings to keep up with the needs of the community. They recently launched their new website as an additional resource, with research tools for finding recipes, natural support for various conditions, and so much more!
Pilgrim’s Market 1316 N. Fourth St. Coeur d’Alene, ID 208.676.9730 PilgrimsMarket.com