Country-style feed and mercantile in heart of Seattle

SEATTLE - Along one of Seattle's busier streets, customers can buy fresh eggs and meet the animals that produce them.

Portage Bay Grange in the University District is part feed store, part mercantile, part barnyard, and part secret garden.

Everything they sell helps serve and support urban agriculture.

"We're bringing a little bit of country into the city, right into the heart of the city," said owner Kevin Scott-Vandenberge.

He spent his childhood summers on a Nebraska farm, and is convinced homesteading can exist in the city, too.

During her first visit to the Grange, 7-year-old Anna Christensen walked around in amazement. It was a glimpse into a world she doesn't see very often.

"I've never seen a grocery store that has animals in it, just roaming around," she said.

Cleo the chicken does have the run of the place.

But Portage Bay Grange isn't a petting zoo.

Most of the chicks, goslings, and other poultry animals are for sale, along with the food that sustains them.

For Scott-Vandenberge, it's not just a business. It's a way to help re-shape his community.

"It's the gratification, far more than anything I've ever done," he said.

Customers who don't farm can still find things to buy in the store - from fresh-baked goods to locally-designed clothing.

The only shopping experience of its kind, inside city limits.

"Feels like it's on a farm!" Christensen said.

Portage Bay Grange is located at 4110 Roosevelt Way NE and is open 7 days a week.


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