Metropolitan Market manager leads verbal tour of store

Posted on September 16th, 2021 By:

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 7.

That’s the day that the new Metropolitan Market opens in the space most recently occupied by Main and Vine, the Kroger experimental store that lasted slightly more than two years. According to Ginger Henderson, manager of the new Met Market, Gig Harbor shoppers can look forward to a unique — and very enjoyable — shopping and dining experience.

Ginger Henderson displays the front of the new Metropolitan Market that she will manage.

Ginger Henderson displays the front of the new Metropolitan Market that she will manage. Charlee Glock-Jackson / Gig Harbor Now

“The store is absolutely stunning,” Henderson said in a recent sit-down interview. “When you walk in there’s a beautiful floral department, and there’s a bounty of gorgeous produce, a great cheese department, a full-service meat department and an amazing selection of prepared food.”

Oh yes, and a bakery with popular Met Market treats like the Bakewell Tart, the Hummingbird Cake and, of course, The Cookie — a whole handful-of-a-cookie oozing with melty chocolate chips, baked fresh and served warm all day. Local confectioner Harbor Cakes will also offer its special cakes and cupcakes in the bakery, and the coffee shop will feature Cutters Point and other local coffees.

There’s also an extensive kitchen shop filled with cooking essentials, including tools, dishes, cutlery, table linens, candles, barware and glassware, and cookbooks, plus a wide selection of greeting cards, wrapping papers and party supplies.

In the health-and-wellness department, shoppers will find “… everything from Advil to homeopathic items,” Henderson said.

With three seating areas — one on the mezzanine, one near the bakery/coffee shop and one just past the checkout stands, plus outdoor tables during good weather — it really does feel like a restaurant, she added.

Henderson is especially excited about the prepared-food offerings.

Manager of new Metropolitan Market in Gig Harbor sits in a booth during a recent interview.

Metropolitan Market manager Ginger Henderson described the store that will open on Oct. 7. Charlee Glock-Jackson / Gig Harbor Now

“It’s actually going to be like a restaurant in a grocery store,” she said. “There are no self-serve bars. Everything will be made to order.”

Among her favorites are the sauté station (try the pad Thai and ramen), made-to-order sandwiches and salads (including grain bowls), made-from-scratch pizzas (try the seasonal wild mushroom with truffle oil) and fresh-made poke.

The Gig Harbor store will be the ninth Metropolitan Market in the Puget Sound region. Aesthetically, it will diverge from the standard Met Market corporate palette in that a special shade of blue has been added to the new store’s color scheme.

“It’s a shade of blue that was developed specifically for Gig Harbor because of the connection to water here, and that this is the Maritime City,” Henderson said.

Other new features include additional self-checkout stands to match the local demographics.

“We’ve found that this new demographic wants more self-checkout options,” Henderson said.

Shoppers who prefer to interact with a cashier will quickly find that the staff is “super engaged to anticipate our customers’ needs. Everyone on staff is very friendly and helpful,” Henderson said.

A look inside as finishing touches are being added to the new Metropolitan Market in Gig Harbor

Workers are putting the finishing touches on the new Metropolitan Market, opening Oct. 7 in Gig Harbor. Charlee Glock-Jackson / Gig Harbor Now

The majority of the staff — about 70 percent — is from Gig Harbor and Kitsap County. And most are new to Met Market. The other 30 percent are from the Proctor store in Tacoma — Gig Harbor residents or staff who wanted to relocate to this side of the Narrows Bridge.

As a corporation, Metropolitan Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Met Market culture “lives and breathes in every store. Everyone is part of a team, from the top down. That’s a huge requirement for us,” Henderson said, adding that there are “lots of chances to grow and thrive in our company. Everyone gives each other lots of support and encouragement. It’s a great place to work, and a great place to shop.”

Henderson said she’s very much looking forward to meeting the people of Gig Harbor. She’s been with Metropolitan Market for about five years, starting when she and her musician husband moved to the Puget Sound area from Portland, where they lived for six years. Before that, she lived for nearly three decades in Chicago where she was a professional dancer before going to culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art. She worked as a chef for several James Beard and Michelin five-star restaurants before getting into the grocery business.

When she’s not working, her other loves include hiking and camping with husband Mick and their two dogs, reading and cooking — especially creating rustic desserts and madeleines and making chocolate doughnuts for friends’ special occasions.

The new Metropolitan Market is located at 5010 Point Fosdick Drive. To sign up for special offers, visit