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Long before Kitchen & Market’s Stephanie King created her dream grocery store, she spent a career in private-label grocery building programs for national retailers, where days were long and “what’s for dinner?” was a dreaded question–and typically, an afterthought.

King’s business idea for a highly curated, European-style market with restaurant-quality meal kits bubbled up around 2016, but it wasn’t until the world fell into the throes of COVID that momentum really took hold. King, along with her daughter Hannah, began testing out her meal kits as part of area nonprofit fundraisers, and the recipes, culled from her tried-and-true favorites, were a hit.

She locked into the idea that shopping should be pleasant and focused, with a simplified-but-elevated product mix and meal kits versatile enough to scale or repurpose into great second (even third!) meals. In Nov. 2021, King opened her flagship 5,000-square-foot Pike Place Market shop, followed by a 1,500-square-foot location on her resident Mercer Island in Oct. 2022. She often jokingly describes her store concept as “If Dean & Deluca and Trader Joe’s made a Blue Apron baby.”

With two stores open and more planned in the Puget Sound region, King has sights set next on growing this into a new national grocery concept.

“Kitchen & Market helps make people, like myself, feel successful at balancing our everyday busy lives by doing this one thing that makes everyone feel good: putting a delicious meal on the table,” King says.