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BIG JOHN of Big John's PFI [UPDATED 2015]

Yesterday I visited where I used to work many years ago, at PFI in Seattle, a family-owned wholesaler and retailer of Mediterranean foods. They have a retail store on 6th Avenue S in the I-District, Big John's PFI.  It feels nothing like Trader Joe's and everything like you're in Europe at a small-town food store--all the right smells, a beat-up concrete floor, and authenticity oozing from every nook and cranny.

Pictured below is my old boss John Croce, aka Big John, the patriarch and entrepreneur who, with his wife Rose, founded Pacific Food Importers, the wholesaler parent to Big John's PFI retail store. Yesterday was Big John's PFI Appreciation Day where a crush of eager shoppers flooded the retail space.  I snapped this photo of the bigger-than-life John after chatting for a few minutes.

UPDATE August 24, 2015. John Croce passed away yesterday after a long life. Rest in peace. February 8, 1924 - August 23, 2015.

 John Croce, December 2009

John Croce, December 2009

 John with his daughter Cathy in the background.

John with his daughter Cathy in the background.

 "I'm poor and nobody loves me!" - a very young John Croce

"I'm poor and nobody loves me!" - a very young John Croce