Yoke’s Fresh Market is much more than a grocery store. It is a wine and cheese shop, a bakery and a butcher. It’s a partner for getting local products to market, and it is a community supporter.
Yoke’s opened its first Tri-City location in 2003, and has grown to four locations in the Mid-Columbia with 400 employees.
Yoke’s Regional Manager Steve Beckman said the company works hard to provide great customer service and variety.
“We believe we are small enough to be able to take care of the specific needs of our guests and provide products and services that our competitors may not be able to provide,” he said.
Some of those services include the deli, floral department and perishables. One popular department is the natural and organic section. “It’s a growing category,” said Darrell Toombs, manager of the Kennewick store.
Toombs also said Yoke’s tries to feature unique items. And customers can get what they want at Yoke’s. If the store doesn’t carry a product, it will do what it can to get it. Beckman said it’s not unusual for a store to receive specialty requests.
“As our name says, we are a fresh market, and to that end, we strive to have the absolute best perishable departments in all of the markets we serve — whether that’s a particular cheese in our cheese shop, a produce item not found anywhere else, or a special cut of certified Hereford beef,” Beckman said.
The store also works hard to give back to the community it serves. “Beyond taking care of our guests at the store, we also strive to be a force for good in the community,” Beckman said.
Last year, Yoke’s gave more than $47,000 to community nonprofits and schools in the Tri-Cities through its EScrip program, which allows shoppers to designate which agency they want a percentage of their purchases to support. Yoke’s is also generous with its with donations to projects throughout the community.
Another partnership Yoke’s specializes in is helping to bring local products to market. This keeps the food fresh by taking out travel time, supporting local farmers and building important connections between the grower and the consumer, store officials say.