About Us

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HISTORY

In 1999 before "organic" and "fair-trade" were buzz words in North Idaho, Joe and Sarah Hamilton sought a new life for their family, one where they could "make a difference" and prayerfully "make a living." So, seeking a greater quality of life and a way to share their passion for natural foods, they chose Coeur d’Alene as the home for their humble, natural foods store. 

The changing face of this small, North Idaho town seemed to resonate with the Hamilton’s ideals. Coeur d’Alene is in a region that was once devoted to logging and mining but is now finding a new identity as a destination for those who seek the serenity and quality-of-life that is provided by outdoor activities and the many, easily accessible lakes, mountains and golf courses.

In 1999, their original store was 1,200 square feet and had one employee. Today the store consumes an entire city block, includes an organic farm and has even added an off-site food production facility. Despite being asked to open additional stores thousands of times, Joe and Sarah have chosen quality over quantity at every crossroad. You will doubtfully find a store like Pilgrims Market anywhere in the country. Keep coming back because the remodel has been ongoing for over 20 years and will never stop. Contant improvement is the name of the game, so the store and your experience is ever evolving.

MEET THE FAMILY

  • After leaving Pilgrim’s primarily to Joe, Sarah pursued her passions in the medical aesthetic industry. Check out her amazing business Sarah Hamilton Face!

  • Sydney Baye, Joe and Sarah’s eldest has been a familiar face around Pilgrims for decades and is an amazing photographer. Check out her amazing business!

  • Michael is Joe and Sarah’s youngest and he is your best realtor for Coeur d’Alene, North Idaho and Spokane and using him probably gets you VIP treatment at Pilgrims! Check him out!

  • Love our amazing videos on this website? Joe and Sarah’s son-in-law is awesome at all things film. Check out his amazing business Inland Film!

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AWARDS

We have been voted the “Best Natural Food Store in North Idaho” many years in a row by readers of the Pacific Northwest Inlander and the North Idaho Business Journal among others. Over the years we have received many local and national awards for our innovation, our commitment to community, the environment, our staff, our farm and our produce manager has even been nationally recognized for transforming the department into the gem that it is today!

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WHO WE ARE

EXPERIENCED

 

Today, with the store measuring 25,000 square feet, Joe and Sarah have been joined by many passionate and skilled managers, some of whom have over 40 years in their field! However, your customer experience is the result of our entire team, and we are grateful for every contributing team member in our family. 

LOCAL

Pilgrim’s Market is proud to be an independent and locally-owned business. Many of our customers choose to support local businesses, because they know that their money stays in and grows the local economy. Conversely, they recognize that dollars spent with businesses like Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s that are headquartered elsewhere can cost Coeur d’Alene jobs. Not only are we a local business, but we also put emphasis on local products and choose to work with other local businesses to meet our business needs.

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FULL SERVICE MARKET

Since 1999, Pilgrim's Market has been the Inland Northwest HOT SPOT for the finest natural and organic and gourmet foods and over 600 are MADE RIGHT HERE by our talented team and some items are even GROWN RIGHT HERE in our certified organic farm behind the store! Over 20 years later, Pilgrim's remains the perfect example of a homegrown, locally owned alternative to massive, national chains like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Sprouts or Natural Grocers. Pilgrim's 25,000-square-foot store offers everything from organic produce to gourmet cheese, beer, wine, bulk foods, meat, deli foods, bulk foods, fresh produce, supplements and more. Located just minutes off I-90, Pilgrim's Market is a frequent destination for locals and a must see for the health-conscious traveler.

MADE RIGHT HERE

In 2020, 22% of our total store sales were delicious housemade products. The largest selection comes from our in-house bakery  (have you tried our life-changing cinnamon rolls?), our café, and “lacto lab” where we ferment and produce all of our Cultured Mama products . We’re working hard behind the scenes to bring you the highest quality, organic, made-from-scratch culinary delights. 2975 items, accounting for 16% of our sales this year, are locally sourced. 700+ items in our store are made in-house, right here at Pilgrim’s Market.

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GROWN RIGHT HERE

Did you know that Pilgrim’s Market has a certified organic farm behind the store? Yep! Under the big white dome right out back, we produce an incredible amount of Market Garden produce. We harvest a variety of greens, radishes, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, watermelons, cucumbers, and more... Then we serve them up fresh in our Produce Department, Salad Bar, and at many local restaurants. We commonly fill 4,000 clam shells of certified organic spinach from our Market Garden.

 
 

HOW WE DO THINGS

At Pilgrim’s Market, our commitment is to build a business where “everyone wins.” Our staff labors daily to offer our customers the greatest variety of healthful foods and services available, in a manner that provides our customers, our community and our employees with the greatest benefit possible. We insist on win-win-win relationships.
When selecting the foods and products to put on our shelves, we ask ourselves these three questions: 
 

 1. Is it healthier? When consumed does this product provide a greater health-benefit to our customers than a conventional alternative?

2. Is it local? Does purchasing this product make a positive impact on the socio-economic condition of our community?

3. Is it Organic or Natural? Does purchasing this product support a production and supply chain that embraces a greater stewardship for the environment and the workers than a conventional alternative? 

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MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to:

1) Build a financially sustainable and principled company

2) Serve, empower and delight our health-seeking customers

3) Create a challenging, empowering and rewarding work environment for our team members, leaders and advisors that over time provide opportunities for personal and professional advancement

OUR NAME

Pilgrims are people on a journey from one place to another, pursuing a greater experience or desirable destination. Although the connotation is often religious, it doesn’t have to be. It can be both. Throughout history, many different types of people have been called pilgrims and for a variety of reasons.

  • John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrim's Progress (regarded as one of the most significant works in English literature) details the journey of a man pursuing “The Celestial City” through a Biblical, Christian perspective.

  • The early Anglo-Saxon settlers of North America, “The Pilgrims” risked disease and death on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean, seeking a new life free from socio-economic and religious oppression where they could seek to manifest their own destiny.


In our minds, anyone seeking something better than what they currently have is a “pilgrim.” So if your journey through life takes you on a path to more informed, healthful or conscientious living, then you may well be a “Pilgrim”...just like us!

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LIKE OUR TUNES?

After years of suffering through songs that he hated, Joe decided in 2019 to start making his own playlist for Pilgrim's. It’s extremely eclectic but since it’s now over 2,000 songs deep, it is sure to contain some favorites for just about anyone. Check it out!

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