Photos by Steve Shay
The Fred Meyer in Greenwood reopened this weekend to a packed house after its year-long expansion. Pictured top is Dave Dahl, founder of Dave's Killer Bread!!! with his display. He is an ex-con who became a good seed, he likes to say. Below, Seafair Pirate, Gene, who lives in the hood, greets kids.

Newly-expanded Fred Meyer Greenwood store opens to packed house; Dave's Killer Bread!!! founder draws crowd

The Fred Meyer store in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, at 100 N.W. 85th St. reopened Friday after its expansion to a packed house, and what a house, with an additional 55,000-plus square feet to make it 190,000.

They hired an addition 100 employees, making the total 250 to accommodate its new grocery department. The parking lots, both inside and out, were filled on Saturday afternoon with the overflow of vehicles parked on residential streets, including many in no parking zones, surrounding the building.

The Greenwood Fred Meyer closed on Feb. 25 last year for extensive renovation and expansion. Work on the site began a week later. The new plans called for the 20,950-square-foot Greenwood Market building to be demolished to make way for the existing Fred Meyer store to expand by 55,305 square feet.

Parked in front was the Seafair Pirates' 32-foot amphibious vehicle, Moby Duck. Its colorfully-costumed occupants, several bad-boy buccaneers, handed out stickers to grinning kids inside the grocery store section.

Also appearing at Fred Meyer Saturday was Dave Dahl, founder of Dave's Killer Bread!!! A crowd was lined up to have a picture taken with Dahl, a self-professed former "bad seed", a criminal and jailbird-turned-successful CEO. His Oregon-based organic whole-grain bread empire employees nearly 300. On his website he states, "I really don’t remember too much of my early years - I’m pretty sure it’s because I don’t want to."

"Things couldn't get any better, and it just keeps getting better," Dahl told the Ballard News Tribune. "I'm a production bread guy. I design breads rather than add ingredients like a chef. I spend 150 days a year touring, and I also have to keep an eye on the ball because of the bread (business) too.

"It's paying off, but It's not about the money anyway," he said. "Once I figured out I could make a difference I was just like, 'Wow. If I could make a difference for other people, they can make a difference.' That's what it's about."

Dahl is a high-profile supporter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, or NAMI.

"I'm a former suicide junky," he said. "I never quite pulled it off."

Based on the enthusiasm of his fans and other customers crowding his booth, many seemed grateful he chose a positive path.

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