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Shopping cart changes culture at local Costco

  • Written by Madeline Coats

 

Mayor Elaine Cook asked Blanco to participate in the Woodinville Festival Parade. Lisa Loyer is also pictured. Photo courtesy of Ron Wilde

A local celebrity has emerged in Woodinville over the last few years. No, it is not human. Yes, it has an abundance of personality and a massive following.

Blanco, The Legendary Costco Cart, has single-handedly changed the environment for customers and employees at the store. Blanco, which means “white” in Spanish, refers to the color of its make and model.

The public figure got its own Facebook page in February 2019 and already has more than 1,650 followers. Blanco’s biography has been shared across the web, bringing fans from all over the region to shop with it.

“Once upon a time in the land of Woodinville Costco #747, a new breed of grey carts—arrogant, good for nothing—invaded the land,” Blanco’s biography said. “The noble white ones were forced out, yet one dared to hang on, to resist the insurrection.”

The original carts at Costco were white prior to 2016. Many stores around the world changed to gray carts because the white ones get dirty quickly. When the Woodinville Costco purchased “shiny, new, slate gray carts,” all the old ones were sent to their ultimate demise—all but one.

Blanco hid in the shadows until one day in 2017 when an employee found and rescued it, restoring its place in the workforce. Blanco even wears a name badge. 

The cart is known for its exceptional member service and ability “to deftly transport 1,200 pounds while fighting off a wild pack of children.”

Blanco has changed the culture at Costco. Ron Wilde, an employee at the Woodinville store, started rewarding cart pushers with chocolate each time they returned Blanco from the parking lot. After a while, the cashiers and assistants wanted to be part of the action. So, they also get chocolates if Blanco comes through their line.

Word about Blanco has spread across the region, bringing people from all over to shop at Costco in Woodinville. One person described Blanco as “a sturdy and predictable cart, but with an added uniqueness that honestly makes you feel powerful when you push it.”

Another shopper recommended Blanco for president in 2020. Others complimented the white cart on bringing people together and spreading joy. People consider it good luck if they get to shop with Blanco.

“There are just no words to describe the impact Blanco has had in our community,” shopper Rebekah Jones said. “Blanco stands out! Always carries the groceries, stops for selfies with the fans, and zero percent the complainer...you will never hear a squeak out of Blanco.”

Wilde said shoppers take selfies with Blanco every day. People come into the store and specifically ask to use it. Some even request employees to help pull the special cart out of a large pile. 

Blanco will occasionally venture outside of Costco. The cart was personally invited by Mayor Elaine Cook to be in the Woodinville Festival Parade on Aug. 17. 

During the winter season, Blanco showed up to work covered in festive Christmas garb. Most recently, it got to hang out with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the third annual Christmas Light Cruise Dec. 22. 

Where will Blanco be seen next?

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