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Pybus tenants filling in the blanks

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Shiloh Schauer is the new director of the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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Pybus tenants filling in the blanks

Pybus Market is taking shape in ways that’ll appeal both to the eye and the palate as the new 25,000-square-foot commercial center begins interior construction and anchor tenants reveal their plans.

The Mexican restaurant South announced last month it would expand from its Leavenworth location to occupy a two-level, 2,000-square-foot space at the market, while the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market outlined plans to open a year-round store and seasonal artisan market at the new venue.

Sweet potato enchiladas and smoked-salmon tacos will be on the menu when South, the popular Mexican restaurant in the valley’s Bavarian town, begins serving in one of Pybus’ largest spaces. No definite date has been set for the restaurant’s opening, but the 16-vendor Pybus Market aims to open by April 26, the first weekend of this year’s Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, market officials have said.

The new restaurant will occupy about 1,300 square feet on the market’s ground floor with a second-floor mezzanine of about 650 square feet that overlooks the market’s interior bustle. Outside, a two-tiered deck will face the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail and Columbia River.

Pybus excites us for several reasons,” said Cappy Bond, who co-owns South with Price Gledhill.

We’ve been waiting for the right opportunity for a second location, and Pybus is the right place at the right time for us.”

The Farmers Market will begin its 2013 season as a major draw for the new Pybus Market as growers and craft folks relocate booths to the new riverside hub for restaurants and retailers.

The Farmers Market will also open a year-round store and an expand its list of seasonal events. Some details:

WVFM Market Store: This new addition will be open all year long from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday in the Pybus Market at the foot of Orondo Avenue.

Opening days: The main Saturday farmers market opens May 11 in Pybus Market, with the Wednesday market opening at the same location on June 26. A Thursday market at Methow Park in South Wenatchee opens July 11.

Artisan market: Crafts and baked goods will be featured at this new event held 3 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Fridays from June through October at the Pybus Market. The grand opening is set for June 7.

Salsa contest: The fourth-annual competition will take place on Aug. 23 at the Thursday Methow Market.

Baking contest: Set for Oct. 12 at Pybus, this competition’s categories will include cakes and pies, cookies and bars and breads and muffins.


Schauer hired as Chamber’s executive director

A state legislative assistant and former candidate for mayor was hired Jan. 31 by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce as its new executive director.

Shiloh Schauer, 31, a lifelong resident of Wenatchee, topped 75 candidates from around the nation to lead the Chamber as it merges this year with the Wenatchee Valley Visitors Bureau, launches new tourism promotions and seeks to boost economic development.

She began her new duties Feb. 18.

Schauer’s “leadership capabilities and 10 years of experience cultivating, maintaining, and improving relationships with constituents, community organizations, and government entities were deciding factors” in her hire, said Josh Stendera, president of the Chamber board.

Schauer has served as an executive legislative assistant for Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, since 2003 and was a candidate in 2011 for Wenatchee mayor, losing in a runoff to Frank Kuntz.

Schauer is a Wenatchee High School graduate who earned her AA at Wenatchee Valley College and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University. Her family has operated a Sunnyslope pear orchard for four generations.


Chamber to honor Webbs, McNulty and Cheever

Brothers who know their math and a couple who gather food for the needy will be awarded top honors by the Cashmere Chamber of Commerce.

Webb Accountancy, owned by brothers Randy, Dennis and Keith Webb, has been named as the 2012 Business of the Year. Pam McNulty and Gary Cheever, who together run the Cashmere-Dryden Ministerial Food Bank, are Citizens of the Year.

Honorees were chosen last month by a Chamber committee following a public nomination process in January. They’ll receive their awards at the annual Recognition Dinner and Auction here March 15 at Riverside Center.

The Webbs will be honored not only as businessmen but as community leaders, said Chamber President Alex Cruz. Individually, they’ve served on numerous boards and committees — including museums, foundations, youth programs and schools — in Cashmere and throughout the Wenatchee Valley.

Webb Accountancy opened in 1981 in Cashmere and today has additional offices in Leavenworth and Wenatchee.

The Webbs epitomize what a good small business owner is,” said Cruz. “They understand the role business owners can have in building a healthy community, and the embrace this role.”

At the Ministerial Food Bank, McNulty and Cheever will be honored for gathering, boxing and delivering food to low-income families both during the holidays and throughout the year.

McNulty began working at the food bank in 1989 as a volunteer and took over as director in 2001. Cheever has worked alongside her for the last 10 years.

This type of dedication doesn’t come along very often,” wrote Marilyn Lancaster, Cashmere, in her nomination letter two months ago. “Our community is very fortunate to have Pam and Gary and their care for the hungry in our area. They both go above and beyond just volunteering. They have made it part of their lives.”

The awards dinner and auction will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. March 15. Tickets for the event are $25 per person and are on sale now at the Chamber office. For more info, call Chamber Manager Jill FitzSimmons at 782-7404.


Local inn listed as good place for romance

Another Wenatchee Valley inn has been named as one of America’s great places to smooch.

The Cascade Valley Inn, Cashmere’s four-suite luxury bed and breakfast, was named last month as one of the world’s Top 10 Romantic Inns by the website BedandBreakfast.com.

The local inn was listed along with lodging establishments in Florida, British Columbia, France and other locations. The inn was noted for its suites with fireplaces, jetted tubs, oversized showers, upscale linens and broad views of the Cascade foothills.

It’s a true honor to be chosen for the Top 10 Romantic Inns award, and we’re thrilled that our hard work has set us apart” said Laurie Shorett, Cascade Valley Inn innkeeper.

Earlier in February, Mountain Home Lodge near Leavenworth was named to a similar romantic-hotel list issued by TripAdvisor.com.

For more info on Cascade Valley Inn, call 782-0240 or visit cascadevalleyinn.com. To view the complete romantic inn list, click on the awards button at BedandBreakfast.com.


Irrigation district sets start dates to fill canals

The big water canals here will start filling in the middle of this month.

The Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District plans to begin filling the Crab Creek Lateral (CCL) on March 11 and the West Canal on March 13, barring any unforeseen delays, said district spokesman Darvin Fales.

Priming will continue on smaller canals and laterals through the first week in April, depending on the weather and the demand for water deliveries, he added.

Telephone recorders will be turned on March 18 in all watermaster offices for water ordering. This service will be available on Saturdays and up to 11:30 a.m. Sundays for the following Monday’s water order throughout the season, Fales said.

After March 13, waterusers should contact their watermaster headquarters to receive current information and schedules. For more info, call the irrigation district office at 787-3591.


Local business counselors have new office

SCORE has new digs.

The local group of advisors to start-up entrepreneurs and existing businesses has moved its office to 2 S. Chelan Ave., Suite B, in the building housing offices of the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival.

The group of mostly retired business professionals offers free counseling and workshops to the area’s business community at five North Central Washington locations. Counseling sessions are held in Wenatchee from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays.

To make an appointment, call the Wenatchee office at 888-2900, Chelan at 682-3503, Omak at 826-1880, Ephrata at 754-4656 or Moses Lake at 765-7888.


Free tax help offered in NCW

There’s lots to sweat about income taxes without worrying about following this year’s new regulations and correctly filling out the forms.

That’s where volunteers with the local AARP Tax-Aide Program can step in to help.

About two dozen volunteer tax preparers began last month to offer free tax-preparation sessions at four locations across North Central Washington. The sessions are sponsored in conjunction with the Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council.

Volunteers — mostly age 50-plus, and trained and certified in tax work — will help folks wrangle their tax returns, said Linda Limbeck, district coordinator for the AARP tax program. The sessions run through April 15 at four sites:

• Wenatchee Valley Senior Center, 1312 Maple St., Suite D, Wenatchee. 3:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.

• Leavenworth Senior Center, 423 Evans St., Leavenworth, from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays.

• Chelan Public Library, 417 S. Bradley St., from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

• Wenatchee Valley College-North, 116 W. Apple Ave, Omak, by appointment only from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan are walk-in sites. The site in Omak is by appointment only.

More than 800 people took advantage of the free service last year at sites in Chelan County alone, Limbeck said.

This year, participants will need to bring their W-2 forms, any 1099 forms, retirement tax statements, a copy of last year’s tax return and both a driver’s license (or state-issued ID) and Social Security card for identification. Simple tax returns, including the 1040EZ form and those with itemized deductions, can be processed immediately in most cases.

For more info on the Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan sessions, phone 662-6156. For info on the Omak sessions, or to schedule an appointment, call (509) 322-3439.


Sales tax app now available

Figuring out those pesky sales taxes just got easier for Android phone users.

The state Department of Revenue announced last month it had released an Android mobile app that allows users to look up sales and use taxes for any location in the state.

The free app is now available at the Good Play Store.

Businesses have asked us to find ways to make compliance easier for them, and this app is one of those ways,” said Brad Flaherty, department director. “Our goal is to help taxpayers get it right the first time.”

The Android app follows the earlier release of an iPhone version that has been well received by businesses, said Flaherty. Under Washington law, the sales tax must be coded by businesses to the destination of a shipped or delivered product or where contractors perform services. More info on the app is available at dor.wa.gov/TaxRateMobile.


National accounting firm opens office here

One of the nation’s largest accounting and consulting firms opened a new branch office here in February. Moss Adams LLP opened its three-employee branch at 2600 Chester Kimm Road in Olds Station.

We are thrilled to be opening our office in Wenatchee,” said Randy Fenich, partner in charge of the firm’s Yakima office. “Our agribusiness practice already works with 75 percent of all apple growers, packing houses, shippers, and exporters in the state and 46 percent nationwide—more than any other accounting firm.”

He said the firm has also specialized in several regional industries, including wine production, construction, real estate, health care and nonprofits.

Staff for the new branch will include Fenich, an agribusiness expert and native of Ephrata; Val Perry, who specializes in estate planning and ownership transitions; and Brian Etzkorn, a Cashmere native whose specialties include agribusiness and tax research.

East Wenatchee

Hobby Lobby set for March 4 grand opening

The crane and boom lift in front of the soon-to-open Hobby Lobby store last month weren’t hoisting sequins or glue sticks, although the mega-craft store is certain to be chock-full of those items.

They were lifting sign letters: H-O-B-B … Well, you get the picture.

The heavy machinery is a definite sign that Hobby Lobby crews are fully engaged in remodeling the former Top Foods grocery for a soft opening March 1 and a more formal opening March 4, according to company officials.

It also means that Hobby Lobby, located at 10 Grant Road, was looking for employees to staff its 53,000 square feet of everything crafty. Company reps have said a new store typically hires about 50 to 60 employees for various positions, including cashiers, stockers, picture framers, floral designers, department heads and managers. Pay for full-time employees starts at $13 an hour and $9 for part-time workers.

At the time of Business World publication, most job Hobby Lobby positions had been filled, although the website still lists the new location as accepting applications. Visit hobbylobby.com/careers to get details.


Local health alliance accepting members

A new program that promotes a healthy lifestyle through education and support kicked off last month.

The Vibrant Health Alliance, a membership group, focuses on improving a person’s health through diet, attitude and surroundings, said leader Dr. Chandra Villano, a Wenatchee naturopath.

Twice-monthly sessions include guidance on setting goals and taking action with the help of supportive group dynamics, Villano said. Licensed medical practitioner Annie La Croix also helps lead the group.

Hour-long sessions are held at 6:30 p.m. every other Wednesday at Bonaventure, 50 29th St. NW, East Wenatchee. Four-hour intensive sessions are held quarterly. Membership fees are $60 per month.

Membership also includes discounts at about a dozen local businesses such as spas, massage therapists, natural food markets and chiropractors.

For more info and to register, visit wenatcheewellness.com or look for Vibrant Health Alliance on Facebook.


Scrapping Saturday mail adds to NCW’s postal pain

Loss of the region’s mail processing center. Shorter hours for small-town post offices. And now no more mail delivery on Saturdays.

The U.S. Postal Service’s announcement Feb. 6 to ax Saturday mail service is the latest cutback for North Central Washington residents facing an end to overnight delivery of first-class mail and curtailed hours at rural post offices.

It’s a matter of budgeting and cost-cutting,” said Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson in Seattle. “These are hard steps that will likely have to be taken.”

In its latest move, the struggling Postal Service said it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to disburse packages six days a week. The cutback would begin in August and could save $2 billion annually.

The announcement followed last year’s release of a multi-billion-dollar cost-cutting plan

to close and consolidate nearly 250 mail processing centers across the country, including the one in Wenatchee and seven other centers in the state.

That plan is still on track, said Swanson, with Wenatchee’s 49-employee, $8 million center likely to close by mid-summer and move most mail processing to Spokane. The move could stretch first-class delivery times by one or two days, he said.

The region’s rural post offices are also under scrutiny as the Postal Service looks for even more ways to cut costs. More than 13,100 post offices across the nation face fewer hours of service or possible replacement by centralized postal boxes on a route served by another post office.

Locally, residents using the Rock Island post office — along with patrons of a handfull of other NCW post offices — have been surveyed to determine if they’d prefer cutbacks in hours, centralized mail boxes or other options.

A public meeting to gather comments is set for 3 p.m. March 6 at the Rock Island post office, 224 Rock Island Drive.

Cutting Saturday delivery accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services.

Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday, but would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval. But the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.

Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

He said other action will be needed as well, such as shuttering smaller rural post offices and restructuring employee health care and pension costs.

Donahoe said the change would mean a combination of employee reassignment and attrition and is expected to achieve cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually when fully implemented.

The agency in November reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion for the last budget year and forecast more red ink in 2013, capping a tumultuous year in which it was forced to default on billions in retiree health benefit prepayments to avert bankruptcy.

The financial losses for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 were more than triple the $5.1 billion loss in the previous year. Having reached its borrowing limit, the mail agency is operating with little cash on hand.

The agency’s biggest problem — and the majority of the red ink in 2012 — was not due to reduced mail flow but rather to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11.1 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year.

The Postal Service is in the midst of a major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, it has cut annual costs by about $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000 or by 28 percent, and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations, officials say.


Cooperating to construct serendipity on Sunnyslope

When Michael Cassidy and his wife moved back here last year, they bought property in Sunnyslope only a block away from where they’d lived six years before.

We missed living on this very spot,” said the retired engineer, who moved to Lynden in 2006. “We missed the sunshine, the four seasons and the mountain views we’d enjoyed for years. We never thought we could find a place again on Sunnyslope, but here we are.”

He pointed across the street to his new home, taking shape as one of the first move-in-ready houses in a new 27-acre Sunnyslope subdivision. “It’s right where we dreamed it’d be,” he said.

The 66-lot Madison Acres, one of Sunnyslope’s largest developments in a decade, has been touted by area housing experts as a unique experiment in helping rejuvenate a construction industry hit hard by years of economic slowdown. The project brings together five local home builders working together to take advantage of a housing market that’s finally showing signs of life.

This is a unique situation, a kind of loose partnership, of five builders with the same sense of quality and proven sales records,” said Ted McDaniel, owner of Mountain Vista Homes and the developer and lead contractor on the project.

McDaniel said he hand-picked the companies to “share the opportunity” — including some of the risks and some of the costs — by working together instead of aggressively competing for vacant properties and qualified customers.

This isn’t business as usual,” smiled McDaniel. “Instead of tough competition, instead of being at each other’s throats, we’re cooperating to make this one of the best subdivisions around. It’s a mutual effort, and it looks like it’s paying off.”

The cooperative effort comes none too soon for area developers and builders who for more than four years have suffered through uncertain times — a burst housing bubble, falling home prices, tightening credit and rising unemployment across the industry.

Madison Acres’ first phase — 10 acres, 24 building lots — kicked off in May. Since then, nearly all of the lots have sold, eight homes are nearing completion and four more are underway. The Cassidys, two of Madison Acres’ first buyers, could move into their new home as early as the first week of March.

Phase two — 17 acres, 42 lots — has reached final planning stages. In coming weeks, cul-de-sacs will be reworked into street extensions and building lots staked out. Laurie Carlson, a real estate broker for Coldwell Banker in Wenatchee, is already holding weekly open houses in a partially-finished model home.

There’s definitely a synergy among these builders that I don’t recall having seen before,” said Carlson. “And I think it shows in the (development’s) street layouts, in the homes’ comfortable designs and even in the buying and building process for the customer. It’s a much smoother process.”

East Wenatchee builder Shane Covey agreed. As one of four other contractors working on Madison Acres’ homes, he said he’s seen a blend of building skills from former competitors that helps speed projects and increases quality.

He noted a nearby 4-foot retaining wall that separates higher lots from backyards on a lower level. “We all pitched in and got it done in record time,” he said. “I think we were all surprised and amazed.”

Covey is building a home for his mother, Sandy Covey. She said her home’s design exemplifies Madison Acres’ “flexibility and serendipity” in avoiding the usual cookie-cutter look of most subdivisions. Huge windows, a flat shed roof line, an artist’s workspace and a pet-washing station are just some of the custom touches incorporated into her home’s design.

McDaniel, who bought the Sunnyslope property in 2006, said he wasn’t sure then what would happen to the land after the economy began slowing and the housing market shriveled just two years later.

In 2009, 2010 and 2011, we could build beautiful homes, sure,” he said. “But we couldn’t give them away.”

Then in early 2012, McDaniel said he began to sense a shift in the local economy and housing market. “Things seemed to be picking up slowly but surely. I looked at Madison Acres, took a deep breath and said, OK, let’s give it a shot.”

The groundbreaking took place May, McDaniel said, and he soon convinced a handful of builders that joining together could bring much-needed production and profits. By summer’s end the development was humming with activity. It’s maintained that pace right through winter.

It’s been heartening to see excavators and carpenters back at work, doing what they do best,” he said.


Out-of-sight eateries offer outta-sight fare

They can smell the fried chicken. But can they find the fried chicken?

Summer visitors streaming past Dan’s Food Market here can spot all the signs of something yummy nearby — tourists enjoying hefty roast beef sandwiches, families picnicking on freshly fried drumsticks and macaroni salad.

But the source of that tantalizing fare? Not so obvious.

Dan’s deli is one of a handful of out-of-the-way Wenatchee Valley eateries — a Mexican grill, hospital bistro, airport cafe and others — tucked inside larger establishments. While many local residents are privy to these hideaways’ locations and specialties, out-of-towners sometimes have to search.

All summer long, tourists find us by following their noses,” said Kim Spry, manager of the market’s popular deli. It’s situated inside the locally-owned grocery, all the way down Aisle 1 and around the corner of a wide entryway.

We’ve learned to time the frying to when people are hungry,” she laughed. “You know — right before noon, right before dinner time, right after big events when people are walking back to their cars.”

Served piping hot, Dan’s fried chicken is known far and wide for its juiciness and just-right crust, said Spry. The deli uses only fresh, Washington-grown chickens, dips the pieces in homemade batter and keeps the fryer going all day as customers line up at the counter.

In peak vacation times, we go through a lot of chickens,” said Spry.

But the deli serves up more than fried chicken. Its second-most-popular items are handmade sandwiches bulging with meats, veggies, cheeses and condiments, all on breads made 20 feet away by Homefires Bakery, which shares the space.

We don’t eat here all the time, but we do eat here three-quarters of the time,” joked Gary Mailloux, a Leavenworth resident and a frequent deli customer.

The sandwich ingredients and flavors are amazing. Great meats, great breads and …” — he looked over at Spry and smiled — “ … great service. I think the service is part of what makes this place so popular.”

Eric Worthen, co-owner of Dan’s Market with wife Lisa, said the attention given by the deli’s three-person staff to food and service brings customers back again and again. “I’ve no doubt that it’s Kim and her staff that set our deli apart.”

Spry demurred. “Truthfully, the sandwiches are pretty basic,” she said. “But we use the best ingredients we can find, never skimp on portions and sell them at a price that makes people smile.” A sandwich, bag of chips and cookie sell for $4.99.

Spry, 54, joined Dan’s Market in 1987 and has managed the deli for the last 10 years. Over the course of a summer tourist season, she’ll fry up thousands of chicken pieces and personally make hundreds of sandwiches. During fire season, special orders from fire crews can have the deli staff making 300 sandwiches at a time.

We stay pretty busy here,” chuckled Spry, as local customers arrived last week for mid-afternoon chicken and sandwich snacks. “People get a taste of what we offer and, well, they come back for more.”

Deli at Dan’s Food Market

Where: Inside Dan’s Market, 1329 Highway 2, Leavenworth

On the Menu: Fried chicken, deli sandwiches, pizzas and salads.

Details: Open daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phone: 548-5611.

Pablo’s Mexican Grill

Where: Inside the Latino Market Place, 730 Grant Road, East Wenatchee.

On the menu: Mexican favorites with a few flavor-enhancing twists from South Mexico that include high-quality meats (Latino Market Place is a popular carniceria), a wide range of spices and a careful use of interesting cheeses. Tacos, burritos, tamales, enchiladas, quesadillas, carne asada all have a zesty edge — lime? fruit? — and low heat. Increased spiciness comes from the extensive salsa bar, which features more than a dozen offerings of various heats — mild cabbage slaw to medium pico de gallo to “ay caramba!” chipotle sauce.

Details: The decor’s not fancy, and doesn’t need to be. The food is the star. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Phone: 881-2600.

The Cafe at the Airport

Where: Inside Pangborn Memorial Airport, 1 Pangborn Drive, East Wenatchee.

On the menu: Tasty and inexpensive grab-and-go items for travelers highlight daily fare, including muffins, bagels, cookies, espresso drinks and sandwiches. On Thursdays, the menu expands with a lunch special, such as chicken salad wraps or French dip sandwiches. And don’t forget pies. Thursday is also Pie Day. Owner Ruth Piccirillo brings in a couple of homemade pies — sour cream pear, chocolate cream, apple or cherry — and they sell out fast. Friday is hamburger day (cheeseburgers, double-meat burgers), which airport employees and local residents anticipate each week.

Details: Scheduled flights dictate the cafe’s schedule. It’s open Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6 a.m., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2:15 to 4 p.m. Phone: 881-2575.