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Business Roundup: SaVi dresses up South Wenatchee

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Keena Ellard, owner of clothing boutique SaVi, has filled her new store with top-name fashion lines.

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SaVi dresses up South Wenatchee with fashion savvy

Some of the nation’s top fashion lines have found a home in south Wenatchee.

The new women’s clothing boutique SaVi (pronounced “savvy”) features gotta-have brands such as Lucky Jeans, Hudson Jeans, Michael Stars, Z Supply, Black Swan and a handful of other super-stylish lines.

We thought our target clientele might be the younger, hipper, trendier customer,” said SaVi owner Keena Ellard. “But we’re seeing women of all ages coming in to shop — teens, college-age, seniors and plus-sized.”

The 1,800-square-foot boutique, located in the former J. Russell Marketing offices near Encouraging Words bookstore, opened Aug. 20 and has been hopping ever since, said Ellard. Popular items include Z Supply’s back-to-school tees and hoodies, high-style dresses for autumn, Big Buddha handbags, jewelry and other accessories. A line of shoes is expected in the spring.

Prices hover around $60 to $80 for basic tops and pants. High-end jeans can run $200 a pair.

Ellard, 38, studied fashion, interior design and business before devoting herself to being a stay-at-home mom and raising two kids. “Now that they’re in their teens,” she said, “I’ve got the time to concentrate on some of the things I love — such as SaVi.”

Details: SaVi Women’s Clothing Boutique, 517 S. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee. Phone: 888-9697. Web: On Facebook (keywords: savi wenatchee). Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.


Aspen Leaf Spa expands at Sleeping Lady

Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort’s Aspen Leaf Spa has expanded to include a full-service day spa that offers massage, facial and body treatments.

Open Sept. 11, the new spa facility is located at the entrance to the resort property in the former location of KOHO Radio. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Aspen Leaf practitioners offer a blend of massage services, including Swedish, deep tissue, sports, pregnancy, side-by-side and hot and cold stone massages. Other services include antioxidant peels, microdermabrasion, waxing and tinting.

Renovation of Aspen Leaf Spa incorporated fair-trade, repurposed and resource-efficient materials, and treatments include only high-quality natural products, said Lori Vanderbrink, the resort’s marketing director.

The expanded spa will employ seven nationally-certified massage practitioners, four estheticians and cosmetologists and a spa coordinator. The spa will be managed by Karen Edwards.

For more info, call the resort at 800-574-2123 or visit sleepinglady.com.

East Wenatchee

Marshalls ready for Oct. 2 grand opening

Diehard Marshalls fans can stop holding their breath. The trendy discounter has hired staff for its new East Wenatchee store and set its grand opening for Oct. 2.

A swing by the department chain’s new 23,400-square-foot space at Wenatchee Valley Mall revealed work crews hammering to finish interior work designed by the store’s parent, Massachusetts-based TJX Companies (Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and four smaller chains).

At the end of 2013, Marshalls had 942 stores in 42 states and Puerto Rico. Its sister company, T.J. Maxx, had 1,079 stores spread over 49 states. TJX estimates long-term growth of 3,000 stores combined for the two companies.


Hot Rodzz revs coffee sales at Pybus Market

Coffee stand Rivet popped in July from the merchant lineup at Pybus Public Market, and Hot Rodzz Espresso has taken its place in the market’s vintage Airstream trailer.

It’s a perfect fit, too, said Hot Rodzz owners Patty and Warren Scott. “If it’s on wheels, if it’s part of the motoring world, then we’re excited about it,” said Warren. “This Airstream is our kind of place.”

The Scotts took over the outdoor espresso stand — located at the northwest corner of the Pybus property — and in conjunction with Pybus management are already adding some nice touches: a fountain and splash pad, shaded seating areas, lower drink prices, an expanded menu and daily specials.

The Scotts ran the espresso outlet at Wenatchee’s Plaza Super Jet for two years before moving their operation to the in-house coffee stand at the Chelan County Courthouse, which they turned over to another operator when the Pybus opportunity arose.

Patty brings nearly 18 years of barista experience to Hot Rodzz, and she’ll be chief coffee maker on most days — sometimes with the help of the Scott’s 10-year-old daughter, Dezeray.

Hot Rodzz features espresso drinks, chai tea, frappes, smoothies, Italian sodas, Red Bull energy drinks, ice cream and some pastries (muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls).

Our goal is to be a fun and lively part of the Pybus ‘family’ and the Wenatchee Valley community,” he added.

Details: Hot Rodzz Espresso, 15 N. Worthen St., Wenatchee, in the Airstream trailer outside Pybus Public Market. Phone: 679-5533. Web: Facebook (keywords hot rodzz espresso). Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


Twitterer Bonny touts tweets as prime social media

Dominick Bonny — owner of Strategically Social, a Wenatchee-based social media consulting company — had lots to say last month about using the Twitter platform to boost business and attract customers.

Bonny spoke to about 25 curious Twitter users as part of GWATA’s monthly Social Media Club gatherings at Pybus Public Market.

Here are five points Bonny hammered home in his presentation:

Twitter is a place to share thoughts and ideas. A good Twitter feed can become a compelling method for both storytelling and learning about the world.

Twitter has a broader reach than Facebook and is more useful in addressing an audience beyond the Wenatchee Valley. A clever tweet can get retweeted around the globe.

Business folks should use Twitter to drive traffic to their websites, newsletters and blogs. But that means having your website already in place and ready for customers. Remember: The website comes first as an online anchor; Twitter (and other social media) come later.

Content is key. Snappy tweets are the meat of Twitter, that’s for sure. But the service has evolved to highlight photos and short videos. So a smart tweeter mixes it up just to keep followers’ interest from flagging.

Novices to Twitter should be good “listeners” for the first six months or so — just to get the feel of the platform. They’ll become more experienced “communicators” as time goes on and their audience builds.


Alcoa Foundation hosts virtual field day on manufacturing

Students in grades 6 to 12 will participate Oct. 3 in a virtual field day focused on manufacturing careers and a tour of an Alcoa plant in Davenport, Iowa.

The online event, part of National Manufacturing Day activities around the nation, is hosted by the Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education, a company that provides digital content for teaching and learning.

The virtual field day takes “a first step towards exploring and pursuing today’s manufacturing careers,” said an Alcoa press release. “The program provides … free hands-on resources that build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities.”

For more information, visit manufactureyourfuture.com.

Washington, D.C.

New online course in Spanish for young entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration has released a new, self-paced online course in Spanish to help young entrepreneurs determine if they’re ready to own and run a business.

The free course — “Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business (Jovenes Emprendedores) — includes presentations on evaluating business ideas, choosing among financing options and registering a business. The course also includes resources available through the SBA.

The course is available from the SBA’s Learning Center under the banner “Starting a Business” at go.usa.gov/mnFT, and is also available in English.


SCORE offers free counseling for small business

Sixteen local business experts can offer advice to “get you going down the right path” towards entrepreneural success, SCORE says.

SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, offers free and confidential mentoring to owners of new and existing businesses. “We’ll get you around the ‘tight’ corners whether you have a walk-in store or an e-commerce idea,” says SCORE.

For more info, call SCORE at 888-2900 or email the group at score663office@gmail.com.


Senior Care Pharmacy saves money, time for caregivers

A new pharmacy service providing new packaging for pills and other medicines could save time, money and worry for local care facilities serving long-term patients.

Doane’s Senior Care Pharmacy, the latest senior offshoot of Doane’s Valley Pharmacy, packages and delivers individualized med packs to adult family homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, jails and prisons and other licensed operations.

What it comes down to,” said pharmacist Michele Aston Lockrem, “is that we manage meds for our clients’ patients, which in many cases can be a complicated task.”

The Senior Care Pharmacy, the only service of its kind in North Central Washington, now serves 300 beds at a number of adult family homes and assisted living facilities throughout the Wenatchee Valley.

Using several different packaging systems, Lockrem and other Doane’s employees gather a long-term patient’s medicines — say, four doses of six different pills each day — into clam-shell packages, segmented boxes or labeled bottles that keep track of the day and time each dose should be administered.

Lockrem said complications can begin for caregivers with the tracking of each patient’s prescriptions. “Some people just take two pills a day, but some take 20,” said Lockrem. “Sorting the right meds in the right doses for even five or six patients can take time and get confusing. For 100 patients — well, confusion can multiply.”

The Senior Pharmacy saves time for caregivers by organizing prescriptions, pre-packaging doses for each patient and delivering (for free) the dose packs to each facility. “In some ways, it feels like we’re part of each facility’s staff,” said Lockrem. “The pharmacy takes a more active interest in the care of each patient.”

Accuracy is improved, too, in administering the right meds in the proper doses, said Lockrem. “For the caregiver, confusion is reduced.” Doane’s has a four-way safety procedure to ensure meds and doses are correct.

In January, Doane’s remodeled and expanded its in-store pharmacy operation to accommodate the new Senior Care service. The senior pharmacy follows last year’s opening in Wenatchee of Doane’s Medical Equipment (DME), a provider of wheelchairs, walkers, orthotics, hospital beds, bathroom safety equipment and hundreds of other items.

The Senior Care Pharmacy also offers 24-hour emergency pharmacy services and monthly upkeep of MARs — or Medication Administration Records — that are legally required to track drugs given to a patient.

Combine the new pharmacy with Doane’s DME and regular pharmacy in downtown Cashmere, and “you’ve pretty much got one-stop shopping for adult family homes and assisted living facilities,” said Lockrem.

The efficiency and accuracy we provide means more time for patient care,” she said. “And that’s what all this is about — better service for the people in our care.”


Windermere agents get breathing room

We know the housing market’s finally healthy again. But how good is it, really?

One sure sign of rising prosperity is that Wenatchee’s Windermere Real Estate/NCW — with 28 agents — is busting at the seams with hardly any space left at its old location.

Only thing to do, says managing broker Russ Andrews, is build a new and larger office. And the company is doing just that.

The new 5,600-square-foot Windermere office, now under construction at 517 N. Wenatchee Ave., will have space for 35 agents, a larger waiting room for clients and all the high-tech amenities a 21st century real estate agent could want.

Andrews says he and the Windermere crew are aiming for Nov. 1 as the opening date.


Stemilt to market under new pear label

Stemilt Growers has consolidated its pear branding under a new label and logo: Rushing Rivers Pears.

The Wenatchee-based fruit company, one of the largest in the world, adopted the new label to highlight its pear production in the Wenatchee and Entiat river valleys, said company spokeswoman Brianna Shales. The label’s tagline: “The Best Pear Locales in the World.”

The new branding will be used for Stemilt’s conventional pears in domestic and export markets. The company’s organic pears will be marketed under the Artisan Organics label.

Consumers should look for Rushing Rivers pear displays in grocery stores, said Shales. Stemilt is also planning back-to-school advertising to tout both pears and apples as healthy lunch options.


Good weather brings nice-sized pear crop

This year’s good weather has meant a good harvest for Northwest pear growers.

The Portland-based Pear Bureau Northwest reported last month that the 2014 harvest in Washington and Oregon will hit 20.2 million boxes, a yield that’s 2-percent larger than the five-year average but 6 percent lower than last year’s record crop.

We’re looking forward to another crop of excellent quality and fruit size to meet the demands of the domestic and export markets,” said Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau Northwest’s president and CEO.

The crop size is revised from pre-season estimates of 18.7 million boxes. The 20.2 million box estimate, measured in standard 44-pound equivalents, would equal 445,144 tons of fresh pears.

Harvest began in late July with the Starkrimson and Bartlett pear varieties. Anjou, Red Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle and Seckel will be picked from late August through mid-October.

The top three varieties in terms of production remain the same as in previous years. Green Anjou pears are anticipated to make up 53 percent of the total 2014 crop, and Bartlett and Bosc pears are expected to yield 22 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Updated estimates for organic pears have also increased to a total of 976,780 boxes. That’s a 3-percent increase over last year’s crop and a 16-percent increase over the five-year average.

Pear Bureau Northwest is a nonprofit marketing organization that represents 1,600 pear growers in Washington and Oregon. For more information, visit usapears.org.


Seattle firm looks to NCW agriculture as hot investment

One of the state’s largest independent investment banks has cast its eye towards agriculture in eastern Washington with hopes of helping local farms and orchards plan, expand and become more profitable, say its top executives.

Agriculture is a hot sector right now,” said Michael Butler, CEO of Seattle-based Cascadia Capital. “Its growth and consolidation are being driven by international market forces that shouldn’t be ignored.”

North Central Washington ag operations are especially attractive, said Cascadia execs, because of the steady supply of water — a valuable and volatile commodity in much of the world — along with low-cost hydropower.

It’s hard to estimate the incredible value of these resources,” said Butler. “They will ensure steady growth of the industry for decades to come.”

Recent Cascadia Capital transactions include PetSmart’s $160 million purchase of online pet supplier Pet360 and securing $10.7 million in funding for Valant Medical Solutions, a provider of systems for medical records and electronic billing.

In August, the CEO and a handful of Cascadia execs met with NCW fruit growers, wheat ranchers, mint farmers and food processors to, said Butler, “begin establishing relationships that will work far into the future and benefit families and businesses.”

The visits capped nine months of groundwork by Cascadia to introduce the bank’s services — financial consulting, strategic planning, next-generation succession, investment possibilities — to NCW ag businesses ranging in size from family farms to global fruit companies.

What we’ve found,” said Butler, “are industry dynamics that are forcing change — huge consolidation among fruit growers, generational transitions of family farms, markets opening around the world — with lots of middle-market farmers and ranchers wondering what the next step might be.”

Said Butler, “Maybe they need outside financial capital to expand and profit, and maybe they don’t. We want to help them think through the growth process, help them come up with a plan.”

Cascadia team member Jim Barnyak, a regional rep for trillion-dollar BNY Mellon financial services in New York, said, “So many middle-sized operations need to figure out what they do best and what they want to do when they grow up. For many, it’s grow up or get gobbled up.”

Barnyak said any strategic plan for the mid-sized family farm should include the owners’ vision for the business — “What’s the family want from their operation?” he asked — and a hard look at what specialty niche they occupy now or could occupy later.

Figuring out the value of the business and analyzing future “risk and return” is also a large part of planning for the future, he said. “It all comes down to what the owners and family members are comfortable with.”

Butler said this type of planning involves a lot of number crunching, but establishing a relationship between the business and the bank is the crucial element.

A friendly introduction and casual conversation are two of the best business practices I know,” he said. “From there, we can begin to work together.”