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Business Roundup | Stemilt raves about the Rave

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The Rave apple, a new variety licensed by Stemilt Growers.

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Stemilt raves about the Rave

WENATCHEE — Publications that report on fruits and veggies were raving last month about Stemilt Growers’ new apple called the Rave.

Due next year in small quantities, the Rave is the commercial name for the apple variety MN55, which was developed at the University of Minnesota as a cross between Honeycrisp and the never-released variety called MonArk.

Here are a few other bite-sized tidbits about the Rave: It’s red. It ripens a week earlier than Honeycrisp (which means late August or early September). It has Honeycrisp crunchiness. It stores for long periods, which is important to packers and shippers.

Also, apple breeders in Minnesota were ecstatic over the relatively short time it took to develop the Rave — just 17 years instead of the 30 years it took to bring Honeycrisp to market. Apple breeders are a patient bunch.

Stemilt nabbed licensing of the apple back in 2014 and has worked with the University of Minnesota to come up with a brand name and a marketing strategy.

We are beyond excited about the chosen brand name of our newest star apple,” said Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director. “The Rave apple has explosive flavor and with its early harvest timing and dessert qualities, it will reinvent the month of August for the apple category.”


Tilth cultivates Wenatchee for next conference

WENATCHEE — The Tilth Conference, one of the Northwest’s largest symposiums on sustainable and organic farming, will attract some of the top names in the national healthy-food movement to Wenatchee when the gathering is held here in November.

The event will run Nov. 11-13 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

This year’s conference will “explore change and resiliency in the Pacific Northwest organic and sustainable food community,” said a Tilth press release. Presentations will include a soil symposium, Wenatchee-Leavenworth farm tour and 25 workshops on organic production, tree fruit management, finance, marketing and other topics.

Keynote speaker Michael Phillips — a New Hampshire farmer, carpenter and author of “The Holistic Orchard” — will talk about soil health and plant wisdom and how they intersect in sustainable agriculture.

Get more details and register at seattletilth.org/special_events/tilth-conference-registration.


Doré Building gets facelift, new tenants

WENATCHEE — At age 87, downtown’s Doré Building is shaping up to soon be the spiffiest kid on the block.

Renovation is underway at the 36,000-square-foot, three-story structure, the former home of consignment store Out on a Whim and, before that, Robinson’s Department Store. The newly spruced-up space will accommodate six new tenants with possibly more on the way.

We’re adding businesses, employees and some new energy to downtown,” said Rory Turner, managing partner for 135 Holdings LLC, which bought the corner building last summer for $850,000. “In some ways, this could be a game-changer.”

Turner, a Port of Chelan County commissioner, said he envisions the building bustling with activity — retail, tourism, dining and business offices — and complementing the Wenatchee Convention Center complex that includes the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel and Numerica Performing Arts Center. The building’s partnership expects to spend up to $500,000 in first-phase renovations (electric, water, elevator, some walls) with completed renovation costing upwards of $2 million.

Turner is a commercial real estate developer whose local projects include revitalizing Wenatchee’s Fifth and Mission Shopping Center and restoring and increasing leasable space in downtown’s Wenatchee Hotel Building and The Exchange Building. He’s also led restoration projects in Ellensburg, Puyallup and Tacoma.

At the Doré Building, first-floor (ground level) tenants will include offices of the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, relocating and expanding from its current location at 1 S. Wenatchee Ave., and a new decor and consignment store called Spruce and Willow Home, which is aiming to open around Nov. 1.

With three newly-designed entrances, the first floor will also be split by a hallway extending to the rear of the building where a new elevator will be constructed.

Turner said a major local business has plans to move into the upper floor, where “incredibly cool” offices will be built. “You have to see these spaces and designs to believe them,” he said, declining to name the business until the deal is inked.

The building’s lower floor, built similar to a daylight basement, will contain storage for two existing tenants and provide space for a new tenant at the rear, where the building opens onto a high-walled alleyway under the pedestrian bridge that connects the Coast Hotel with the convention center.

We’re imagining a coffee shop or restaurant would be a good fit in that space,” said Turner. “Outdoor seating that’s shady and cool in summer, and close to the PAC and convention center.”

He added, “We hope this project increases the funkiness of downtown. Is that the right word? More funky, more interesting, more fun.”


Ecology accepting comments on new Microsoft generators

QUINCY — The state Department of Ecology is accepting public comments and questions on changes to a draft permit that would allow the Microsoft data center here to add eight backup diesel generators to the 37 already allowed.

If approved, the amended permit would allow Microsoft’s MWH Data Center, formerly the Oxford Data Center, to add eight reserve diesel generators and change installation specifications for height and diameter of the generators’ engine exhaust stacks.

The new generators will be placed in reserve and only used if the original engines fail, said an Ecology press release.

Approval of the permit would also result in increases of some types of pollution and decreases of others compared to the previous permit, Ecology said in the press release. A state required health impact assessment conducted by Microsoft on potential health risks from increased emissions found that the data center will meet environmental criteria if and when the generators are added.

Data centers house computer servers that store digital data and require backup generators powered by diesel engines in case of power outages. Diesel engine exhaust contains fine particles that can cause health problems for people who are exposed frequently and at high enough levels, Ecology said.

Comments and questions on the draft permit should be mailed to Kari Johnson, Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205, or emailed to kari.johnson@ecy.wa.gov. Comments will be accepted through Nov. 4. 


Eastside Coffee moves, but cozy NYC theme survives

EAST WENATCHEE — The Yankee, the Empire State and the Fuggetaboutit sandwiches — obviously the New York City theme lives on at the new location of Eastside Coffee and Wine.

The popular cafe moved Aug. 15 from its Grant Road location to 610 Valley Mall Parkway, right across the street from Olive Garden restaurant. Formerly Upper Eastside Coffee and Wine, “upper” in the name didn’t survive the move.

We kept the New York theme, we kept the sandwich menu, we kept the cozy feel and great coffee,” said Lynette Zacherle, co-owner with husband Garry. “We kept everything our loyal customers love so much, and we moved closer to the center of East Wenatchee.”

That means Eastside Coffee still has great breakfast sandwiches, wraps and pastries (all made on site), a wide-ranging menu of sandwiches (lots of meat, cheese, veggie and bread choices) and live music on Wednesday (open mic) and Saturday evenings (local musicians).

Coming soon will be extensive beer and wine offerings (as soon as the permits arrive), full-dinner specials a couple of nights a week and outdoor seating (probably in spring) for expanded dining and music.

Best of all, Eastside Coffee’s new spot sports the comfy interior of the former location — cushy sofas, easy chairs, book shelves, earth-tone colors, subdued lighting. Heck, it’s just like somebody’s living room, but with no dog hair on the furniture or toys strewn on the floor.

Customers have told us they appreciate the decor,” said Lynette, “and even like it better than the old location. It’s a little more open, with more natural light.”

One addition is a wall-sized mural of New York City’s skyline, complete with the Statue of Liberty, painted by Lynette’s daughter Stefanie Marchand-Reuben. Down the hall is an expanded meeting room to accommodate up to 20 people. And the whole place is wired with free WiFi.

Some additional important details:

  • Which sandwich do customers love the most? Lynette said it’s still the Rockefeller Wrap — chicken breast, apples, celery, cranberries, red onion, pecans, all dressed with curried mayo on a tomato-basil wrap.
  • Which pastry brings customer raves? Ah, that would be the lemon triple-berry scone, said Lynette. “We serve up a lot of good stuff,” she said. “But that scone? It’s what we’re famous for.”

Details: Eastside Coffee and Wine, 610 Valley Mall Parkway, East Wenatchee. Phone: 470-7812. Web: Facebook (keywords: eastside coffee). 


Alaska drops one Tuesday flight out of Pangborn

EAST WENATCHEE — Alaska Airlines dropped one Tuesday flight out of Pangborn Memorial Airport Nov. 1 due to low passenger volume. The schedule from Wednesday through Monday will stay the same.

Flight 2069, which departs Pangborn at 6:37 p.m., will be eliminated on Tuesdays only until at least springtime, Alaska spokeswoman Ann Zaninovich said last month.

The elimination will reduce daily Tuesday service from Pangborn from three flights daily to two, with departures to Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport at 5:40 a.m. and 10:55 a.m.

Zaninovich didn’t have passenger boarding numbers to compare. She said the airline made the same move last year, also during the winter travel season at Pangborn.

Loads have been fairly low on that flight, but we’ll be keeping an eye on it and will reevaluate in the spring,” she said.

Tuesdays are slow travel days. They cut back to be more efficient,” Trent Moyers, manager at Pangborn, said Thursday.

Alaska Airlines is the only commercial airline with regularly scheduled flights into and out of Pangborn. All flights are aboard the airline’s 76-seat, Q400 Bombardier.