Coupeville Bayleaf celebrates and expands next door
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
August 17, 2012 · Updated 2:50 PM
Beth Kuchynka, owner of Coupeville’s Bayleaf, has enjoyed success over the past 12 years.
She started her popular wine and cheese shop in a cramped space on Grace Street and expanded several times before enjoying her latest improvement, the addition of a tasting room at her Coveland Street location.
To celebrate her new addition, she held a traditional ribbon cutting Aug. 2 with a crowd of town leaders, employees and some of Bayleaf’s most loyal customers.
“I’ve always wanted an event space,” Kuchynka said before the ribbon cutting. The shop took over the space next door that once was a quilting store. The addition adds 400 square feet to her previous 800 square foot location. She will use the addition for wine events, which showcases the products made by area vintners, and the farmer hookup, which educates folks about the crops grown on Whidbey Island. In addition she will rent out the space to the public.
Kuchynka noted that she already has two 90th birthday parties lined up.
She started Bayleaf in 2000 out of a tiny spot on Grace Street underneath the Oystercatcher restaurant. She moved to her current Coveland Street location in 2006. She opened a second store in Oak Harbor the same year.
Mayor Nancy Conard, who helped with the ribbon cutting, rattled off a list of reasons why Bayleaf has found success on Whidbey Island. She complimented Kuchynka’s taste in selecting fine food and wine. Conard said Kuchynka is the best merchandiser she knows.
Conard also noted the devoted clientele Bayleaf has fostered over the years.
“Those customers she serves are loyal,” Conard said during the ribbon cutting attended by several dozen supporters. “Many of those customers are here.”
Kuchynka said she doesn’t have any further expansion plans. She is content at present to run her Oak Harbor and Coupeville stores.
Bayleaf’s summer hours in Coupeville are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday through Tuesday from noon to 4 p.m. Call 678-6603 or go to www.bayleaf.us for more information.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.