New businesses hold court in historic building

After several months of work giving a historic Front Street building a tune-up, several new businesses have opened in the renovated Coupeville building.

Mariners Court, the red wooden building at the corner of Front Street and Alexander, has two new businesses —Beyond the Sea and Scrap Things.

Beyond the Sea offers coastal-comfort themed merchandise such as beach and patio furniture and nautical hats.

Owner Deb Scholz Crocker said the new shop, which is located in the old Christopher’s restaurant location, fits in with her other two businesses in downtown Coupeville.

“It’s a complement to Back to the Island and One More Thing,” Crocker said. She was busy one recent day hopping between her three stores. Hanging a sign in the Mariners Court hallway outside her entrance was her immediate concern.

While her new business focuses on coastal home decor and gifts, Back to the Island, which is about a block away from Mariners Court, features island clothing and gifts, while One More Thing is a boutique clothing store.

The enterprising Crocker isn’t stopping there. She has a Web site domain, www.onemorethingonwhidbey.com, and, in the coming months, she hopes to start selling merchandise online. She opened her newest store in Mariners Court in early February.

Elsewhere in the building, Scrap Things recently opened in the rear.

Owner Sarah Hunt-Funk said she has scrapbooked for several years and she decided to turn her hobby into her career.

“I enjoy scrapbooking and I decided to turn my hobby into a full-time job,” Hunt-Funk said.

She originally started scrapbooking after her husband, Kevin, gave her a kit four years ago.

More than an outlet for scrapbooking supplies, Hunt-Funk said she plans to start holding scrapbooking classes as soon in her new store as she gets them organized.

Scrap Things is in the former Blue Heron Gallery spot, which moved one space over.

Gallery owner Barbara Marx said her new location is larger. Currently nine regional artists lease wall space at the Blue Heron Gallery. Like Scrap Things, Marx said she hopes to offer art classes soon.

Beyond the Sea and Scrap Things join Mariners Court stalwarts A Touch of Dutch and the Honeybear, which have been popular Coupeville shops for years.

Building owner Mary Sterling said renovations started in August and were recently completed on Mariners Court, which was built in 1925.

“We had to renovate the entire facade,” Sterling said. New, larger, windows were installed, and workers improved the plumbing and electrical systems.

For the Beyond the Sea location, workers had to basically yank everything out of the former restaurant.

“We ended up gutting the whole thing,” Sterling said.

The work was needed to improve the infrastructure while transforming it from a restaurant space to a retail space.

Sterling was pleased with the new tenants in the building, who seem to also work well together.

“They’re a nice group of people who get along,” Sterling said.

She is continuing to touch up Mariners Court. She plans to paint a mural at the rear entrance of the building.

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