Dentist filling a niche in Oak Harbor

As much as Randle Carr has enjoyed growing up in Whatcom County and operating a private dental practice in his hometown of Bellingham, the setting started losing some of its appeal.

Tamayo’s Restaurant owner starting fresh

As far back as she can remember, Jessie Tamayo has prepared her own food.

Bell’s Farm offers weeks of sweet treats

When strawberries are in season on Whidbey Island, Colleen VanDyke knows that her phone will start ringing between 7 and 7:30 each morning.

Business Chatter | Tamayo’s, Hot Rock Pizza, Jumbo Burrito, PBY Memorial, Flyers

When Jessie Tamayo was looking to relocate her Asian fusion-style restaurant to a different city, she kept coming back to Oak Harbor.

  • Jun 24th, 2014

Hot dog stand opening daily

Coupe’s Last Stand, the town’s only mobile food vendor, will be open seven days a week starting this week, said owner Vickie Chambers.

  • Jun 18th, 2014

Hospital board approves $49 million budget

Whidbey General Hospital recently approved the 2014 Operating Budget during a regular board meeting.

Knead & Feed owner reflects on 40 years

Whenever Doug Kroon wants to reminisce, he just has to glance at a wall inside his restaurant.

Island agency seeks business partnerships

An agency serving the island’s disabled residents is seeking new partnerships with employers. “We’re about building community,” said Ashley Van Oeveren, area manager for Service Alternatives. “Every community member should have an opportunity to be involved. One of the best ways to be involved is having a job.”

Oak Harbor Home Depot hosting clinic Saturday

Home Depot in Oak Harbor will be hosting a Spring Installations and Summer Safety event, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., May 17. On hand will be Home Depot installers for roofing, siding, windows, gutters and cabinet re-facing as well as representatives from PSE, Sunrooms Northwest, Greenwood HVAC and As You Wish Electric and others.

  • May 14th, 2014

Langley steps in to prevent Dog House demolition

Responding to an inquiry about demolishing the Dog House Tavern by its owner, the Langley City Council approved an emergency moratorium on destruction of historic buildings Monday night. Director of Community Planning Jeff Arango proposed the six-month ban, which was unanimously approved by the city council in a 4-0 vote May 5. Councilman Bruce Allen was absent while tending to a family matter, but the council still had its necessary supermajority for the emergency ordinance.

Franchisee tutors corporate transition

Before Sylvan Learning made a major financial investment into a digital-based curriculum, it set up an advisory group to test the waters and provide feedback. One of the advisors, Kathleen Casprowitz, dove right in. To Casprowitz, the idea of using an iPad to help facilitate teaching, testing and studying in the digital era made perfect sense.

Hot Rock Pizza to heat up Pioneer

Reid Schwartz says he has a serious pizza issue. He loves good pizza, and he’s on a mission to create it. Having just announced his new brick-and-mortar location inside the Old Town Mall, where Cameron’s Cafe was formerly located, Schwartz said he’s ready to bring that great pizza to Oak Harbor year-round.

Oystercatcher cooks up success

They’re not the dishes your mom made — unless she’s some sort of culinary genius. Imagine pan-roasted duck breast with ghost squash puree and rhubarb mostarda. Or braised rabbit ragout with sunchokes, bacon hash, baby pac choi and roasted beech mushrooms. And perhaps the best appetizers of all time: lightly smoked Columbia River sturgeon with picked parsnip chips over wild nettle puree. Such are the typical, highly imaginative dishes at the Oystercatcher restaurant in downtown Coupeville.

Westgate Homes finds new locale on Highway 20

Westgate Homes is moving this month to a new location, about a half mile south on State Highway 20. The business, which sells RVs, RV parts and manufactured homes, is downsizing and company leaders wanted to move to a smaller location to make their operation more efficient, according to General Manager Kevin Fakkema.

State’s individual health insurance market expands

Numbers represent the "first significant growth in the individual health insurance market that we’ve seen in four years"

  • Apr 16th, 2014

Pace of hiring quickens statewide

A small improvement in the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate began in February and was matched in March

  • Apr 16th, 2014

Armstrong featured artist at Christopher’s

Detailed patterns adorn dramatic landscapes and natural elements in Armstrong's linocut and woodcut prints

  • Apr 16th, 2014

Whidbey Island Vintners Association to include distillers

Members of the Whidbey Island Vintners Association have unanimously agreed to include local distillers in the group, and will now be known as the Whidbey Island Vintners and Distillers Association.

  • Apr 16th, 2014

Deadline today for chamber forum

Guest speaker to talk about county's mentoring program

  • Apr 14th, 2014

Clipper visits bring boost to economy

Once again, the Victoria Clipper will be making stops this spring, bringing hundreds of visitors for two-hour stops to downtown Coupeville.

  • Mar 28th, 2014

Langley bakery partnership helps feed those in need

At 11 p.m. when most people are asleep, Kelly Baugh is grinding fresh red wheat and starting a large batch of bread. Baugh bakes her bread at Living Green Bakery & Cafe on Second Street in Langley.

  • Mar 14th, 2014

OHscars raises $8,500 for fireworks

Toppins Frozen Yogurt took home top honors as Business of the Year Friday during the annual Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Happy reunion for Oak Harbor coffee shop owner

It’s rare to find Tina Carman without a smile. As a small-business owner in a world of coffee shops big and small all around her, Carman goes about her day offering not only a hot drink but a warm expression.

New owners take on Coupeville’s Back to the Island

There’s a new face running one of the businesses on Coupeville’s historic Front Street. Pati Schmakeit recently bought Back to the Island, a small boutique located next door to the Penn Cove Gallery. Back to the Island sells clothes and novelties popular with tourists and neighbors alike. She had a casual journey to becoming a business owner.

Whidbey grower starts selling organic seeds

Gardeners will have a new source for seeds that should thrive in Whidbey’s climate. Deep Harvest Farm located on South Whidbey Island is offering a selection of organic vegetable seeds at Bayview Farm and Garden located in Langley. Nathaniel Talbot, owner of Deep Harvest Farm, has been developing organic seeds since he was a student at the farmer training center located at the Greenbank Farm. He has 20 varieties of vegetable seeds he has available for sale at the south end garden center.

Whidbey grower now offers organic seeds

Gardeners will have a new source for seeds cultivated to thrive in Whidbey’s climate. Deep Harvest Farm located on South Whidbey Island is offering a varieties of organic vegetable seeds at Bayview Farm and Garden located in Langley.

Chamber honors Coupeville’s business stars

Coupeville Chamber of Commerce honored several members Feb. 6 during its annual awards banquet. The big winner of the night was Dan Miranda and Front Street Grill, which won Business of the Year.

  • Feb 14th, 2014

Oak Harbor Kmart closing doors in late April

Oak Harbor’s Kmart is closing its doors for good in late April, according to a company spokesman. Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holding Corp, said a total of 68 employees, mostly part-time and hourly workers, will lose their jobs. And another commercial property will sit empty in the city.

Boost in business: Seahawks’ presence has made this no ordinary Super Bowl for stores looking to meet demand

Connie Arroyos couldn’t fill the balloons fast enough. Just moments after she completed her balloon bouquet, it was snatched up. But it wasn’t just any bouquet. Most anything blue and green has disappeared fast at the Whidbey Party Store in Oak Harbor this week in preparations for Super Bowl XLVIII. Any Super Bowl matchup is traditionally a popular occasion for a party. But with the Seattle Seahawks involved Sunday, the impact has been felt at the cash registers of retail outlets on Whidbey Island.

Nominations sought for Coupeville chamber awards

Coupeville Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for our 2014 Excellence In Business Awards, sponsored by Whidbey Island Bank. Categories are: Business of The Year, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Business Leadership and Lifetime Achievement Award. Winners of the 2013 Excellence In Business Awards were: Business of The Year: Whidbey Island Bank; Entrepreneurial Spirit: Lavender Wind; Business Leadership: Janice Vaughan; Lifetime Achievement: Coupeville Festival Association.

  • Jan 10th, 2014

Navy beefs up OLF security; closes Maylor trail

More than 1,000 large cement blocks connected by thick cable are being installed around the perimeter of the Navy’s Outlying Field Coupeville.

Coupeville couple catches restaurant

Years toiling in the restaurant industry paid off for one Coupeville chef. Tyler Hansen, who recently moved to Whidbey Island, is the new owner of the Oystercatcher, a cozy little bistro located in downtown Coupeville.

Wifi zone goes live in downtown Coupeville

Visitors to downtown Coupeville can now access the Internet free of charge. A free wifi zone was created by the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association with financial partnership with Allstate Insurance and Town of Coupeville. The zone encompasses the downtown corridor from Coupeville Inn to Main Street and down onto the wharf. CWHA started the project earlier last year and has been working to find the best system for the project.

Ebey Bowl back in action with new partnership

After taking a break, Ebey Bowl is back in action. The bowling alley was closed for about a month, and re-opened mid-October. On Sept. 22, Traci Wisdom received a phone call from Matt Iverson and Mimi Johnson, the siblings who own Ebey Bowl. They asked her if she wanted to become a partner. The siblings own an Allstate Insurance Company branch in Oak Harbor as well. Between the business in Oak Harbor and the bowling alley, they were not getting to spend as much time with their families, Wisdom said.

  • Nov 22nd, 2013

Minimum wage in Washington raises in 2014

Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.32 per hour beginning Jan. 1. The state department of labor and industries calculates the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688. The 13-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.19 to $9.32 an hour, reflects a 1.455 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI‑W) over the last 12 months ending August 31.

  • Oct 4th, 2013

Oak Harbor shop offers dance clothes, practice wear and more

Business owner Vanda Coleman is dancing her way to a new location in downtown Oak Harbor. Her store, Fantasia Boutique, moved to 665 Southeast Pioneer Way two weeks ago, and Coleman is excited to be there. “At the old location, we were upstairs and it wasn’t working,” Coleman said. “We wanted to make sure everyone could reach us.” The boutique supplies island residents with quality dance equipment, such as shoes, practice wear, performance outfits and more.

Wild bird store is music to owners’ ears

As pretty as some birdhouses go, the ones that make Mike Dessert cuckoo are those outfitted with a tiny stick poking out of the front. “If you ever see a birdhouse that has a perch, it’s not a real birdhouse,” Dessert said. “You don’t find perches around cavity holes in the wild. There’s a reason for that. It’s so predatory birds don’t eat the young birds.

Oak Harbor’s Koetje Real Estate celebrates 70th year

Koetje Real Estate has come a long way from its beginnings in 1942. After selling his Crescent Harbor farm to the Navy in 1940, Neil Koetje started the first real estate and insurance offices in Oak Harbor. After passing down through the family for more than 60 years, including long-time Oak Harbor mayor Al Koetje, the real estate business recently split and sold half of the agency to Rick Schutte, a broker with the agency since 1995.

Puget Sound Energy hosts open house to celebrate five years in Freeland

Puget Sound Energy is celebrating its five-year anniversary of its office with an Energy Fair 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 1794 Main St., Freeland. Experts will be on hand to explain PSE’s rebates and incentives for improving energy efficiency in homes or businesses. Whidbey-based Energy Advisor Brian McCleary will be available to answer questions.

  • Sep 19th, 2013

Flight attendant gets lift from opening his own pet boutique in historic downtown Oak Harbor

Chris Reissner’s career in the airline industry is going to the dogs. The cats, too. After 26 years of traveling the world and living all over the country as a flight attendant for American Airlines, Reissner is hitting the brakes and settling into life as a small business owner in historic downtown Oak Harbor. In May, he opened the pet boutique, A Paw in Hand, on Pioneer Way.