Cupcake bakery opens on Kitsap Way

cupcakesThe cupcake craze is supposed to be over, right?

Baker Trisha O’Meara isn’t buying it.

“People always say that,” she said. “Then they come in and eat cupcakes.”

O’Meara just opened her cupcake shop, Goody Cottage, in a little house in Kitsap Lake Junction, across the street from the Red Apple grocery store. She transplanted the business from Southern California, where she first started selling cupcakes out of a converted ice cream van.

O’Meara bakes cupcakes in a few dozen different flavors, and whips up batches of Parisian macarons (not to be confused with macaroons), gourmet cookies, breakfast muffins, and tres leches cakes served in Ball jars.

She plans to keep store hours Thursday through Saturday at 6715 Kitsap Way. She takes orders everyday by phone for delivery or curbside pickup.

Goody Cottage can be reached at 760-672-6405, and found on Facebook and on Yelp.

Poulsbo CVS opens Sunday

cvs

The CVS pharmacy on Highway 305 in Poulsbo will open its doors Sunday.

Under construction since early summer, the pharmacy is the third in Washington for CVS, which recently opened a location in Burien. A fast food restaurant was also approved for the Poulsbo site, but has yet to be announced.

The store replaced a building that was long home to the perpetually-liquidating Northwest Design Center, and, more recently, a Bad Blanche outlet.

CVS shoppers will find a full-service pharmacy with drive thru, health and beauty products, personal care items, general merchandise, food and a digital photo lab.

One thing customers won’t find is cigarettes. CVS discontinued tobacco sales earlier this year.

Store hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Pharmacy hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The store is located at the corner of Highway 305 and Hostmark Street.

Health exchange website back online Sunday

The Washington health insurance exchange website was back up and running Sunday morning.

Exchange staff took down the Healthplanfinder website hours after the launch of the open enrollment period Saturday, when it  was discovered tax credits were being incorrectly calculated.

The glitch was fixed and the site relaunched at 8 a.m. Saturday, according to a statement from Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka:

At 8 a.m., Washington Healthplanfinder was open, available and correctly receiving 2015 tax credit information from the state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) eligibility service. 

Soon after opening yesterday morning, our quality control team saw that the 2015 tax credit amounts coming from the state’s eligibility system were incorrect. In order to protect consumers from submitting incorrect applications, the Exchange took Washington Healthplanfinder offline to resolve the issue.  The Exchange worked with its system partner DSHS to identify the tax credit issue, implement the necessary fix and test the system throughout the evening to ensure it was resolved.

The Exchange’s new system and application monitoring processes allowed us to quickly identify this issue. The speed in recognizing that Washington Healthplanfinder was receiving incorrect tax credit data prevented thousands of consumers from running into issues with their applications.

We have identified fewer than 800 customers who had their eligibility determined incorrectly and less than 150 hundred customers who scheduled payment. We will be contacting each person to provide them with their accurate tax credit amount.

Our consumers are always top of mind in making any decision related to Washington Healthplanfinder. Consumers expect to be selecting and purchasing health coverage with the correct information.  While we recognize that this Saturday was an inconvenience, being able to provide correct information to our customers is paramount to what we do.”

Entrepreneurship Week events begin Monday

The Kitsap business community will mark Global Entrepreneurship Week with a lineup of forums and workshops.

Topics for the seven scheduled discussions range from creating innovative places of business, to managing social media, and the universally-relevant subject of “How Not To Screw Up.”

Events begin Monday and wrap up Friday. You can see the schedule below and find more detailed information at the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance website.

GEW Flyer 2014 Final

Kitsap home sales still brisk, inventory low

Pending and closed homes sales activity remained brisk in Kitsap County in October, following September’s burst of activity.

Both pending sales (429) and closed sales (378) were up roughly 15 percent in October, compared with the same period in 2013, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The uptick in sales put further strain on the inventory of available homes, which was 15 percent lower in October than in 2013. Continue reading

State health exchange opens, site goes down

blog.healthplanfinderUPDATE: The Healthplanfinder website will be down until 8 a.m. Sunday, according to its Twitter account.

The Washington health insurance exchange experienced some early turbulence Saturday during the launch of its open enrollment period. 

The Healthplanfinder website was taken down after it was discovered tax credit calculations weren’t accurate. These statements were posted on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange website:

1 p.m.

Washington Healthplanfinder is currently unavailable due to a quality control finding by our staff earlier this morning. Our staff is working with our system partners from the Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) to resolve incorrect eligibility results for 2015 health insurance premium tax credit amounts. We are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible and expect to be back online sometime tomorrow morning on Sunday, Nov. 16. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure that customers receive correct information from Healthplanfinder.

11:25 a.m.

The Exchange’s quality control process has determined that 2015 tax credit amounts are currently being incorrectly calculated. As a result the Exchange is taking Washington Healthplanfinder offline in order to resolve the issue. 

In preparation for year two, the Exchange had in place quality control review to capture any irregularities that might appear in applications during the first few hours of open enrollment. 

This review process discovered that the state’s Eligibility System and Washington Healthplanfinder were providing 2015 tax credit amounts that were inaccurate, sometimes by as little as a few dollars. Understanding the challenge this could create for consumers, we are erring on the side of caution and taking the system offline to fully address the issue.

The Exchange and DSHS staff will be working closely together to identify the solution and hope to have the site back up as soon as possible. Privileged users are advised to not process paper applications until further notice.

Planned Weekend Maintenance:

Washington Healthplanfinder will be unavailable during the following time:

  • Saturday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. to Sunday, Nov 16 at 5 a.m. 
  • Sunday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 p.m. to Monday, Nov 17 at 4 a.m. federal data services, DSHS and eligibility service maintenance

Users will see a message at wahbexchange.org that Healthplanfinder is closed for maintenance at this time. 

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

Kitsap marijuana revenue near $700k

Recreational marijuana businesses in Kitsap County generated $688,394 in revenue by the end of October, paying $172,099 in state excise tax, according to Liquor Control Board records.

Those figures included two producer/processor businesses and two retail stores that have recorded sales so far. One more store and and another producer processor are just coming online in the county.

Retail sales ($363,803) overtook wholesale marijuana sales ($324,591) by the end of October.

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

$100M investment announced by Avalara

gI_113668_PrimaryLogo_Tagline_RGB_Bainbridge Island sales tax software firm Avalara announced a $100 million investment Monday.

The injection of capital came from an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, according to a news release.

“This investment by Warburg Pincus will allow us to put more dollars to work in our growth initiatives,” Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said in the announcement. “It also validates our fundamental belief that sales tax compliance automation is inevitable, and Avalara is at the forefront of this movement.”

According to the release, the company’s growth plans include international expansion and strategic acquisitions. Including the investment by Warburg Pincus, Avalara has raised more than $200 million since 2004.

Avalara provides cloud-based software that helps companies comply with complex sales tax requirements. The company’s headquarters are located in the Island Gateway development, near Highway 305.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Warburg Pincus investment comes amid rumors Avalara could go public.

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

New jobs website launched for veterans

veterans_day_24On the eve of Veterans Day, the state’s WorkSource program announced a new web tool for connecting veterans and other departing service members with civilian employment.

The web portal, called Veterans Military Crosswalk, allows users to filter job postings using their Military Occupation Code. The site identifies which available jobs are most relevant to their military experience.

Users can sign up for email and mobile alerts when relevant job openings are posted.

“I can think of no better way to honor our state’s veterans than to make it easier for them to find jobs when they return home,” Employment Security Department Commissioner Dale Peinecke said in a news release.  “The new job translator is a major service improvement for our veteran customers.”

The unemployment rate among Washington’s 632,000 military veterans was 7.1 percent in 2013. According to the release, WorkSource career centers placed nearly 21,000 veterans into jobs at an average wage of $35,600 per year between July 2013-June 2014.

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

Coldwell Banker McKenzie joins CB Bain

main_280X210Coldwell Banker McKenzie merged with Coldwell Banker Bain this month, becoming the franchise’s 23rd office in Washington.

Barb and Rod McKenzie have owned the Bainbridge office since 2002. Barb said the merger allows them to offer clients access to more resources, while keeping their sales team intact.

“All of us are thrilled with the merger and eager to continue representing our clients in the most exciting times of their lives, buying or selling their homes,” Barb said in an email.

Barb will continue as principal managing partner of Coldwell Banker Bain on Bainbridge.

“Barb and her brokers are a very professional group who take pride in their superior knowledge of Bainbridge Island,”Coldwell Banker Bain President Mike Grady said in a news release.

Coldwell Banker Bain is based in Bellevue.