Poulsbo chamber names new director

MAbshireThe Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce announced its next director of operations this week.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Abshire will succeed Jan Harrison, who announced her plans to step down earlier this fall. Abshire will begin his duties Nov. 3, according to a chamber news release.

Abshire has more than 20 years of experience in organizational leadership, marketing, corporate communications, public relations, and operations. He has also worked extensively as a speech writer and coach.

Abshire grew up on the Olympic Peninsula. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s from the University of Colorado.

“The Board is thrilled to have found a candidate who has his breadth of experience in business, marketing, communications, and team operations,” chamber President Jessie Nino said in the release.

Harrison led the chamber for the past two years. She plans to return to her consulting business.

‘Create-and-bake’ pizza store opens on Sedgwick

10622941_718641408184712_452561601081238653_nA new Port Orchard store is putting a gourmet spin on the “take-and-bake” pizza model.

Mama Looney’s Gourmet Pizza opened earlier this month in the Sedgwick Landing center, near the corner of Sedgwick and Sidney Road. The founder is Ronda Looney, who owns Cafe Soleil in the same development.

Looney said she noticed the popularity of a certain take-out pizza franchise, and decided she could use a similar model with upgraded ingredients.

“We’re a step up beyond the other take-and-bake companies,” she said.

Customers can build their own pizza or choose from some of the shop’s standards. The menu includes classics like Hawaiians and supremes, as well as “gourmet” recipes like a gorgonzola pear and BBQ barbacoa pork.

Mama Looneys also has take-out pasta and salads. Looney said the store may eventually bake pizzas in-house.

The shop opened quietly, but Looney said business is growing as word spreads.

“We’re getting our name out there,” she said. “Every day it’s picking up a little bit.”

See the Mama Looney’s website or page on Facebook for more information.

The Four Swallows Restaurant closes on Bainbridge

The Four Swallows Restaurant, an institution on Bainbridge Island’s Madison Avenue, has closed.

Owners of the 26-year-old establishment were unable to secure a new lease agreement, according to a note on the restaurant’s Facebook page posted by owners Michael Sharp and Geraldine Ferraro.

“We intend to continue in some capacity in the future,” the note said.

The restaurant’s landlords were surprised by the sudden closure. Eric Fredricks, managing partner of Madison Avenue Real Estate, said the lease on the building isn’t up until the end of the year.

Fredricks said it was unclear why The Four Swallows owners didn’t agree to a new lease.

“We don’t know what it was that made them not want to stay,” Fredricks said. “… they’re good people, we love their food, and we wish them well.”

Fredricks said the company hopes to find another restaurant to occupy the quaint farmhouse on Madison. The William Grow house was built in 1889.

The Four Swallows property and adjacent Bainbridge Pavilion are up for sale.

The restaurant earned consistently high marks for its Italian-influenced menu, local ingredients and elegant setting. The Seattle Times recommended The Four Swallows as a “genteel spot for a casual dinner or a special occasion that’s even worth a trip across Puget Sound.”

The full Facebook note from The Four Swallows is posted below:

Continue reading

Food safety: Restaurant inspection grades

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Below are the latest restaurant inspection scores distributed by Kitsap Public Health District.

The health district keeps tabs on more than 1,000 establishments in Kitsap. Each is usually inspected twice a year. Inspectors make sure food is handled properly from prep to serving.

The district works with operators to correct deficiencies. Grades from the inspections are made available to the public.

The inspection report is posted below. For even more detailed safety information on a restaurant, you can use the health district’s handy database search.

United Moving marks 50 years with open house

unitedUnited Moving & Storage of Bremerton is a half-century old this year.

The Fuson Road company is celebrating the milestone with an open house from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday. The event includes refreshments and a meet-and-greet with the founding owners and staff.

United provides moving services for corporations, private residents and military households. It has offices in Bremerton and San Bernardino, Calif.

See the company’s page on Facebook for more information on the anniversary open house.

September employment: local jobs lull continues

Employment was looking up in Kitsap County for the first seven months of the year.

That changed in August when employment took a dive. The 83,700 working for Kitsap employers in September was roughly the same as in the previous two years:

Jobs in Kitsap | Create Infographics

Private employment remained steady from August to September, according to the Employment Security Department. Government employment fell by 100.

Employment/Unemployment

Employment was also down among Kitsap County residents in September. About 880 fewer people were employed last month than in August.

The labor force, the number of people working or actively seeking work, also shrank over the same period, keeping the county’s unemployment rate steady at 5.3 percent.

Despite the dip from August, 290 more people were employed in September than at the same time in 2013. Overall, employment among Kitsap residents appears to be stabilizing this year after declining each year since 2008.

New Kingston brewery starts pouring Saturday

10469077_632285936869231_1134511466380340708_nA much-anticipated Kingston brewery and taproom is set to begin pouring this weekend.

The aptly-named (given our recent weather) Downpour Brewing plans to open Saturday in the former Sacks Feed building on Highway 104.

Suquamish electrician-turned-brewer Dan Williams and wife Kristen began work on the brewery early this year.

Dan said the Downpour taproom features seating for 30 and bar seating for nine. There’s also a play area for kids and outdoor seating for when the sun reappears.

Nine tap handles will pour a rotation of Downpour’s brews, including an IPA, blond, pale,  stout and SMASH (single malt, single hop),  among other styles.

“We love trying new recipes using fresh local ingredients and experimenting with our standard favorites, substituting different malts and hops to vary the flavor profile,” Dan said in an email.

Downpour will offer its own root beers and cream sodas, a guest hard cider and beers from other microbreweries. Like most microbreweries, Downpour will also provide a selection of snacks and patrons are invited to bring their own food. Menus from local restaurants will be on hand.

For information and updates check the Downpour page on Facebook, visit the brewery website (under development), email downpourbrewing@gmail.com, or call 360-881-0452.

Downpour is the eleventh brewery open in Kitsap County. It joins Hood Canal Brewery in the Kingston area. You can find more local brewery info on our beer page.

Watch for a full story on Downpour in our upcoming Monday edition.

Health district issues statement on Ebola

Kitsap Public Health District sent out a news release Thursday detailing its efforts to prepare the possibility of an Ebola case being identified locally.

The district stressed there have been no cases in our area, and the chance of Ebola of a case being found in Kitsap is extremely small.

The full statement from the district is posted below: Continue reading

Kitsap marijuana sales off to modest start

Crockpot6_7542034_ver1.0_640_480The marijuana industry in Kitsap is just getting started.

That fact was underscored this week by recreational marijuana revenue numbers released by the Liquor Control Board.

Marijuana01_6661026_ver1.0_640_480There were three marijuana businesses up-and-running in the county long enough to report sales to the state. Those three businesses combined for $392,398 in sales from July through the start of October.

Two producer/processors, Nine Point Growth Industries of Bremerton and Green Apple of Silverdale, accounted for $234,346 of that total. Crockpot, a retail outlet in Port Orchard, reported $158,052 for August, September and October.

The state collected $98,101 in excise tax from those three businesses.

Sales should pick up as the so-far sporadic marijuana supply becomes more robust. Two new marijuana stores also opened this month, and a third marijuana producer/processor recently came online.

HWY420PotShop02_8751235_ver1.0_640_480-1Early marijuana sales were a mixed bag across the state. The Associated Press reported the state’s top two retailers were both in the Vancouver area (conveniently close to Portland). One of those shops reported $1.7 million in sales.

According to the AP, the state hopes releasing the numbers will  provide more financial transparency and prevent money laundering in the industry. It allows a bank or credit union to check for discrepancies between the revenue marijuana businesses’ report to the state and the money funneled through their bank accounts.

Financial institutions remain leery of working with marijuana businesses, despite having received conditional approval from the federal government. Many of the federal conditions involve monitoring marijuana business activity for signs of fraud.

Along with revenue numbers, the liquor board also released a list of warnings and fines it has issued to marijuana businesses so far. No Kitsap marijuana companies were listed.

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

Future CK shopping center filling fast

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There are no buildings up yet, but the new Silverdale shopping center is filling up fast.

trails@silverdaleRepresentatives of developer CenterCal say company has tenants lined up for 85 percent of the roughly 45 spaces available in the future Trails at Silverdale.

CenterCal CEO Fred Bruning said the company will probably begin announcing tenants six months before the center opens. The Greaves Way development is slated to open in the fall of 2015.

About 60 percent of the businesses interested in locating to the center are new to the Kitsap market, he said.

“What we think we’ll be developing is a really amazing mix of retail, entertainment and restaurants in an architecturally charming matter,” Bruning said.

Work began on the trails of Silverale in August. The development will create about 200,000 square feet of commercial space on 12 acres.

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