Tag Archives: bremerton

Liberty Bay Books is staying in Bremerton

books3_26076674_ver1.0_640_480 A Poulsbo bookseller is giving Bremerton readers the best gift they could hope for.

Liberty Bay Books, which operated a pop-up bookstore on Pacific Avenue for the last three months, has decided to stick around town.

books1_26076676_ver1.0_640_480Owner Suzanne Droppert said the response from Bremerton shoppers during the holiday season was encouraging.

“We received a really warm welcome for everyone who stopped in,” Droppert said in an email Monday. 

Liberty Bay Books will remain at 409 Pacific Ave. at least through January, while looking for a permanent home downtown.

Droppert said the landlord is looking for a tenant to lease the Liberty Bay Books space and an adjacent suite together, which is more room than the bookstore needs. When a new tenant is found, Liberty Bay Books will move to another location.

The Bremerton Liberty Bay Books store will begin hosting events and clubs early in the New Year.

You can find updates on the Liberty Bay Books Facebook page. 

Larry Steagall photos

Tuesday event showcases entrepreneur training program

showcaseMore than 1,100 aspiring entrepreneurs have received training through Kitsap’s BE$T program in the past 14 years.

About 40 of the businesses that BE$T helped launch will be showcased during a Tuesday event at the Bremerton Elks Lodge. The showcase will also honor the most recent graduates from the program, which is now administered by Kitsap Community Resources. 

The BE$T (Business Education Support Training) program provides classes for people interested in starting their own businesses and ongoing support for established businesses. The “boot camps” cover a a wide range of topics including business plans, marketing, taxes, licensing and insurance.

Tuition assistance is available for low-income applicants.

“A lot of entrepreneurs are trying to start a businesses on a shoestring,” Program Manager Dayna Ebersole said.

showcase.2Last year 92 participants graduated from the eight-week training course, resulting in 32 business startups, according to the program’s website. Another 67 existing businesses received counseling and training.

The program got its start as Washington CASH. But the CASH organization lost its grant funding in 2012 and Kitsap Community Resources took on the local the training program locally.

KCR Executive Director Larry Eyer said BE$T complement’s the organization’s other services.

“We think it’s a great fit, because our mission is to help people become economically successful, and become self sufficient,” he said.

The BE$T showcase is scheduled for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at 4131 Pine Road NE. Businesses that have benefitted from BE$T will showcase their goods and services. Guest speakers include Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and state Sen. Christine Rolfes.

For more information on BE$T, call 360-473-2141 or visit the program’s website.

The event is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Kitsap Economic Development Alliance has a full listing of Kitsap GEW events. 

Courtesy photos

Albertsons bids on Port Orchard Haggen

Haggans01_15364108_ver1.0_640_480Haggen stores in Port Orchard and Gig Harbor could be bought back by Albertsons, according to court documents.

Haggen is auctioning off dozens of stores this week as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, and Albertsons has emerged as a bidder.

Documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware Friday show Albertsons entered bids for 12 stores in Washington, including former Safeway stores in Port Orchard and Gig Harbor.

Albertsons submitted a baseline bid of $200,000 for the store in Port Orchard, and $500,000 for Gig Harbor.

No baseline bids were entered for Haggen stores in East Bremerton or Silverdale, which were formerly Albertsons.

Eighteen Washington Haggen stores will be auctioned Wednesday, according to documents. A hearing will be held Nov. 24 to review the auction results.

Albertsons is bidding on stores it was forced to divest to meet antitrust requirements as it completed a merger with Safeway this year.

Haggen scooped up 146 of those stores, including three in Kitsap County and one in Gig Harbor. The Bellingham-based grocery chain filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September and later announced it would sell or close all but 37 “core stores.”

Haggen stores in Kitsap are slated to close by the end of November and have begun to liquidate inventory. Many Haggen employees have already been rehired at Albertsons and Safeway stores, with permission from the Federal Trade Commission.

Supermarket News and the Seattle Times have more on the Haggen auctions this week. You can read all of my Haggen blog posts here.

UPDATE: Supermarket News reported Tuesday that Haggen will auction off all its stores. This includes the “core stores” Haggen initially said it would keep, and the chain’s original stores in the Bellingham area.

Gerber Collision buys Clifford’s Auto Body

cliffordsOne of Bremerton’s oldest auto body shops was just bought by a fast-growing chain.

Gerber Collision & Glass completed a $550,000 purchase of Clifford’s Auto Body, at 327 Montgomery Ave. on Friday, according to Chris Horn of Strategy Real Estate, who brokered the deal.

Clifford’s has been in business in Bremerton since 1933 and on Montgomery Avenue since 1956. Horn said owner Howard Froggatt will stay on as manager at Gerber during the transition and plans to open a smaller shop in another location.

The Bremerton shop is the 20th Washington location for Illinois-based Gerber.

“The Bremerton location complements our existing locations in the Seattle area and will allow us to serve new customers and our insurance partners in this western suburb,” Tim O’Day, president of Gerber parent company The Boyd Group, said in a news release.

The Boyd Group is the largest operator of non-franchised auto body shops in North America by number of locations.

Information on the Bremerton shop is available on the Gerber website.

These are Kitsap’s highest grossing marijuana shops

pacific.cannabis
Pacific Cannabis on Callow Avenue. Josh Farley photo.

Kitsap County’s legal marijuana marketplace is still in its infancy, but total sales now easily top $1 million each month and are growing rapidly.

The handful of shops approved over the summer are just beginning to compete with the four established stores opened last year. The Suquamish Tribe is expected to open a store within the next month.

Some of those new stores quickly climbed the ranks of top grossing marijuana businesses in the county.

Here’s a look at the top five recreational marijuana stores in Kitsap County in September, based on total sales reported: 

  1. HWY 420, Bremerton — $305,616
  2. Crock Pot, Port Orchard — $254,148
  3. Paper & Leaf, Bainbridge Island — $243,724*
  4. Greenway, Port Orchard — $164,788
  5. Pacific Cannabis Company, Bremerton — $161,890*

(* Opened in June 2015 or later.)

Sales reported by legal marijuana businesses are actually available for public inspection, for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time staring at Excel spreadsheets.

The state Liquor and Cannabis board publishes revenue so banks can check money deposited by marijuana businesses against revenue being reported to the state and flag potential fraud. Whether marijuana businesses can find a bank to take their money is another story.

The graphic below gives a more in-depth view of marijuana sales trends in the county:

Poulsbo bookstore testing Bremerton location

391379_10150881823251793_1612744474_n
Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo

Bremerton is a city of 40,000 residents and zero bookstores (well, at least the family-friendly kind).

That will change Saturday when Poulsbo-based Liberty Bay Books opens a holiday pop-up store at 409 Pacific Ave.

The store will only be open in November and December, but Liberty Bay Books owner Suzanne Droppert said she would consider opening a permanent downtown Bremerton location if the pop-up proves popular.

“We’ll see if the readers of Bremerton want a bookstore,” Droppert said.

Liberty Bay Books is taking over a 750-square-foot space next to Hot Java Café. Droppert said her staff will stock the pop-up store with a wide selection of new books, cards and games, then tailor the inventory based on response from shoppers. Customers will also be able to special order books and pick them up at the shop.

Droppert said she likes the eclectic mix of restaurants, retailers and art galleries along Pacific, and thinks a bookstore would fit in well.

“(People) want to see some personality back in downtown Bremerton and we want to bring that personality,” she said.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, beginning Oct. 31. You can check out Liberty Bay Book’s Facebook page for updates, and watch for a full story in the Kitsap Sun.

What was Bremerton’s last bookstore?

We’ve done some digging in our archives trying to determine the name of Bremerton’s last dedicated bookstore, and what year it closed. We’ve come up with a few candidates but no definitive answer yet.

If you have an idea, please drop a comment below or email me at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com

Third marijuana shop approved in Bremerton

A recreational marijuana retailer approved by the state last week will be the third to open in Bremerton and the second on Callow Avenue.

The new store is called The Reef. It’s located at 1107 N Callow Ave., Suite C, near the 7-Eleven.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board approved The Reef’s retailer license Friday.

The Reef is the second pot shop to open in West Bremerton. Pacific Cannabis Company debuted at 625 N Callow Ave. in July.

The state licensed Destination Hwy 420 in East Bremerton in August. A store called HWY 420 is located on Charleston Beach Road, just outside city limits.

The addition of The Reef brings our count of Kitsap marijuana stores to eight. There are also 10 licensed growers in the county. Expand the map above or click here to see all the locations.

The Suquamish Tribe expects to open a marijuana shop on Highway 305 by November.

Purpose Boutique, Smithshyre vying for $20k prize

Purpose-Boutique-2702_lightbox_7488042_ver1.0_640_480Two Kitsap County businesses are among five finalists for Kitsap Bank’s $20,000 edg3 FUND prize. 

Bremerton’s Purpose Boutique and Poulsbo’s Smithshyre farm were chosen from a pool of sixteen semifinalists.

The other finalists are Combat Flip Flops of Bellevue, Community Supported Biocycling of Seattle, and OlyKraut of Olympia.

The finalists will make their pitches to a panel of judges during a live finale. The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Kitsap Conference Center. Tickets are available here.

You can read more about Purpose Boutique here and Smithshyre here.

Port puts prime Bremerton waterfront parcel on market

Parkignlot_7988144_ver1.0_640_480

port.propertyA “for sale” sign went up last week at a coveted waterfront property overlooking Bremerton Marina.

The 1.6-acre parcel, owned by the Port of Bremerton, was listed by CBRE for $5 million. The land is also available for lease.

The port bought the property from Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority in 2009 for $3.5 million.

The hillside parcel provides parking for marina tenants and the port turns a profit renting additional parking stalls. But with views of Sinclair Inlet and easy access to the ferry, the property has long been ogled by developers as a potential site for a hotel, apartments or condos.

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent made her preference clear in an interview last fall.

“I’m hoping we can have a third hotel,” Lent said. “Because of our expanded conference center, and the vitality of our city, we could accommodate another hotel.”

The trick for the port will be finding a way to lease or sell the land while maintaining parking for the growing number of marina tenants. Boaters use about half of the 120 parking spaces in the busy summer months.

How a Bremerton Safeway got its liquor license suspended

Customers who stopped to grab a six-pack last weekend at the Callow Avenue Safeway left empty handed.

CMZqmCzVEAIP-BlShoppers found the alcohol aisle shrouded in black plastic. An orange sign warned the store’s liquor license had been suspended from Aug. 13 through Aug. 18.

How did one of Bremerton’s busiest grocery stores get its liquor license temporarily pulled?

Through a series of missteps, according to a spokesman for the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.

It began in June, when the Safeway was cited for selling alcohol to a minor during a routine compliance check.

Because it was the store’s first citation in the past two years, management was given the choice of a $500 fine or five-day suspension (repeat offenders are automatically suspended).

Naturally, the store chose to pay the fine.

The problem, according to the Liquor and Cannabis spokesman, was Safeway failed to deliver a check to the board within the 20 days allotted for payment. Missing the deadline triggered a five-day suspension and the orange signs went up.

How unusual is it for a store to get its liquor license suspended? Pretty unusual, it turns out.

In the past 12 months the Callow Safeway was the only store in Kitsap County to have a suspension handed down.