White Center businesses: Caffe Delia closing for a few days; Bud Nation now open

June 2nd, 2015 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on White Center businesses: Caffe Delia closing for a few days; Bud Nation now open

Two downtown White Center biznotes, both from tweets by Caffe Delia – and the first is about their own business:

Hey everybody, we are going to be closed Wednesday June 3 through Saturday June 6. Our cousin Andrea has passed away and we’re going back east to be with our family. We hope to be back open Sunday.

They also sent word that the recreational-marijuana store we mentioned here recently is now open:

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We reported here a month ago that Bud Nation’s license had been approved for 9640 16th SW.

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White Center businesses: B & D Aquarium, one of a kind

May 31st, 2015 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier this year, a reader sent us a postal-mail letter worrying about the future of White Center’s B & D Aquarium, the only aquarium-supplies store for miles around (West Seattle, for example, has none). He asked us to do a story. Took a while, but here it is.

Story and photos by Randall Hauk
Reporting for White Center Now

“I’ve been hanging on so long, I’ll hang on as long as I can.”

Being a brick-and-mortar retailer these days can be a challenging prospect, even for businesses which have accumulated decades of expertise in their industry while serving their community.

Such is the case with White Center’s B & D Aquarium, regarded by many Puget Sound-area hobbyists as a valuable resource for serious hobbyists, who rave about the shop’s incredibly knowledgeable staff and the intense care paid to keep healthy stock available.

B & D’s owner, who prefers to be identified only as P.D. (“That’s what all my friends call me.”), started his business in 1972, originally located at 35th SW & Roxbury. Listen to P.D. tell his story:

The current location at 10450 15th Ave SW (next to the White Center Eagles, with a large Clown Loach painted on the north-facing side) is the fourth iteration of the store.

Between P.D. and his two employees, B & D Aquarium staff offer knowledge compiled through more than 100 years collectively in the business, which started and has been maintained all through the passion of a true hobbyist. In addition to all the advice and equipment needed to start and maintain your home aquarium, B&D Aquarium’s 70 tanks offer a variety of fish from “all over the world . . . except Antarctica.”

A year after quitting his aquarium-shop job, P.D. found himself missing the atmosphere of being surrounded by fish, especially after having had to get rid of most of his 52 tanks at home due to the expense. In an early ’70s version of crowdfunding, P.D. opened a shop with “the help of friends and donated tanks.”

When the shop found itself in need of a new home, “customers and ex-employees all came in to help move,” says P.D. And though he also says he was “lucky to find this place,” four years later, B & D hasn’t entirely recovered fiscally from that move, as his humble business has struggled to compete with larger pet shops and online retailers.

“I’ve seen (chain pet stores) selling equipment for less than our wholesale cost,” says P.D. of the challenges in staying competitive. “People tell me, ‘We bought our stuff somewhere else because it was cheaper, but we come to you for advice because you know what you’re talking about.”

The loss of revenue from that segment of their potential customers already forced B & D to get out of the saltwater side of the aquarium business several years ago. Advising people who were not spending money in their shop was also taking too much time away from the time needed to properly care for the fish they have on hand.

And for P.D. and his colleagues, all dedicated hobbyists themselves, taking shortcuts to create time and reduce operating costs is simply never a consideration.

In order to assure the fish he sells leave the shop in good health, P.D. says, “they have to be treated, quarantined, and watched. We make sure they’re 100% healthy, which takes ten times as much work as making sure they’re even 99% healthy.”

His love for the hobby and the fish themselves also can get in the way of cynically taking every dollar that presents itself at his cash register.

“I spent far too much time talking people out of buying things to be profitable!”

That level of dedication is precisely what draws hobbyists from throughout the greater Puget Sound region for their aquarium needs. It also speaks to why B & D has such a loyal, if small, customer base. Spending the extra money on the fish initially saves them later on the cost of chemicals and other treatments that follow fish not properly prepared for the move to a home-aquarium environment.

But how do people get drawn so strongly to a hobby that requires significant expense and effort to maintain? Perhaps even to the point of running a struggling shop for forty-plus years?

“It’s a spiritual experience,” explains P.D.. “It can lower your blood pressure. They prescribe it for hyperactive children. It can really open your eyes . . . (one gets a) completely different understanding of the whole universe.”

“It can be wonderful.”

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White Center businesses: Star Palace grand-opening party today

April 1st, 2015 Tracy Posted in Arts, Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on White Center businesses: Star Palace grand-opening party today

Been to Star Palace Boutique and Lounge yet? Proprietor Prisilla wrote to let us know she’s having a grand-opening party today (though it’s been open for a few weeks):

I just opened a new eclectic, local, art boutique in White Center. It is located directly across the street from Proletariat Pizza and is called Star Palace. I opened the store with hopes to give all of the amazing artists and designers in Seattle a place to showcase their work.

I am having a grand opening party on Wednesday, April 1st, from 12-8 and would love to
see some local south side faces.

Star Palace is at 9617 16th SW, right next to Herban Legends.

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Update: Caffé Delia reopens

October 28th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on Update: Caffé Delia reopens

OCTOBER 28: In case you don’t use Twitter – downtown White Center’s espresso shop, Caffé Delia, announced there that they’ll be closed today (October 28th) because of illness.

OCTOBER 30: After two days of closure, Caffé Delia was scheduled to reopen today.

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Happy 5th anniversary, Proletariat Pizza!

September 19th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

While out covering the United Way Day of Caring this morning, we stopped by Caffé Delia for coffee, and learned big news from their neighbors at Proletariat PizzaMike and Stefanie Albaeck told us they have just marked five years of serving “the pizza that made White Center famous.” In August 2009, we showed a photo of the sign going up outside their restaurant on 16th SW in the heart of the main WC business district; a few weeks later, they were open and have been drawing crowds ever since. By the way, see those artistically decorated pizza peels behind Stefanie and Mike? We’re told they are up for silent auction for a few more weeks, with proceeds going to the White Center Food Bank. Go in and make a bid! And congratulate the Albaecks, while you’re there.

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Followup: White Center bike corral meeting

August 26th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Transportation, White Center news 1 Comment »

Bikes parked outside the King County Sheriff’s Office White Center Storefront tonight hinted at what was happening inside – the community meeting about more bicycle parking in downtown WC.

Katie Meyer was there for WCN. She reports that it was a full house, at least 40 people.

She reports that bike parking stations in several locations were proposed as an alternative to the “bike corral” planned on the street in front of Proletariat Pizza and Caffé Delia, both of which support it. This alternative could result in even more bike parking than the corral, and it apparently still would qualify for the King County grant money that was planned for the corral. So a new plan will be crafted and discussed.

It also was noted during the meeting that concerns about the bike corral seemed tied to other local issues, so Elizabeth Gordon, co-proprietor of Uncle Mike’s Barbecue and a North Highline Unincorporated Area Council member, urged everyone to attend NHUAC’s next meeting on September 4th (7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ), so those issues can be raised and addressed there.

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White Center businesses: Center Studio to say goodbye

August 20th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news 1 Comment »

One week from Friday – on August 29th – Center Studio in downtown White Center will have its final classes. Proprietor Lonjina Verdugo announced via Facebook that she’s closing up shop after two years. Equipment and fixtures from the fitness business are listed for sale in a CL ad. Though yoga/fitness has been the core of Center Studio’s business, the space also had spotlighted artists and guest vendors, plus multiple editions of the pop-up “Cattywampus Kids” shop with retro kid stuff.

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White Center businesses: Martial-arts teacher moves from West Seattle, now at Body Movement Arts

August 12th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news Comments Off on White Center businesses: Martial-arts teacher moves from West Seattle, now at Body Movement Arts

A “grand reopening” is planned next month for a longtime West Seattle martial-arts practice that has relocated to White Center.

Until fall 2012, Restita DeJesus operated the Seattle Wushu Center in a West Seattle facility that now is home to a CrossFit studio. She moved classes to another nearby location while looking for a new facility and found it in White Center, across from Southgate Roller Rink, at what’s now known as Body Movement Arts (9627 17th SW). She says:

The new location has a totally new look, 3000 square feet of studio space, and offers classes in Filipino Martial Arts and self-defense, Kung Fu, Wushu, and Tai Chi. A Personal Trainer on site not only teaches some of the classes but also offers personal training sessions. Classes run from as early as 7:00 am all the way through to 8:30 pm.

The “grand reopening” open house on September 14th will feature a Lion Dance performance as well as free short introductory classes for all ages (4 and up).

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Happening now: Free shredding, ice cream at PBJ Textiles’ open house

June 7th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

Something to shred? Get it done for free – up to four boxes’ worth – during today’s open house at newly opened PBJ Textiles (in the former South End Florist storefront just south of 16th/107th). It’s on until 1 pm and they’re offering free ice cream too (White Center’s own Full Tilt, of course).

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Free shredding on June 7th White Center Spring Clean Day during PB&J Textiles open house

May 29th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Environment, White Center news Comments Off on Free shredding on June 7th White Center Spring Clean Day during PB&J Textiles open house

If you have something to shred, you’ll be able to do that for free June 7th at PB&J Textiles, now open at the former South End Florist location at 10728 16th SW. They’re offering free shredding 9 am-1 pm that day in honor of White Center Spring Clean Day, and as part of an open-house event:

Bring (up to 4 boxes per person) of paper you would like to have securely shredded. In addition to the shredding, we’ll be open to show the community all the great things PB&J brings to White Center. Plus, stop in for a special PB&J ice cream cone from Full Tilt Ice Cream. We’ll have goodie bags, drawings and other fun activities.

Here’s a Facebook event you can join if you’ll need a reminder!

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What’s going into the former White Center Blockbuster Video building? Here’s the answer

May 24th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news Comments Off on What’s going into the former White Center Blockbuster Video building? Here’s the answer

Got another question on Friday about what’s going into the former White Center Blockbuster Video at 16th/107th, which closed back in February 2013. County records bring the answer: A dental company from Eastern Washington plans to open a clinic with eight chairs. We’ll be contacting the company to see if we can find out more about the timetable; they just had a “pre-construction conference” with the county three weeks ago.

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Cattywampus Kids: Pop-up shop in downtown White Center returns today

May 3rd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on Cattywampus Kids: Pop-up shop in downtown White Center returns today

From Lonjina at Center Studio – the monthly pop-up shop in her storefront at 9611 16th SW, Cattywampus Kids, is back today:

From Fisher Price and Strawberry Shortcake to shorts and dress, Cattywampus Kids is popping up, featuring new and resale clothing for children and toys with a vintage twist.

Most of the time you can find us located inside of Center Studio in White Center on the 1st Saturday of the month.

Saturday, May 3rd
12:30-6:30 pm

We have everything from your childhood! Your favorite vintage books and board games, Tonka trucks, Star Wars, classic Strawberry Shortcake, vintage Barbie, tons of Fisher Price stuff and more! This weekend we are clearing out our Winter Apparel – 25% OFF select items!

Find us on Facebook and Instagram (above) or our website: CattywampusKids.com

Cattywampus Kids
9611 16th Ave SW, White Center
1st Saturdays of the Month

Note: See something you want, but can’t make it to the pop-up? Just e-mail us and we will work something out.

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Most likely spot for a White Center recreational-pot store: 9600 block of 16th SW

May 2nd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 4 Comments »

The state Liquor Control Board went public today with its list of how applicants for recreational-marijuana stores placed in the license lottery. Of 44 applicants in the unincorporated area, which is reported to be getting 11 stores, the highest-placing White Center applicants were OSK Enterprises, 9616 16th SW (the Smoke Town storefront), placing #6, and Sound THC, 9640 16th SW #D (site of Northwest Cannabis Market), placing #21. They were followed by Kronic, 9823 15th SW #D, at #33, and right behind that, Green Leaf Care, 9625 16th SW, at #34.

You can download the full statewide list, which has a tab for each area/city, from this page on the state Liquor Control Board website. Licenses are expected to be issued by early July, according to this state FAQ.

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White Center businesses: PB&J Textiles leaving West Seattle, moving into ex-South End Florist space

March 25th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

Maybe you’ve seen the sign on the old South End Florist – it has a new tenant: PB&J Textiles, which has been in business for more than seven years in West Seattle. Its new storefront at 10728 16th SW will more than double their space. Their offerings include paper printing, banners, promotional products, embroidery, and screen printing, as well as copiers if you need to make quick photocopies. They’re planning to move Friday, April 4th, through Sunday, April 6th, reopening in the new space on Monday, April 7th, and will be tracking the move via Tumblr.

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Where will recreational marijuana be sold in White Center? Update on applications

January 13th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 6 Comments »

The application period is over, and the state is narrowing the field of those who have applied to produce, process, and/or sell recreational marijuana. We took a look at the newest version of the spreadsheet listing retail applications, and found multiple applicants for certain locations. Here are all the retail applicants for White Center (and reminder, in our reporting, White Center means strictly the nonincorporated area – nothing in the Seattle city limits) – 19 applications for 8 locations:

*7 applications to sell at 9819 16th SW: Greensmart Northwest, Marijuana Mercantile, Northwest THC Outlet, Sound THC, THCInSource, THC Supermarket, Total Access THC

*6 applications to sell at 9640 16th SW (current home of NW Cannabis Market): Washington Total THC, Greensmart Northwest, Northwest THC Outlet, Simple Choice THC, Sound THC, THCInSource.

*1 application to sell at 9809 16th SW: Magic Herbal Market

*1 application to sell at 9802 18th SW: Chameleon Enterprises

*1 application to sell at 9823 15th SW: Kronic LLC

*1 application to sell at 9831 16th SW, Stuart Thomas Holding

*1 application to sell at 9835 16th SW, NLM Lucky LLC

*1 application to sell at 11030 19th SW, Just Hemp LLC

A few of those might already be out of the running; our partners at The Seattle Times report that applicants with residential addresses or other disqualifying factors, such as the buffer from places frequented by youth, are already being disqualified. And even if a location qualifies according to the rules, the applicant will have to show that they actually have an agreement with the building’s landlord, if they don’t own the location themselves. So when will licenses be issued? No timeline so far.

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First marijuana business license sought in White Center

December 11th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on First marijuana business license sought in White Center

Every week during the one-month application period for state marijuana-business licenses, the Liquor Control Board – they’re in charge of this – is publishing an update list of who’s applied. For the first time, a White Center applicant is on the list. At 10834 10th SW, a firm calling itself RXXX is applying for a producer license and a processor license. The latter is for “Tier 1,” the lowest level, described on the LCB site as “to produce marijuana for sale at wholesale to marijuana processor licensees and to other marijuana producer licensees. Tier 1 allows for two thousand square feet or less of dedicated plant canopy.”

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More White Center Christmas trees: McLendon Hardware

November 23rd, 2013 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Holidays, White Center news Comments Off on More White Center Christmas trees: McLendon Hardware

At least two places in White Center are already selling holiday trees – McLendon Hardware is one. Store manager Tony Barnes e-mailed to say they have received their first shipment of almost 500 trees and are selling them now:

We (are) carrying four varieties and trees as tall as 10’. Our selection will include Noble Firs, Nordman Fir ( replaces Frazier Firs), Douglas Firs, and lastly Grand Firs, all from local suppliers.

“The Seasonal Help” at Village Green Perennial Nursery has cut and live trees on sale now too – more on them later today! From Thanksgiving events to Christmas tree lots to New Year’s celebrations, if you have holiday-season information to announce, please send it to us at whitecenternow@gmail.com. Thanks!

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Happening now: Cattywampus Kids’ first day; ‘Save the Babies’ donation drive at Full Tilt

November 2nd, 2013 Tracy Posted in Businesses, How to Help, White Center news 3 Comments »

Two great reasons to get down to downtown White Center right now – and they’re just a few doors apart from each other:

You’ll find Lonjina and Nina inside the Center Studio space at 9611 16th SW, it’s the first edition of their monthly pop-up stuff-for-children shop Cattywampus Kids, with clothing, toys, and more, until 7 pm.

We first told you about Cattywampus here a week and a half ago. A few doors down at Full Tilt Ice Cream, until 10 pm tonight, you’re invited to bring a donation for local families in need – formula or baby food, in particular – and you’ll get a coupon for a free scoop of FT’s fabled ice cream. Ashley (left) and FT co-proprietor Ann are spearheading the “Save the Babies” one-day collection drive:

Take the kids and go meet cool people doing cool things!

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Happening today! White Center Trick-or-Treat Festival

October 27th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fun, Holidays, White Center news Comments Off on Happening today! White Center Trick-or-Treat Festival

Why wait until Thursday for candy? 2-5 pm, get those costumes on and get down to participating businesses for trick-or-treating! The Facebook event page includes a list of who’s participating.

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Coming to downtown White Center: Cattywampus Kids!

October 23rd, 2013 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

Need to set aside some time to shop for your family? We can tell you exactly what time to set aside: Noon-7 pm on Saturday, November 2nd. That day will mark the debut of Cattywampus Kids in downtown White Center – “the first children’s pop-up shop in White Center,” as co-proprietor Lonjina Verdugo describes it.

It’s happening once a month inside her Center Studio space at 9611 16th SW, “new and resale clothing & accessories for children 6 months to 12 years as well as toys with a unique and vintage twist.”

Lonjina and co-proprietor Nina Hufford say they “have hunted and handpicked all of our inventory, constantly searching for that perfect toy, coat or piece of art that brings back memories of our childhood” – so you can “share stories and create more memories with your own children.”

The grand-opening party on November 2nd will include “sips and sweets,” and they’ll also accept “new and gently used clothing for children 6 months and up as well as vintage toys and games,” as either donations or for store credit for future purchases. Donations are rewarded too, Cattywampus Kids says, with “goodies and coupons from us and our community, including future purchases at Cattywampus Kids, free classes at Center Studio, free Root Beer from Zippy’s Giant Burgers and more!”

The basics are online at cattywampuskids.com but you’ll see the “latest finds and shop updates” on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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