Category Archives: Coupeville Shop

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Window Arrives

The wiring is roughed in, the plumbing, too. The heating is ducted all around. The crawl space is buttoned up and we passed all the inspections. Next week we’ll be putting up insulation and the drywall process will start. We are putting in a window between the commercial kitchen and the gift shop and to get it made just the way we wanted, we had to order it from New Zealand! I tried to get it in the U.S., but they wouldn’t make it the size I needed – so… just another reminder that while we can do a lot locally, we are truly a global community.

Bare bones where window will go

Bare bones where window will go

Here’s what the striped walls look like.

They brought the window to the farm where it’s being stored. Key part of this picture are the FOOTPRINTS on the crate. Sure hope the inside is ok!!

You will have to wait until it’s installed to see why we went to these great lengths to get it.

Unloading window

Unloading window


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Lavender Lover’s Handbook

It’s here!! Sarah Bader’s new book! This is a BEAUTIFUL book, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to grow lavender, or just look at pictures of it. Sarah Bader knows her stuff and we are so happy to include her book in our shop (or you can get it online).Lavender Lover's Handbook

Sarah is the proprietor of Lavender At Stonegate which is a retail and wholesale nursery in Oregon, near Portland. She is one of the rare people who is talented and friendly, makes you feel like you’re her best friend even though you might have only met her five minutes ago. She is smart – which is handy when you’re going to her for advice. She has made a bunch of YouTube videos teaching people how to take care of their lavender.

Hey, if we work hard at it, maybe we can get Sarah Bader to come to Whidbey Island and teach us about lavender right here…. We’ll need lots of your support to do that, so let us know you’re interested.


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Parking for this old house!

Last night the Coupeville Town Council made a wonderful vote! They decided that historic houses within certain commercial areas in Coupeville are exempt from parking ordinances. I watched the process as the item, that had been part of a larger discussion, was presented by the town planner, Larry Kwarsick and then discussed by the council members. Say what you like about government, this was an excellent example of a thoughtful group of people taking on a difficult topic and looking at it from all the angles. They didn’t all agree, yet they were respectful and the discussion had good questions and comments. I’m proud of Coupeville’s Town Council!

Back to why I’m putting this in our blog…This is an important vote for us, because our Coupeville Shop is being created in an existing historic Ebey’s Reserve home.

The Craftsman Bungalow style house was built in 1916 by Otto VanDyk for the C.C. Cushen family and used as a family residence. The house was later owned by Lewis Matthews and purchased in 1941 by Michael Criscola. In 1968 a small sun room was build on the south facade. In 1976 it was purchased by the Wienringa’s and converted to a B&B.  Our friend, Lyla (Libbey) Snover said she went to kindergarten there as a kid and she later babysat for a family there. The house has gone through various uses over the years. At one point it was a B&B, several times a residence. Lately, someone tried to have an antique store on the site, but couldn’t due to parking ordinance issues. We are delighted to be able to maintain most of its warm, homey, and historical character as we transform it into a commercial use property.

15 Coveland Front as B&B

This house was a B&B in the 1970's we think.

When you come into the shop, you’ll see the original front rooms with only slight modifications. You’ll be able to wander the new landscaping (that is still in the planning stages) have a cuppa outside in good weather, and get a take-out of our lavender scones and cookies all weather. Not to mention be able to buy all our wonderful lavender products and more. Other times you’ll be able to take classes… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Right now our builders, plumbers, electricians, engineers, and staff are all working hard to get this remodel done and keep the house looking as cute (or cuter) as ever.


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Friends and cheese

On Whidbey Island there used to be many many dairies, but in 2007 the Sherman-Bishop farm sold their cows and thus ended the dairying era on our island. That is, until Little Brown Farm started up in 2010 and brought her wonderful goats and a supply of local cheeses to the appreciative island gourmets. It was not easy for, Little Brown Farm owner, Vicky Brown to make that happen as she worked her way through the maze of regulations and inspections to get her dairy licensed. During those years we got to know Vicky and now we have a mutual appreciation that shows itself in several ways. The two of us have worked on various farm-related committees on the island, and Vicky uses our lavender in some of her cheeses.

It’s finally spring and the goats are kidding which means Vicky is making her cheeses again. She posted this today on her facebook page. Chevre cheese with lavender!

She wrote: “Packaged little bites of bliss for the Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival – This is Little Brown Farm Caprine Cream Chevre with Lavender Wind Farm Lavender!”

As the season progresses you’ll find her cheeses made with lavender and our own herbs de provence at our shop as well as at Bayview Farmers Market. In a word… YUM!


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The dirt on the project

Bottom line? It’s all about safety. That’s why we had an engineer come and have a look at the building before we went too far along the design phase of the process. He said we needed support underneath the floor joists to accommodate the hoards of people and machinery/equipment that will be in the building. Ok, the bit about hoards of anything is either tongue in cheek or hopeful.

In any case, we need to put in some beams under the joists when we get permission to start work. This building is 87 years old, and the building codes were different in those days, so the crawl space underneath was deep enough to allow maybe a 10 year old boy to get through to do work, but no adult. So, we’re starting to move out some of the dirt to get a bit more space in order to be able to put in joists, run ducts and wiring, and adjust plumbing.

Isn’t this glamorous? Isn’t it just what you’d love to know about when you think about lavender? Rest assured, you won’t see any of that when we open, but you will be very happy to know you will be completely safe in the building, and so will we.

Until then, get your lavender out at the farm and continue to send good thoughts to the town officials who have to wade through mountains of paperwork, including our building plans.


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Mussel Fest Success

Looks like an apothecary

Looks like an apothecary

We had a great weekend in our “Popup Shop” at our new building this weekend during the Mussel Fest. Lots of people had a chance to stop in and find out what is going on with the building that has been on the corner since 1925. Our friend and lifelong Coupeville resident, Lyla Snover, came by and told us not only had she babysat for people in the house many years ago, she’d gone to kindergarten here, too, about a decade before the babysitting. It’s this community history with a place that makes the project so much fun.

We intend to breathe new life into the corner – changing overgrown landscaping and putting in a commercial kitchen in order to make our own products and rent to other farmers and producers in the area who might need a kitchen to develop their businesses.

New Shop During Mussel Fest 2012

New Shop During Mussel Fest 2012

But, for now, the house will be in the hands of our capable contractor for the remodeling work that needs to be done. Keep your fingers crossed that all will go smoothly and we’ll have an opening date before summer comes.


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From Red Carpet to Purple

Update the Red Carpet* to PURPLE!

It’s our new campaign and you can join. For one day you can get 20% discount off your total order – just use this code when you check out.

purplecarpet

 

Now you can look forward to some relaxing after stresses of the Oscars.

*For you non-Oscar junkies, that’s where the celebs parade their stylin’ abilities and chat it up with interviewers on their way into the main event. For some people the Red Carpet IS the main event – I didn’t just say that.


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New Look

We are developing our New Look to celebrate the new shop. Here is the latest version of the Hand & Body Lotion, Super size. What do you think? You can order the Super size Hand & Body Lotion here.Hand Lotion Super Size


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Permits!

People are asking “When are you going to open your Coupeville shop?”

We have to remodel the inside to create a commercial kitchen. In an old house like this one, we want to keep the integrity of the house, but we also want to be safe – so we are having engineers have a look. The front rooms will stay pretty much as they are, it’s going to be so cute once it all opens with period rooms for the shop and a nice clean commercial area for making our products and having classes.

We are also going to redo the landscaping. You are going to be delighted with the end result. But, before we get there, we have more planning and meetings.

The bottom line is, that we are working like crazy, but you can’t see it. And we are meeting with the Town officials to get the permitting done correctly so as many of both our needs as possible can be met. Plus, you may not know that Coupeville lies within the Ebey’s Historical Reserve, so we will need plan approval from the Design Review Board. Lots and lots of paper. I have to keep reminding myself, that it’s a lot easier to fix mistakes on paper than once you start construction.

Stay tuned!


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Coupeville Shop

It’s a done deal. We now own a building in Coupeville for our manufacturing and retail shop. Over the next few months we will be remodeling the inside of the building and the grounds. Are we excited? You bet!

15 Coveland Coupeville


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