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Downtown Wine Store – A Great Community Gathering Place

I enjoy tasting and drinking wine. I was not a fan of wine, just 8 years ago, but, over the years, have learned to appreciate the complexities of different wines. I used to say I’m a “wine-for-dummies” wine drinker, but I have surpassed that to the next stage: I am beginning to know what I like but am still not a snob. That’s why I enjoy going to the Wine Loft on 401 Columbia Street NW in Downtown Olympia.

Wine Loft Owner, Justin Wilkes

New owner Justin Wilkes is very knowledgeable about his inventory and seeks to educate customers to find a perfect match between wine drinker and wine. Oregon born and raised, he moved up to Washington to learn from one of the master sommeliers. When the opportunity came up, he acquired the little wine shop.

Going into the little 30’x40’ brick building is like walking into an adult candy shop full of wines and spirits. Thought small, he has a nice selection of wines that may or may not be found in big box stores. He greets you and genuinely cares about what your palate desires, what your price point is and what you have an affinity for…then offers you something you may not have tried before. His occasional wine tastings are a must-do on a Saturday afternoon. On a recent visit to the Labor Day Saturday tasting, my friend and I met someone I knew, which is generally the standard for a neat community venue of like kind.

I recommend that part of your Downtown Olympia tour should include (or just make it a point to go) a stop at the Wine Loft. You will be treated like you’re important and not an ignoramus.

Just Like Family!

The world is full great businesses. Before I got into business, I didn’t pay much attention except when the business provided bad service or the prices were unreasonable. (I still pay attention to that) However, I love finding businesses that provide either a unique product or service, or have amazing staff that treats customers like family. Sandstone Distillery is one of those kinds of businesses that treat you like family the moment you walk in. The business is run by husband and wife, John and Jenni Bourdon, along with their son, Justin, and makes all of their spirits (including bacon whiskey) onsite. John tells the story, Jenni serves you up some samples and Justin explains the distilling process. Heck, you may even see the other family members pitching in, here and there.

They offer their local products in establishments around Thurston County, Washington, but are gaining visibility at various festivals, networking groups and Total Wine in Western Washington. They’ll even set you up with gift packs! If you’re ever in Tenino, Washington, you’ve got to check them out at 842 Wright Rd SE Tenino, WA, 98589, email them or call (360) 239-7272. They’re definitely special people!

South Sound Entrepreneur Showcases Talent In Many Ways

Many techies like to play with systems. Trevor Altman is no exception. But how many of them actually has a stage presence as well? Trevor Altman does. His one and a half year old business is increasing in service offerings and can meet the needs of wedding and event planners throughout the South Puget Sound region of  Western Washington. I spoke with him this summer to learn more about how he’s evolved into a thriving small business owner.

thumb_img_2232_1024As a teen, Trevor was involved in sound and audio technical activities at church, eventually completing the audio technician program at Berklee College. When someone asked him to DJ for a wedding, the rest was history; he embarked on owning and running his own business. At first he offered his services as a DJ for weddings, then marketed at wedding shows and to event planners. Now, he has a robust offering and has a lighting tech, audio tech, videographer and a staff of 4 DJ’s. Not only does he offer quality entertainment, he also serves as a master of ceremonies for venues in need of one and has a recording studio too! I have witnessed him in action–he’s a natural! He is a unique business owner who works hands on with customers, is not a franchise, customizes services to fit each client’s needs and he’s also a very genuine individual. Anyone with a small or large-scale event in need of quality audio technical, emceeing, entertainment and recording services in the South Puget Sound area of Western Washington should contact Altman Audio.

Little Town That Boasts A Big Brew

The tech industry has been good to Kit Larimer. He’s worked for big companies, including Microsoft, as well as some electronics companies. But his small hometown of Cle Elum was calling him back. However, after making a decent living, what could the small town offer him that would keep him gainfully employed?Roslyn Brew Company8

Roslyn Brewing Company had been in business for 14 years when Kit was evaluating his options. The craft brewery, located on 207 Pennsylvania Avenue in Roslyn, Washington, was just what he was looking for. That was in 2004. Kit’s now owned the brewery for 12 yrs, which, at that time, offered two brews: Brookside and Roslyn. Now, he’s added 4 more (Red Lager, Belgium Ale, India Pale Ale, Boomtown Ale) and is working on a 5th. Currently, Roslyn Brewing Company beers are sold at bottle shops and served at fine establishments around Washington State. Lucky for Washingtonians!Roslyn Brew Company2Roslyn Brew Company

Next time you’re in Washington State, stop by Gravity Beer in Olympia, Washington, 99 Bottles in Federal Way or the over 150+ locations around Washington State and try one of their brews.

Live Local.

If There’s No Job That Utilizes Your Skill Set, Create That Perfect Job

SmallBizYou’ve been working at a company long enough to know it with your eyes closed and you’ve been pursuing your passion that has produced another set of skills. Both allow you to be gainfully employed and then some, but you’re only working the one that guarantees to pay your bills. You aren’t being challenged at your current job and the jobs that would utilize your passion skill sets require years of experience to get hired. What do you do? Consider becoming a business owner.

Being a business owner is no easy feat, but is doable if you do some soul-searching, planning and development of your potential business idea/ideas. Write those ideas down to answer:

  • who is your target market
  • what will you provide
  • why you want provide your goods or services
  • how will you provide those goods or services
  • how much will you need to provide those goods or services
  • where will you provide your goods or services
  • when will you start your business

Visit your local Small Business Association, research your potential competition, interview businesses in the same industry you’re interested in.

You can do anything with careful contemplation, planning and motivation!

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