Hobby Habit owner Dave Campbell demonstrates the radio-controlled aircraft flight simulator he’s selling at his store this holiday season. Campbell said overall Christmas sales have been respectable this year. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Most of the downtown businesses taking part in The Observer’s informal —
very informal — survey on holiday sales Monday were upbeat and
Because Christmas is about toys, the survey usually begins at the
Hobby Habit, the only store in La Grande completely dedicated to
playthings. Owner Dave Campbell said he’s enjoying one of his better
holiday seasons, and added he’s had a good year overall.
It started out as a little retail space where Al and Colleen MacLeod
could sell the coffee beans they were roasting at home. It ended up a
full-fledged cafe complete with a stage for local performers.
Nobody’s played at Joe Beans at 1109 Adams Ave. yet, but a major
remodel of the premises is complete and it won’t be long before local
musicians start jamming.
For the MacLeods, it’ll be just like the old days, when they were the
proprietors of the Highway 30 Coffee Company, a now-defunct cafe that
once did roaring good business at the corner of Adams and Elm.
For more than a decade, Grande Ronde Hospital’s employees have worked
together to organize an annual food drive. The food drive kicks off just
before Halloween, making Operation Give Back one of the earliest and,
with more than 500 employees, one of the single largest efforts to fill
local food bank shelves before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Melani Neisz, pictured here with her roommate and friend Scott Johnson, hopes to establish a poultry ranch outside of North Powder that would double as a research and education facility. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Union woman hopes to establish chicken-raising operation that avoids use of chemicals, antibiotics
Betty Baker, owner of The Sub Shop, on Fourth Street, says the shop’s menu hasn’t changed much over the years, mainly because it’s worked so well. The locally owned sandwich emporium has survived many challenges, including two relocations, the death of Baker’s husband, and competition from national chains. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Betty Baker, a Summerville woman who runs The Sub Shop on Fourth Street
near Washington Avenue in La Grande, said she did a “happy dance” when
her sandwiches were voted the best around in a local contest.
Maybe the news won’t make world headlines, but it’s important to
Baker, who kept on with the business after losing her husband and
partner in 2004, and takes an obvious pride in what she does.
Construction workers set a truss in place over Mountain Valley Therapy’s new fitness facility last week. The facility, with strengthening and conditioning equipment, a warm water pool, personal training and more, is slated to open in January. CHRIS BAXTER / The Observer
9,000-square-foot addition will feature health and fitness center
Maggie LaMont, executive director for the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority, is retiring Nov. 30 after more than 30 years with the agency. She’ll be handing the reins over to Dale Inslee, the housing authority’s current director of asset management. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Maggie LaMont has been with the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority
almost since its start-up in La Grande in the late 1970s. Leaving after
so many years isn’t easy.
But LaMont, who rose from a Gal Friday office position to executive
director, has decided it’s time to call it quits. She’s retiring to
catch up on her personal interests.
Gianni’s employee Eric Wentland pours some of the balsamic vinegar that is a key ingredient in the company’s products. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Gianni’s Fine Foods makes 22 different products at Bearco business park site
FLIPPING THE SWITCH: Jonathan Monschke and Louis Perry of Enterprise’s Sun Storage “flip the switch” on a 500-kilowatt solar array project with help from Eric Anderson and Jason Zappe of Pacificorp. The array, outside of Joseph, will power up to 100 residential homes. SUN STORAGE photo
Wallowa County once again is setting trends.
This time it’s in solar energy product manufacturing, installation
and power production. Thursday afternoon Jonathan Monschke and Louis
Perry of Enterprise’s Sun Storage flipped the switch to a 500-kilowatt
solar power generating facility outside of Joseph that will power as
many as 100 homes.
Coulters add pharmacists at La Grande, Enterprise locations
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