SMALL BUSINESS HAPPENINGS: Baker joins Ascension School Camp and Conference Center

By Observer staff March 05, 2014 08:45 am

Baker joins Ascension School Camp and Conference Center

Chef Merlyn Baker has joined the staff at the Ascension School Camp and Conference Center in Cove.

Baker will be the camp’s chef and head food service manager for all of the facilities, providing meals for conference center guests and summer campers.  

Baker co-owned and operated Foley Station, a fine-dining restaurant in La Grande, for 15 years.  Throughout his career, he has been known for annual culinary events, inlcuding cooking classes, La Grande Capaeu Blanc Gourmet Club Dinner events, wine dinners, Oregon Bounty and Harvest Dinners, Brew Master’s Dinner and the annual re-creation of the exquisite and historical Titanic Dinner, to name a few. 

Workshop tackles sewer clogs, overflows from FOG

The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center is presenting an intensive one-day workshop at Eastern Oregon University on March 19 to explain how communities can prevent sewer clogs and overflows from fats, oils and grease.

The workshop aims to help rural communities work together to develop a FOG abatement plan, learn about the best ways to manage FOG and access FOG-prevention resources and any necessary technical support.   

The workshop will be led by PPRC’s Industry Outreach Manager Ken Grimm along with local FOG experts. Grimm has more than 15 years of experience providing technical assistance to a variety of industries seeking to both reduce toxins and improve data collection. 

For additional information about the training series or individual events, contact Ken Grimm at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or PPRC’s Communications Manager Cyrus Philbrick at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker City business celebrating 25 years with open house 

BAKER CITY — The Sycamore Tree is celebrating 25 years this week, Thursday through Saturday, with an anniversary open house, door prizes, demonstrations and giveaways. 

Owner Jacki Adams bought the store in 2007 from Peggy Pearson, who had opened the store, originally named Word of Life books and gifts, in Basche-Sage Place before moving to the current location at 2108 Main St.

Along the way, Pearson expanded the shop, adding gifts, decorations, a teahouse upstairs and more.

After buying the store, Adams added fresh fudge to the offerings in 2007 and then a flower shop in 2009. 

“The fudge brings in a whole different crowd,” Adams said.

She also carries artwork and pottery by local artist Terri Axness.

The Sycamore Tree has won awards from Historic Baker City Inc., and was named Retailer of the Year in 2009 by Country Business magazine.

About this column

Small Business Happenings covers Northeast Oregon’s small-business community. The column carries news about business events, startups and owners and employees who earn awards and recognition or make significant gains in their careers.

There is no charge for inclusion in the column, which is editorial in nature and is not ad space or a marketing tool. Products and services will be discussed only in general terms.

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