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‘Encouraging’ business news to start new year

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This new year is already speeding along, so we’d better hustle before we get too far behind on business tidbits:

Encouraging” news

Carol Covert, an 8-year employee of Wenatchee’s Encouraging Words Books & Music, now owns and manages the store that sells just about everything Christian — bibles, inspirational books, DVDs, toys, music, homeschool supplies and tons of gift items. Even 83 kinds of loose-leaf teas. And did we mention fudge? Lots of yummy fudge.

Carol took over Jan. 1 from former owner Ginny Kerstetter and has plans to work closely with area churches — offer an in-store meeting space, help with events, supply books, music and other resource materials.

For years, I’ve wanted to own my own business,” said Carol. She even went to back to school to learn more about accounting and management.

I know a lot of the customers here and enjoy introducing them to new books, music and other products. This is a perfect fit for me — I really love this store.”

Details: 529 S. Wenatchee Ave. Call 664-3250 or visit

Rampant rumor

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but excited residents are buzzing with gossip about a new anchor tenant at Wenatchee Valley Mall. According to totally unsubstantiated scuttlebutt, prime candidates are Kohl’s or T.J. Maxx, both clothing stores.

One source said she chatted with a T.J. Maxx real estate person who gave specific details on where the store might be located. (South of Macy’s on the site of the strip mall that houses Verizon Phones Plus and the UPS Store.) Another respected source didn’t name the new tenant, but said it was definitely on the way.

Media reps at both Kohl’s and Maxx gave the usual answer: “We’ve not announced any plans to open a new store in your community.” Yep, knew that. What about unannounced plans?

Mall Manager Dawn Collings said Friday that lots of ideas and proposals for new stores are “in the pipeline, but nothing has emerged as definite.” She promised to keep us posted.

Open the blinds

Miniblinds & More — since 1989 a major local provider of shades, drapes, awnings, sunscreens and, yeah, you guessed it, miniblinds — has relocated to 1114 N. Mission St. in Wenatchee. That’s right next to the new Wheatland Bank building. Owners Darin and Jodie Bobysud, who bought the business in 2007 from original owners Richard and Shirley Ehrenberg, have updated their store with a snazzier showroom filled with more displays and merchandise. Learn more at or give them a call at 664-2443.

Best business

Had a good burger somewhere? Excellent service when you bought those tires? Info-packed response from a local nonprofit? Hey, you should nominate them for this year’s top business honors.

The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce will accept nominations through Jan. 31 for Chelan County Business of the Year, Douglas County Business of the Year and Nonprofit Business of the Year. To suggest a business, send the Chamber a fax at 663-2022 or email Be sure to give specifics on why you’re nominating the outfit. Such as: Great customer service? Excellent employees? Innovative service or products? Extra guacamole on that 2-pound mega-burrito?

Poster wrangle

Well, it probably won’t come down to a cage fight. But we’re guessing competition could be brutal among area artists to produce the official Pybus Market promotional poster. The prize is a little bit of money and lots of notoriety as the new market nears its opening day — probably in late April.

So if you live in Chelan, Douglas, Grant or Okanogan counties and can draw or paint some kind of market-themed poster (fruit, farms, community, etc.), this contest is for you. No photography or computer art. Deadline is March 31. For more info, visit

Farmhouse facts

Well, shucks. Allison Neher, executive director of Community Farm Connection, last week announced her resignation after three years on the job. Lots of good work from her (and others) towards improving the link between those who grow food and those who eat it. Speaking of which, you food lovers have depleted the supply of locally-grown goodies, which means the Farmhouse Table will close Friday (Jan. 18) for the rest of winter. Farmhouse Table is the storefront outlet for much local produce and farm-made products. Look for them to reopen in spring.

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.