Wednesday, December 26, 2012

KO's Subs

Owner Ken Oberreit serves up the goods at KO's Subs sandwich shop down by the ferry lanes.

Ken, his wife Kathy and their kids moved here from Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the spring of 2010. They had family here and always liked the area. It seemed the timing was right to downsize his business life a little... In Jackson Hole, he owned and operated a 6,000 sq. ft. store & deli from 1992 to 2005 and then started two other deli operations in Pinedale which he ran from 2005 to 2010 - each with around fifteen to twenty employees. Here in Friday Harbor, he can run things with only two or three people in the Summer. Or, he can do it all alone in the Winter but he hopes this will change with the new larger dining area, free Wi-Fi, DirecTV on the wall, and some new menu items he's recently added.

He's been working in the food industry since his younger days, beginning with his family's restaurant and then choosing to go to culinary school in 1991. Maybe he realized that working as a ski instructor by day and cooking at nite, might not be enough!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Adam and Deanna

Adam and Deanna Eltinge recently purchased Island Petroleum Services from longtime friends Jim and Kate Schuman. Adam is the friendly guy who's been working behind the counter for the past two years, always eager to help in any way. He and Deanna met at Washington State University and started their family on the mainland, but they've always yearned to move to the island. When they did, it was a return home for Deanna. She was born and raised here as a Sundstrom and is excited the sixth generation will grow-up in the original farmhouse.

In Adam’s former life, he was a construction project manager of large communities in the Seattle area where he honed his business sense and appreciation of exceptional customer service. He now brings that tradition of customer service to IPS when providing fuel and oil at the Carter Station (as well as Free Air for your tires), the Port of Friday Harbor fuel pier, and customized deliveries.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cynthia, of course

Cynthia Burke is the owner of Cynthia's Of Course, a catering and personal chef service here in Friday Harbor. She has been in the food and hospitality business for over 35 years, including owning two restaurants as well as catering companies. Born and raised in West Seattle, she moved to Maui with her husband Christopher Burke in 1984. They moved back to the northwest in 1999 and chose Friday Harbor as the place to raise their family. Cynthia's Of Course was launched in 2001 and has been going ever since. But if that was not enough to keep her busy, she launched XYZ Movement Arts in 2010, a dance/yoga/movement studio, and then Red Checkered Picnics in 2012. It is located out at Limekiln State Park, so now you can get stuff to eat when you're at the park. (well, it's closed for the winter, but she will re-open in 2013 from Memorial Day through Labor Day). If you or someone you know needs some catering or a personal chef for a special event, there's more information on her websites: and

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ted Buganski

You've probably seen his van with the red "Ted's 3-C Carpet Cleaning" on the sides. Ted bought the company in 1981 and says, "I've been loving every minute of it. It's really great to be your own boss - you want a mini vacation somewhere? Just don't schedule any clients and you're free to go!" An avid bowler as well, you will likely find him at Paradise Lanes for merchant leagues. Just a really great guy earning an honest living by making peoples' carpets look like new again. After 31 years, he's pretty good at it. Isn't it time you got your carpets cleaned? Give him a call at 378-5560.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tom Doenges

Tom Doenges owns and operates Computer San Juans which he started nearly 12 years ago. He's been in the computer industry about 25 years total. Many of you know him as a very talented guitarist who plays with the Henry James Blues Band, among others, as well as quite a bit of solo stuff. Being a musician got him involved in beta testing for Yamaha in the early 80's working on the first music computer for performers and also performance software, which ultimately led to the development of the DX7 (you'll have to ask him what that means because I have no idea). Anyway, the rest is history. DOS, Novel, pre Windows and post Windows launch. He worked for another software company for a year before starting his own business.

"I was born with the entrepreneur spirit", he says. "I have always had some sort of business since I was in High School for the most part. I guess I like me as a boss just fine."

He builds, rebuilds and repairs PC computers of any brand, and sets up and maintains networks anywhere from 2 computers to hundreds of computers. The photo above shows him in the nerve center of the new hospital where he's been working for the last couple of months getting things ready for the grand opening in November.

In addition to all this hard core business stuff, he also offers home computer solutions for all the rest of us as well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

San Juan Pasta Company

These are the people who make the magic happen at the San Juan Pasta Company (well most of them anyway - I guess one of them was in California this week). On the left is Mary Willallen, sorting and packaging fresh pasta from an earlier production run; center is Mike Martin, packaging and assisting the current ravioli run; and on the right is Angel Michaels, operating the Ravioli press as it churns out today's batch of Butternut Squash Ravioli. Check out the the ravioli coming out of the press in the close-up shot. Mmmmmmmm!!! If you've never had fresh pasta you really must give it a try. You can find it at the Farmer's Market. And just think - It's all done right here in Friday Harbor!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Juan Hot Shop

Eddie Williams, ladies and gentlemen, from the San Juan Hot Shop and Flavor Emporium. You want something good and tasty with a bit of zing to add to your favorite food? Well then you need to go see Ed and he'll get you fixed right up. The Hot Shop was originally established 10 years ago as part of Amigo's restaurant, and was subsequently moved to its present location next door to the drug store, when Amigo's closed several years ago. Ed and his wife Genie have been running the place since February of 2008 and they know their sauces! (note the official uniform Ed is sporting in the photo). With an almost overwhelming variety of choices, Ed and Genie will use their extensive knowledge to carefully guide you to your perfect sauce. Go check them out and sample some delicious flavors from all over the world.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marc Franklin

Marc Franklin is the new General Manager of Aeronautical Services, Inc. (well, "new" since November of 2009). So if you have a problem with your local UPS package freight, he's the guy... well nevermind. Actually, don't call him with problems, in fact - don't call him at all. He has more important things to worry about. Like Payroll! "Hey Marc, it's Thursday already... how are those checks coming along?" I'm just kidding. Marc is my boss when I'm not doing photography, but rather driving and delivering instead. A really great guy to work for too (and he's single, ladies). He came here from Southern California, leaving Golden West College early to take the helm of ASI. He is a grandson of Roy Franklin, the man so instrumental in bringing aviation to Friday Harbor.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Printonyx is Friday Harbor's full service Printing, Copying, Faxing, Designing, Stapling and general Officing place. Originally launched back around 1987 by Homer Smith, it was purchased in 1994 by Kristine Brown (at left in the photo above). 18 years she's been running the business now. And for 16 of those years, Jeff Fitts (at right) has been along as well, sometimes part-time, sometimes full-time, sometimes on leave, but lately it's been pretty much full time. Not pictured here is Jonathan Reedy who was out for the day when we shot this photo. Kris calls him "the voice of Printonyx" and I'm sorry I missed him. Maybe once they're in their new building we'll revisit this and get him in the photo as well. Check out and "Like" them on Facebook for up-to-date info and specials.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Alisa Schoultz

Alisa Schoultz is the smiling person that greets you (most of the time) when you pop into the marine store at Jensen Shipyard, or call on the phone. She is the daughter of owners Mike and Jeri Ahrenius and graduated from Friday Harbor High School. After college at the University of Washington where she majored in Business Administration, she began a career in Corporate Event Planning which took her to Denver Colorado.  There she met her husband Scott; they returned to the island in 2006 and she began working at the shipyard. Alisa has now become the Vice President working closely with her folks, her brother David and also Duane Davis, Nate Hertel, and David Capron-Johnston. Jensen Shipyard was originally established in 1910 by Alisa's Great Grandfather, Albert Jensen. They are the only full service marine maintenance operation on the island, complete with haul out, bottom painting, moorage, storage and marine engine repair services. You can learn more about them at their website, or just give Alisa a call at 378-4343.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mary Kate Panaro

Mary Kate Panaro moved here to the island in 2000 after hearing great things about it from her good friend Sharon. As many of us do, she worked in a number of different places before getting a job with By Design (yes - a number of us have worked at By Design ;-) which is where she discovered her calling. After 7 years of gaining experience with print and web design, and with the owner wanting to reorganize and downsize, she took over a portion of that business and opened her doors at MKate Design. Three years later, here she is working steadily, pumping out great websites for locals and some non-locals as well. She is great to work with and she does great work.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cotton Cotton Cotton

Gail and Randy Schnee moved to Friday Harbor in 2009 to escape central Florida where they had been living for most of their lives. Enough was enough after 3 hurricanes in one month. Gail was working dilligently at her Corporate America career job when she saw the tickertape style advertisment across the top of her screen (on the important work stuff she was researching on the internet), that said "GO KAYAKING WITH WHALES", so she called Randy and by the time she arrived home from work, they had plane reservations. Long story short, they fell in love with Friday Harbor, sold the house and bought Cotton Cotton Cotton with no business experience whatsoever. "How hard can it be, right?". And the rest is history - they've been successfully running their shop at 165 First St. since 2009. Go check them out - they're some wonderful folks with a great store.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wendy Pinnow

Friday Harbor's only full service car dealership, M&W Auto offers quality used cars, sound systems and vehicle rentals. It is owned and operated by longtime islander Wendy Pinnow (Williams). Wendy first came to the island in 1972. And you may remember her family's grocery store, Whitey's Food Center which has since had several other owners before being destroyed by the big fire of 2002. M&W Auto opened its doors in 1989 over by the library on Guard St. The current location at 725 Spring St. was built in 1996.
Check out her website at or give her a call at (360) 378-2794.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scott Olinger

Paradise lanes is Friday Harbor's first and only bowling alley. Scott Olinger bought the business in March of 2008 and has been operating it ever since. A bit of a jack-of-all-trades, he does everything there - Maintenance on the pin setting equipment; upkeep on the lanes to keep them oiled just right;  he runs the full service pro shop, matching gear to bowlers' needs (including drilling the finger holes in your brand new bowling ball); he teaches bowling to beginning and advanced bowlers; and he manages the day to day operation of things including merchant leagues, open bowling and parties & special events. And he's always quick with a smile and a friendly "hello". Bowling leagues start up again for the next season beginning in September. Get in there and sign up! Check out for more information.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dan Fleming

This has got to be the best dressed gardener I've ever seen. Meet Dan Fleming, our Postmaster. In this photo you see him doing what he likes best. A popular guy at the post office, he left for roughly two years to take a Postmaster job in Oak Harbor. But he came back here in January and has now announced his retirement. Asked what's next, he replied that he's not sure, but that he hopes it includes gardening. Take a look at the landscaping up at 815A Spring Street (that's Dr. Kiraly's office across from the water tank at the top of Spring Street) and you'll see the fruits of his labor.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Loea Design

Loea Design is a local screen printing and graphic design company owned and operated by Jennifer Rigg. A graduate of Friday Harbor High School, Jenn left the island a few times, but always managed to find her way back to Friday Harbor. She's had a screen printing business since 2000 - Before Loea she had Pacific Design but she sold that to some folks who moved it to Anacortes. Loea was started in 2006 and with it she has been mainly printing her own designs. (however, she's been designing T-shirts since the age of 13). If you've been to the County Fair and bought a souvenir T-shirt, chances are Jenn designed it and printed it. Same with many of the shirts you'll find at the Whale Museum, or Crystal Seas Kayaking or King's Marine... She's very good at what she does and is wonderful to work with. If you were hoping to drop by and say hello and were to ask me where her studio is, well I could tell ya... but then I'd have to kill ya. She's pretty busy this time of year and can't be bothered with nuisance visitors as she's prepping for the fair.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jaime Ellsworth

After trying out many careers Jaime Ellsworth stumbled onto art never knowing it would compliment her passion for animals so completely.  Painted dogs, real dogs, little horses and life on an island are just a few of her daily inspirations.  She donates many of her paintings to fundraising events for animal welfare organizations. Jaime's artwork is displayed at annual exhibitions in galleries in Friday Harbor and Bellevue, Washington; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Palm Desert, California and Scottsdale, Arizona.  She shares a studio with her daughter Jennifer Rigg of LOEA Design on Market Street just on the outskirts of town.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rocky Bay

One of the best places in town for Breakfast and Lunch is the Rocky Bay Cafe, next door to the movie theater on one side and Sandpebble on the other. During the busy summer months (and sometimes even in the off-season) it is not uncommon to see a line of people outside waiting for a table, it's that good. John Sable, pictured above, is the owner and when it gets that busy you may see him outside, offering coffee and menus to people, and reassuring them that their table will be ready soon. Very good customer service.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Modern & Fabulous

There's a new women's clothing store in town. It's called Modern & Fabulous with modern fashions at fabulous prices. This is the owner, Jennifer Payne holding up one of her new offerings. She offers athletic wear as well and new inventory comes in once a week. Fashion being her passion, she's been selling out of her online ebay store and two other websites for 2 years and on June 1st of 2012, she opened the doors at 818 Mullis Street #4 in Friday Harbor. Away from the high-rents and taxes of a downtown storefront, she can pass those savings along to her customers.

Shahn McGuire

This is Shahn McGuire, a mental health therapist in Friday Harbor. She specializes in marriage and family therapy, including  children, and is one of few around here who does hypnotherapy. A really wonderful person to talk to and help with any issues you may have that are keeping you from moving forward.

Watershed Cabinets

This is Mike Lazzari, owner of Watershed Cabinets on San Juan Island. Mike moved to the island in the mid 1970's and worked doing construction for various contractors and for himself for a number of years. This eventually evolved into his own business selling and installing all types of cabinetry. Possessing a broad knowledge of all aspects of carpentry he does great work with fine attention to detail on new construction and/or remodel projects. He can be reached at 378 2514.


Sandpebble is a gift shop in Friday Harbor with enough variety to satisfy almost any taste. Many of the items on the shelves are fun and will make you chuckle or laugh outright, and many are simply unique and interesting novelties that you might not find elsewhere. Books, home decorations, plaques, greeting cards, candles, clothing – it is rather impressive how much they have to offer. Looking at the store from the sidewalk outside, it may seem like a small shop but it is larger than it appears with a back room almost as big as the front and they have done a great job keeping the inventory fresh and interesting.
Bill and Nancy Niedringhaus have owned the store since 2006. You will see them in the store from time to time, however it is now operated mostly by their son-in-law and daughter Bryan and Carolyn Leighton (That's Bryan in the photo above).
In early 2012 they closed for roughly 30 days while they installed a new floor and put new paint on the walls and ceiling. It is now brighter, cheerier and though there is more in there – it feels more open and roomy as well.
Sandpebble is next-door to Rocky Bay Restaurant on Spring Street, across from the drug store. Check them out – Odds are you’ll find something you like.