PENINSULA — It may be thebottom of the slow season for many local retailers, but winter hasn’t dampened the hopes of a trio of new businesses hanging shingles on the Peninsula in the new year. Monday, Jan. 9, was a monumental day as Blue Collar Eats, Mr. Doobees and Classy Ladies New and Used each opened for their doors for the first time.
Blue Collar Eats
Anthony De Luz, Jennifer Jackson, owners
Noon to 6 p.m.
107A 3rd Street SE Long Beach
It all started on a windy afternoon during the Saturday Market at the Port of Ilwaco in May 2015 with five pounds of sausage and a $20 panini press. By September 2016, the end of their second season, Blue Collar Eats was serving more than 80 pounds of Portuguese-inspired sausage each Saturday.
In January, the business became the latest restaurant to open a retail location on the Peninsula as owners Anthony De Luz and Jennifer Jackson held a soft opening where more than 60 people showed during their first five hours in business.
“It was amazing,” De Luz said. “Sales-wise we did about five times what’s normally done here during this time of year.”
The opening the culmination of a two-year journey for De Luz and Jackson. A former, self-employed commercial general contractor for 27 years, De Luz’s first job in food service came in May 2015.
“I started out the first Saturday of May in 2015,” De Luz said. “I brought five pounds of sausages with me and a $20 Hamilton Beach Panini press.”
The popularity of “Blue Collar Eats” snowballed each Saturday thereafter. Daily postings on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the website have fanned the flames for fans.
“I have a huge social media presence — a huge ball of momentum,” De Luz said. “I spend an hour everyday with social media marketing.”
Their second season at the Saturday Market came easier as De Luz improved his cooking capacity and streamlined his serving approach with his fiancé and co-owner Jennifer Jackson, whom he met at the market earlier in the summer. At the end of the market season, the demand still continued, which led to De Luz to look for a commercial space to keep the momentum they had built going. In November, they found an ideal space at 107A 3rd Street SE Long Beach. Blue Collar Eats offers lunch and dinner specializing in handcrafted sausages, marinates and brined meats.
“We will have a rotating menu with market-fresh veggies and various Portuguese-influenced dishes,” De Luz said.
“All our food is fresh with no preservatives or chemicals.” There were are about half a dozen of Portuguese sausage-inspired dishes offered daily, with an chicken option occasionally mixed in on the marker-board menu. A sausage-on-a-stick is $8, with a bed of rice, peppers and onions is $9, and a rotating daily special is $10. For more information, visit www.bluecollareats.com
H.J. Norris, owner
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1410 40th Street, Seaview
The permanent sign hasn’t yet been hung, but it hasn’t stopped curious customers from coming by.
“They see open signs but they don’t know what it is, then as soon as they’re in here they text and call their friends and the walking billboards start,” Mr. Doobees owner H.J. Norris said during their forth day in business for the newly-opened pot store at 1410 40th Street in Seaview. The store joins Freedom Market as the second retail marijuana store to open on the Peninsula since Oct. 1. Opening day couldn’t have come soon enough for Norris who’s been wrangling regulatory red tape and licensing delays since late July. After the summer opening was delayed, an October opening was planned but was scuttled after a revamp of security measures became necessary to make the former real estate building meet Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Commission code regulations.
“They actually had to issue us a temporary license so we could make things happen sooner than later — but we’re open now,” Norris said.
Originally based in Raymond, Norris has since closed their original location in spite of making more than $600,000 in sales since opening in 2014. Norris felt the Peninsula will provide greater economic opportunity.
“It just didn’t have the demographic for us unfortunately,” Norris said regarding the closing of the Raymond store. “This location (in Seaview) will have the demographic, the Oregon tourists, Rod Run and other festivals — all that stuff.” The store, located at 1410 40th Street in Seaview, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit mrdoobees.com.
Classy Ladies New and Used
Charlotte Nagy, owner
811 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Charlotte Nagy has been a Peninsula resident for the past 15 years but recently took the plunge as a business owner in opening Classy Ladies New and Used.
“We started two weeks ago and we’ve accumulated this,” Charlotte said standing next to racks of clothing, shelves of books and tables with tools on Thursday, Jan. 12.
The business was born from necessity according to Nagy who acquired a “pole barn full” of miscellaneous goods following the death of her father, Phil Nagy. Phil had a knack for going to auction houses and taking whatever odds and ends went unsold at the end.
“He (Phil Nagy) would go to Old Hen’s Auction that used to be up here years ago and he would wait and watch until the end,” Charlotte said. Whether it was a single item or a entire box, Phil would often leave with them all — often for as little as a buck a piece.
“He would take boxes home and put them in the shop and go in the house — never even open them. He did this for 10 years. So by the time he passed away, I had this entire two-story pole barn full of stuff that he never opened,” Charlotte said. “It took me five months to empty the whole thing. I’ve just been buying and selling ever since.” The location, at 811 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, provided the perfect opportunity according to Charlotte.
“It’s a good location, it’s in the middle of Long Beach. I think for Rod Run it will be good,” she said. Sleeping bags, women’s work slacks, bed sheets and tools have been the most sought after items so far. “We know it’s a bad time of year, but we’re hoping for the best,” Charlotte said.