Harvest Fresh named business of the year
Harvest Fresh, owned by Kristin Schofield and Susan Sanford, was named Business of the Year at Thursday’s McMinnville Downtown Association awards banquet, held in the McMinnville Grand Ballroom.
Harvest Fresh opened the doors at its current location in November 1999. It had previously operated out of a building on Baker Street that now houses Mac Auto Pros.
The move came at least partially in response to a 1995 survey indicating a grocery store was what merchants and residents alike most wanted downtown.
In presenting the award, City Manager Kent Taylor noted it’s extremely rare to find a grocery store occupying such a prominent place in a historic district. He commended Schofield and Sanford for taking the risk and making it work, not only for them, but also for the community and its treasured downtown.
Taylor said Harvest Fresh has become part of the cultural and economic fabric with its emphasis on healthy products, excellent service, local sourcing and friendly conversation. He credited the store with helping McMinnville earn “Oregon’s favorite Main Street” honors.
Kyle Faulk, vice president and branch manager at Citizens Bank, was named Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented by MDA Manager Cassie Sollars.
Faulk was named to the post in the spring of 2012 and soon joined the MDA board.
He has since served as treasurer and vice president, chaired the MDA’s Economic Improvement and Turkey Rama committees, and served on the city’s Urban Renewal Advisory Committee. He has also been active with the Lions Club and Ford Family Foundation.
Sollars credited Faulk for being available whenever a volunteer is needed.
Honors for Outstanding Window Display, presented by MDA board member Leigh Ann Jones, went to a pair of businesses sharing a window — La Bella Casa, owned by Jen and Rhonda Feero, and Cupcake Couture, owned by Sam Bergey and Sara Whitfield.
Jones commended the partners for their creative, imaginative and artistic displays. He said they serve to entice customers into their shops.
Rose Marie Caughran, who headed the local public library before her retirement, was honored with the Downtown Beautification award for her decades of downtown beautification effort. Faulk was joined by Zack Geary in making the presentation.
A previous volunteer of the year, she was enshrined into the Volunteer Hall of Fame in 1999. For years, she has promoted the planting of trees and native plants.
Outstanding New Signage honors went to Zach Hixson’s art studio, Left By West, located at 634 N.E. Fourth St. Presenter Jen Feero said 11 new signs created for downtown businesses in 2013, making it a difficult decision.
Hixson originally set up shop in the back of Yamhill Valley Dry Goods. He moved to the larger Fourth Street space in 2012.
He paints landscapes and designs jewelry. Another local artist, Mitch Horning, designed the sign for him.
Sollars presented the Outstanding Associate Member award to Linfield College. Bruce Wyatt, special assistant to the president, accepted the honor on the college’s behalf.
Sollars said the partnership between the college and MDA goes back more than two decades. She said members of the staff and faculty have served on boards and committees and members of the student body have volunteered with downtown events.
When Associate Professor Bob McCann served on the MDA board, he and his students researched and wrote the copy for the historic district’s self-guided walking tour map, still used today, Sollars noted. She said the partnership between the entities is valued beyond measure.
Tommy’s Bicycle Shop, owned by Patrick Vala-Haynes, was honored for Outstanding Exterior Renovation. Presenter Karin Moshier noted the shop has been a fixture on Third Street for many decades.
Erling Thompson bought it in 1950, when it was known as Jim’s Cyclery and located in the space now occupied by Deluxe Billiards. Thompson moved it across the street in 1958 and sold it to Vala-Haynes in 1978.
In conjunction with the renovation, Vala-Haynes painted the building a rich brick-red color and added a fancy bike rack next to the kiosk.
Outstanding Interior Renovation honors were shared by Nick’s Italian Café, Peirano & Daughters and Vino Arcanum.
Carmen Peirano and Michael Stiller are now the principals in Nick’s, a downtown fixture founded by Carmen’s dad. They recently opened Peirano & Daughters next door in space shared with Eric Ferguson’s Vino Arcanum. The presentations were made by Mary Beth Branch.
Branch credited the group from transforming the dark, poorly lit building next door, which was seldom open, from a dark hole to a bright spot. She cited fresh paint, new floors, hand-built tables, fresh flowers and a white subway-tile backsplash, all serving to complement the sausages, salamis and wines served inside.
She also complimented Nick’s renovation, featuring bright colors, a stunning barrel-stave wall and modern tables. She said moving two booths from the dining room served to augment the Nick’s Back Room lounge, which enjoys quaint alley access.
Sollars presented the Manager’s Award to the city of McMinnville. It was accepted by City Councilor Scott Hill.
In particular, Sollars cited the city for creating a new Urban Renewal District, encompassing the Granary District, Northeast Gateway Districts and downtown core, and adopting a room tax, designed to boost tourism promotion. She said both promise to have major positive effects on the future of McMinnville.
Sollars said the MDA calls on city departments for assistance frequently, and can always count on them. She also called City Manager Kent Taylor a treasure who will be greatly missed when he retires at the end of the year.
MDA President Ron Pomery went on to recognize members who have joined MDA in the last 12 months, including Third Street Oil & Vinegar, Ameri-Title, Cascadia Landscaping, Eyrie Vineyards, Freelin-Wade, International City Mortgage, the Odd Fellows Building LLC, Passion Vine, Pura Vida Cocina & Art, Beth and Graham Rankin, Remy Wines, John and Linda Schwichtenberg, Lori Wallace-Loyd, WEB3, the Willis Road Wayside and the Zingara Boutique.
He also asked for approval to change the group’s bylaws to increase the board of directors from 12 to 13.