Open House at The Artful Seat

You’ve seen the sign in the window at 328 Pioneer Street – now the store is open! The Artful Seat had a soft opening this week, and will host an open house Wednesday through Saturday, February 5-8 from 10am to 5 pm. There will be refreshments, and you’ll get a chance to see some lovely refurbished furnishings and gifts galore. Stop by and say ‘hello’ to our newest business.

Allisan and Roy0001

It’s always fun to learn more about our creative business people, and here’s the story on the new owners of The Artful Seat.

Ten years ago Roy and Allisan Buckingham moved to Ridgefield to live a more sustainable and earth friendly life. Roy is a long time employee of Whole Foods Market and Allisan is a retired teacher.

They built a straw bale house, raise chickens and grow fruits and vegetables using basic permaculture principles. Allisan has had an in-home sewing business for many years, everything from bridal to home decorating and upholstery. She enjoys taking old furniture and giving it new life. A little paint and new fabric makes someone’s throw away into someone else’s treasure. So when the space next to the Ridgefield Florist became available Allisan, along with the help of her sister Sue and brother-in-law Ed, decided to take her love of fabrics and upholstery and open The Artful Seat.

After finding discarded chairs, benches, ottomans and stools, she gives them a recycled and sometimes repurposed life.

Come and visit with Allisan and discover your own treasure. Store hours are Wednesday- Saturday, 10:00am – 5:00pm. Phone: 887-2255.

UNFI Buys Second Parcel

UNFI logoUnited Natural Foods Inc. has paid more than $2.1 million for a 7-acre land tract in Ridgefield next door to the company’s giant warehouse distribution center. It is unclear whether an expansion is planned for the Providence, RI-based company.

United Natural opened its 260,000-square-foot Ridgefield facility in 2007 in the Union Ridge development on the east side of Interstate 5 at 7909 S. Union Ridge Parkway. Approximately 200 people now report to work at the Ridgefield facility.

United Natural, or UNFI, is a publicly traded wholesale distributor of natural, organic and specialty food items for grocery retailers in the United States and Canada. According to its website, the company supplies more than 27,000 customer sites across the U.S. and Canada, and is a major supplier to the Whole Foods grocery chain. It also serves other retail formats, including organic grocers, conventional supermarket chains and independent retail operators. Ridgefield Industrial Venture LLC was the seller.

RBA to Meet

RBA logo

The January Ridgefield Business Association meeting is Wednesday, January 29th, at 5:30pm.

Guest Speakers Lynn Cornelius, Trink Nernie Schurian and Gail Alexander will speak about the programs at the Plankhouse and the habitat restoration projects on the Refuge.

The meeting will be at Myrtle’s Tea House & Herbery, 321 North 3rd Avenue, 887-9018.

Social time is at 5:30 and the meeting starts at 6:00. It is open to all.

Membership dues to the RBA are $75.  Be a part of the group that is making a difference in Ridgefield!

Ridgefield Roasters

Rain Drop Roasters

Many of you have asked when Ridgefield Roasters/Rain Drop Roasters will be opening a retail shop…Well, instead of opening a retail shop, we’re opening our coffee roasting room on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-11AM.  A great stop before heading out to the wineries! The roasting room is at 21411 NW 9th Avenue, 241-9711.

We’ll have brewed, whole bean and ground coffee available. We will also feature our Christmas Trio Blend, a naturally flavored coffee with vanilla from Madagascar, chocolate and a hint of rum. Delicious.

You can place your order now, or before December 20th, and pick up at the red barn roasting room. Just give us a buzz (wait, I guess that’s what our coffee will do) at 241-9711, and let us know you’re coming.

See how coffee is roasted while you sample certified organic, fair trade coffee roasted in Ridgefield. Several of our coffees won the People’s Choice Award 2010-2013.

Our new packaging makes great stocking stuffers.

Sweets and savories are also available.,

Alcove Art Gallery

Alcove logo

Alcove Art Gallery is closing its storefront location at 328 Pioneer Street in downtown Ridgefield. Their last day of business will be Sunday, December 22. Shop for your holiday gifts until then. Hours through the 22nd are Thursday – Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

We will have a closing day reception from 3:00-5:00 pm with food, wine, and music. Please stop by so we can show our appreciation for your business during the last four years.

Check our website for future locations and shows

Denise Koopman to Retire

Denise Koopman, the Country Financial agent here in Ridgefield is retiring. Here’s what she has to say:

The last ten years I have been with COUNTRY Financial have been some of the best of my life, with seven of those years here at my downtown Ridgefield office.  I am honored to be working for a company that values expertise and experience, but also genuine compassion and care for their clients.  I also am grateful for the relationships I have built throughout my career with COUNTRY with the local community members and with my clients.  Some of my favorite activities have been the Bicycle Rodeo I sponsor during National Night Out, and the Ridgefield Welcome Bags campaign, both because of the wonderful friendships I have had the pleasure of making and the feeling of community it brings.

That is why it is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from being a Career Agent with COUNTRY. After 10 years with COUNTRY Financial, the time has come for me to retire from a career in sales and as a Career Financial Representative here at my Ridgefield office.  Although I am sad to be leaving COUNTRY and the people and clients who have enriched my life for so long, I am excited about what new adventures this crazy ride called life will bring.  I will be closing my office during the month of December and no longer acting in the role of an insurance agent or financial rep. If, my friend, you also happen to be one of my valued clients, please be assured, you will be in very capable hands with the agent taking my place in Vancouver, and you will still have the advantage of being insured with COUNTRY Financial – in my humble opinion, the best home/auto/life insurance company there is.

The good news is, this gives me an excuse to throw a 10-year-anniversary/Retirement/office-furniture-fire-sale PARTY here at my office: Tuesday, December 3rd. open house from 3pm to 7pm. There will be nibbles and champagne, a silent bid format for larger furnishings, and lots of door prizes.

Please come by my office to have a glass of champagne, reminisce a little and send me off into the next chapter of my crazy adventure through life.

Please stay in touch too, you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn if you haven’t already.

Warmest Regards, Denise Koopman, 887-2211

We’ll miss you Denise – I hope you’ll stay involved with Ridgefield.

Ammo Depot Comes to Ridgefield

Ammo Depot has leased 6,800 square feet of industrial space from the Port of Ridgefield at 600 South 74th Place, Unit 103.

Ammo Depot has three stores in California.


Ridgefield resident Mike Bomar has been selected as the new Columbia River Economic Development Commission president, effective December 2.

The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is a private-public partnership of 140 investors working together to advance the economic vitality of Clark County through business growth and innovation.  Through collaborative leadership, the CREDC promotes job quality and capital investment while maintaining the county’s exceptional environment and high quality of life.  Since 1982, the CREDC has created 28,800 jobs, representing a cumulative annual payroll of $1.2 billion for Southwest Washington.

Congratulations to Mike!

Parks Survey

City of Ridgefield logo

The community survey regarding parks and recreation services is scheduled to close on the evening of Friday, August 23rd.  A paper survey was included in the recent City of Ridgefield utility bills, and it is available to take now on the City’s website. The survey focuses on your current use of park facilities, preferred activities, and support for future improvements. It takes on average just five minutes to complete and is an excellent opportunity to participate in planning the future of Ridgefield. Everyone that completes the survey will be entered into a raffle for a $25 Visa gift card.

Take the survey now at

The involvement of Ridgefield residents plays an important role in guiding the city’s update of its Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and in providing direction for how outdoor recreation spaces are acquired, connected and managed to contribute to the community’s character.

Ridgefield has experienced significant growth since the adoption of its last parks system plan.  As such, the Plan needs to be revised to address community demands and opportunities for local recreation experiences. The Parks Plan will guide the City’s efforts and establish a way forward for providing high quality, community-driven parks, trails, open spaces and recreational opportunities throughout Ridgefield.

Business Association Meeting on Wednesday

Russ Roseberry of the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge will talk about Bird Fest at Wednesday’s meeting of the Ridgefield Business Association. The meeting will be at the Port of Ridgefield offices, 111 West Division and the public is invited. Social time starts at 6:30 and the meeting begins at 7:00.

The business association will have a booth at National Night Out at Abrams Park on August 6 from 6 to 8. Come to either event and get more information about the business association and how it benefits our town.

Artist Paul Lucas Relocates in Ridgefield

I spent 2 ½ hours on Monday, talking to Paul Joseph Lucas about his life, his art and his relocation in Ridgefield. This popular artist was forced out of his previous location because of the future expansion of the road into Battle Ground, and he’s now at 6400 NW 179th Street. He’s renovated the existing building into a wonderful gallery displaying his work.

Paul has always been an artist, starting when he was five years old and won an art competition through KOIN. He is a man of many talents. He has a slew of trophies from building model cars and a whole wall of memorabilia in his living area. He lived on the Oregon Coast where he had solo shows of his art work, and moved back to Ridgefield in 2008.

Paul sells his artwork through the Portland Art Museum and through his own gallery here in Ridgefield. His oil paintings on canvas and stainless steel are large and evocative and his sense of light and color is magic. The large open space where his paintings are exhibited is well lit and the work shows up very well.

A defining moment in Paul’s life was his visit to a vortex, which he originally debunked. He was physically affected by the forces he experienced and returned several years later to translate his feelings about the area into paintings, and his work from then on was affected by this profound experience.

Paul says he’s ‘living his dream.’ He teaches a select group of students, and is pleased that their work is starting to sell. Paul is in the process of producing a documentary on theoretical work in quantum physics, and feels he’s on a journey of exploration, trying to find out ‘what makes us tick?’

I invite you to visit Paul’s gallery and talk with him yourself. Hours are Friday through Sunday from 11 to 4, or by appointment. He will have a grand opening celebration on September 13, 14, and 15, from 11am to 5pm, and the public is invited to attend. It’s well worth your time.

Paul may be reached at 503-812-0386.


AIG to Break Ground for New Building

Jim Buchan announces that AIG will pick up the site permit for their new building on Monday, and will have a ground breaking ceremony at the property on Tuesday at 3:00. The building location is approximately 5965 S 6th Way Ridgefield WA.

The building will have 86,000 square feet of steel fabrication manufacturing space and 10,000 square feet of office space.

Their steel fabrication is fully automated CNC and serves the industrial and commercial construction markets in the western United States.

Explanation of CNC from Wikipedia:  In modern CNC systems, end-to-end component design is highly automated using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. The programs produce a computer file that is interpreted to extract the commands needed to operate a particular machine via a post-processor, and then loaded into the CNC machines for production. Since any particular component might require the use of a number of different tools – drills, saws, etc., modern machines often combine multiple tools into a single “cell”. In other cases, a number of different machines are used with an external controller and human or robotic operators that move the component from machine to machine. In either case, the complex series of steps needed to produce any part is highly automated and produces a part that closely matches the original CAD design.

Buchan Development is the owner of the facility which will be leased to Alliance Industrial Group, Inc and its subsidiary Alpha Iron Inc. Owners of Buchan Development, Alliance Industrial and Alpha Iron are Jim and Lisa Buchan of Vancouver Washington.

Please give a warm welcome to this new company in Ridgefield.

Neighborhood Meeting on Monday

Reminder – the Ridgefield Junction Neighborhood meeting is Monday, May 13, at the Dollar Tree store. Doors open at 6:30 and the program, by various groups in the area, begins at 7:00

The PNWBF Fire

A fire Thursday afternoon damaged Pacific Northwest Best Fish Company.

The fire was reported shortly before 4 p.m. at the business, which is located at 24415 N.E. 10th Ave., in a rural area of Ridgefield. The building was evacuated.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the eaves of a wooden outbuilding where seafood is cooked and sold for immediate consumption, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, spokesman for Clark County Fire & Rescue. The crew used a thermal imaging camera to find out where the fire was; firefighters cut a hole in the north wall behind a fryer and extinguished the fire.

Fire trucks and water tenders from CCF&R were dispatched to the fire, along with command staff. Power and gas was shut off temporarily while firefighters worked.

Here’s more information today from Kelly Beckwith from PNWBF

Kathy – for your readers – I just want to say that the fire was NOT kitchen related, it has been determined as an accidental fire by the Fire Marshall’s office.  This will not affect our food quality, friendly atmosphere and excellent customer service.  We are proud to be involved with a great local community, customers have been very understanding and the fire department lead by Tim Dawdy was fabulous in extinguishing the fire with no extra major damage.

Gerard Launches New Product on Kickstarter

Martin Gerard was featured on the blog awhile back. He now has a new product, an iPad holder called ‘the Easel,’ which he’s promoting on Kickstarter, and he invites you to participate.

Kickstarter is a company that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects using crowd funding through its website. With Crowd Funding artists and artisans are trying to gear up for large production rather than sell one at a time. This is required to cover expenses of gearing up for production.

Martin lives in Ridgefield and has had his fine woodworking shop in Vancouver for the last six years. He has been building fine furniture for 30 years. He has always loved product design and working with curved woods.

Product Features:

The Easel was designed to be easy loading and unloading as well as have access to all ports, switches and volume. The aluminum rails protect the wood as well as the iPad and have rubber feet to protect surfaces and prevent slipping.

It is available in four woods; Zebrawood, Cherry, Maple and Sapele with aluminum anodized in both brushed and polished finishes.

It is very easy to use and very lightweight, also easily stands on its own in a very deliberate and stable manor.

“I was going for a look like a classic wood boat or a vintage electric guitar but it had to be very lightweight. It’s very ergonomic and has a variety of uses from your lap to hands free in bed and in the kitchen while being something that is elegant and made with high end materials. It is like holding a nice guitar and all the iPad technology at the same time.”

For more information:,, 360-903-2918