Kennel owner opening pet food store
Randy Freeman, owner of the Pets Stop Inn grooming and boarding facility and Precious Pets cremation service, plans to expand his operations with the opening of The Pet Place, an all-natural pet food store, in the former Wells Fargo bank location at 170 N.E. 12th St.
Freeman said renovation is now under way and he hopes he'll open for business in about two weeks. In addition to knocking out some walls and installing some new tile, he said, he is updating the landscaping, re-striping the parking lot and creating a new entry to replace the drive-through window on the back side.
There is still a bank vault on the premises. The vault door will be strapped back and the space will be designated The Cat Vault, a repository for cat supplies.
Freeman said the store's motto will be, "Natural grub for the pets you love." He said it will feature an array of brands, including Taste of the Wild, Natural Balance, Diamond Naturals and Great Life.
The store will also carry toys and treats, and feature a customer reward program. "I felt it was a natural fit for us," he said.
Freeman's family has been raising dogs for more than 35 years and he's been training dogs professionally for 18 years. To assist in the venture, he has hired Rhonda Cowart, a pet food expert who is active in pit bull rescue.
TOP 100 LIST
Three local companies have made the Oregon Business magazine's 2012 list of the top 100 to work for in Oregon.
The awards are divided among large, medium and small businesses.
Western States Insurance, with 83 employees working out of offices at 1411 N.E. Adams St., was ranked eighth among 34 medium-size companies. Hagan Hamilton Insurance, with 40 employees working out of offices at 448 S.E. Baker St., was listed at No. 32.
Listed No. 28 among 33 top small businesses was Sokol Blosser Winery, 5000 N.E. Sokol Blosser Lane in Dayton, which has 28 employees.
The magazine has been releasing a Top 100 list for 19 years. This year, more than 14,000 employees from 263 companies participated in the surveys on which selections are based.
:NEW DENTAL OFFICE
Aspen Dental is planning to open an office in the former Blockbuster video rental space in the McMinnville Plaza, 2400 N.E. Highway 99W. The center, anchored by Safeway, is located at the intersection of Highway 99W and Lafayette Avenue.
A national chain operator, Aspen Dental boasts more than 330 officers in 22 states.
It offers exams, hygiene services, periodontal treatment, oral surgery and whitening services, in addition to fillings, extractions, crowns, bridges and full and partial dentures. It also offers an oral cancer screening service based on digital radiology.
The office, slated to open Thursday, March 15, will book appointments for evening and Saturday hours and accept walk-ins on an emergency basis. It is promising below-market rates, senior discounts, special promotions, free new-patient exams and a willingness to work with all insurance providers.
For more information, call 503-376-7166.
Rhonda Pope, no stranger to the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, has just become the chamber's new director of communications and events.
Pope worked for the chamber from 1995 to 2003, then left to care for her ailing father. When she returned to the area in 2004, she took a job with OnlineNW, and that led to subsequent positions with the News-Register and Oregon Wine Press.
She's been active in the community through the McMinnville Kiwanis Club and the chamber's ambassador committee. She said she's been getting a great reception in response to her return.
She can be reached at 503-472-6196.
Retro Rama, located in the basement of the La Bella Casa quarters at 406 N.E. Third St. in downtown McMinnville, is planning to close at the end of the month after about 15 months in operation.
"I really hate leaving this building," said Cheri Dickey, who co-owns the store with Christy Sieber. "It's been so awesome."
She said building owners Jen and Rhonda Feero had been great to work with. "It's been a hard decision," she said.
While they are giving up their storefront, they plan to continue selling through eBay, the McMinnville Antiques Mall at 824 S.E. First St. and a website at www.retroramacheri.com.
Also falling victim to recent closures is the Cold Stone Creamery, vacating space next to Starbucks in the parking lot of the McMinnville Market Center at 877 S.W. Keck Drive, and the Taste wine bar, vacating space at 448 Third St. downtown. Calls seeking additional information were not returned.
Zach Christensen, a fifth-generation Yamhill County farmer, has been elected north valley president by the Oregon Wheat Growers League.
He owns and operates Christensen Farms, located west of McMinnville, with his wife, Crystalin. It has been in his family for 110 years.
Gail Snyder, senior international trade specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, will address a noon luncheon meeting of Newberg's Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
The meeting will be held in the community center at Friendsview Springbrook Meadows, 4061 Hayes St. Snyder will focus on how her agency has helped Oregon companies explore international markets.
The cost is $18 at the door. For more information, call 503-538-2014 or e-mail email@example.com.
:HEAD START BENEFIT
Serendipity Ice Cream will donate 25 percent of its proceeds between 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, to Head Start of Yamhill County. Pre-orders will be accepted at http://serendipityicecream.com/menu/html.
Artwork by Head Start students will be displayed in the windows at the store, located at 502 N.E. Third St. For more information, contact Wendy Hoag at 503-474-9189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brides who want to have the chance to try for a free wedding through "McMinnville, I Do," need to submit their applications by Thursday, March 15.
The giveaway is being coordinated by Kathy Campbell, manager of the outdoor Marketplace at the McMinnville Public Market, and Carol Carns, owner of You're Invited Party Rentals & Supplies. Application forms and additional details are available at You're Invited, 828 S.E. First St.
Molly Walker, the News-Register's business editor, can be reached at email@example.com or 503-687-1272.