Businesses open, change hands in Blaine

Published on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 by Ian Ferguson

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New conductor at Little Red Caboose café

The Little Red Caboose in Blaine is under new ownership, and as the weather warms, business is picking up for owner Patty Travers.

Originally from Port Townsend, Travers brings a background of fast food management to the unique breakfast and lunch venue set inside a real caboose. 

So far, she likes the change of pace.

“It’s more laid back, and I like that I can cook everything fresh,” she said. “I love to cook – it’s just something that makes me happy.”

Travers opened shop officially on May 15 and took on the job with the mentality that “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” 

Much of the menu remains as it did under the previous owners, with a full breakfast menu and sandwiches, panini, soups and salads for lunch. That’s not to say Travers is opposed to innovation – she’s introducing new items slowly but surely.

Customers can try a shrimp salad Po’ Boy with sweet and savory mango sauce, or a turkey and havarti cheese panini. Fruit salad is now a side option. Sausage with biscuits and gravy is another recent addition and an updated mustard mix is spicing up the menu.

“Our espresso milkshakes are the best in town – guaranteed.” Travers added.

So far, business has been steady.

“We’ve seen a lot of tourists, and some of the regulars have been wonderful,” Travers said. “It’s been a really nice four weeks.” She added that she and her three sons have felt welcomed by everyone in the community.

“They’ve really made us feel at home here,” she said.

The Little Red Caboose will run a smoker for the Fourth of July festivities, offering ribs, hot dogs and other goodies to hungry passersby. 

Located at 795 Peace Portal Drive, the restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Downtown consignment shop to open Thursday, June 27

A new consignment shop is just around the corner for Blaine.

Nancy Hamilton gained experience in the consignment trade working at Needful Things consignment on Peace Portal Drive. Now that owner Brenda Graves has shut down shop and moved to be near her grandchildren, Hamilton is fulfilling a lifelong dream of running her own business by opening her own consignment store across the street.

“At 62 years old, I’ve finally found something I’m excited about doing,” Hamilton said.

Merry Go Round consignment will focus totally on home decor – furniture, vases, candles, wall hangings and other decorative pieces. Items will be received for consignment on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the store will be open for sales Thursdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Local builder Tom Bridge has been remodeling the space, and Hamilton said she’s excited to rip down the paper covering the windows to reveal the changes on opening day Thursday, June 27.

Along with fresh paint, the changes include a new play space for kids.

“People can bring in their kids while they shop around,” Hamilton said. “I want people to feel at home here. It’s a beautiful space.”

The shop is located on the corner of Peace Portal Drive and H Street, in the same corner unit that once housed Needful Things before it moved to its location next to Blaine Bouquets.

“I joke that I’m right on the corner of Main and Main in Blaine,” Hamilton said.

Merry Go Round has already received many phone calls, Hamilton said, and will be open to take items for consignment on Tuesday, June 25.

“I probably owe it to Brenda (Graves), what I’m doing. We saw a need for it, and I wanted to give back to the community that my husband and I have lived in for 15 years,” Hamilton said. “It’s a great little community with some great businesses, we just need more of them.” 

Pet grooming salon opens

Grooming With Love Pet Styling and Boutique goes the extra mile to make pets – and their owners – comfortable with the grooming process. Tara Pavone opened the grooming salon at 1733 H Street on May 24, and business has been going strong. 

“We strive to create a calming atmosphere, and we really cater to the client’s needs,” Pavone said. Dogs are groomed in the open so they don’t feel trapped behind closed doors, and lots of loving “hugs and kisses” keep pets happy through their grooming and styling.

Pavone brings years of pet sitting experience and a certificate from grooming school to the business. She hired Tammy Wojcik as an assistant, and Pavone’s husband Gary helps out with transportation and washing.

Customers can arrange for their pet to be picked up, groomed and dropped off at home. Of course, they can also schedule appointments over the phone or just walk in to the shop any weekday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The shop will stay open for extended hours if it suits the customer.

“We want to make grooming convenient,” Pavone said. Another component that adds to the convenience is overnight home-boarding. Pavone will accommodate up to four dogs at her home for the night, so clients can drop off their dog for a grooming and pick them up the next day.

For those who want to spoil their pet rotten, Pavone offers fun styling such as bows, bandanas and even painted toenails. All products, from shampoos to spa products, are pet safe.

Grooming With Love will open a pet boutique later this summer, offering fun and useful pet products such as brushes, combs, shampoos, conditioners, ear cleaning products, skin and fur products, leashes and toys.