It was six years in the making, but Chuck Patterson is pleased how his store turned out.
Patterson and his wife, Barbara, recently opened Welcome Grocery Store on the Mount Baker Highway near the Mosquito Lake Road turnoff. Along with groceries and fresh produce, the store has an open concept kitchen offering a variety of meals, including sandwiches, burgers and fish & chips. The store also has more than 250 different types of beer.
Along with it being a store, Patterson is hoping that it becomes a regular gathering spot for nearby residents to meet and get caught up on the local happenings.
“I’m hoping people think of this as more of a community center,” he said.
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When Patterson bought the building six years ago, he determined it had outworn its useful life. So he began a variety of projects on the outside and interior of the building.
“You couldn’t just put a coat of paint on it and open it up again,” Patterson said.
The outside of the building has a deck with seating and Wi-Fi. To improve visibility, he plans on having street lights installed.
He also has a 25-foot vertical propane tank with “Welcome” painted on it. The store will sell non-ethanol fuel, which Patterson said is good for smaller motors. Eventually he wants to refurbish a toy helicopter machine he has for children to ride. The property has a second building, which Patterson hopes will one day become a hardware/lumber store.
In the few weeks the store has been open, Patterson said the grocery staples have been popular, with people wanting to pick up something like milk they forgot to get in town. They’ve also had plenty of skiers drop in.
“It’s been great how supportive everyone has been. We’ve had a lot of thank yous,” Patterson said.
With spring and summer seasons coming soon, the Pattersons are working on other lunch and dinner packages that might appeal to hikers and campers.
The store is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. expect on Sunday, when hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The store is having a grand opening celebration on Friday, Feb. 19, with raffle giveaways and sales. Details about the store can be found on its Facebook page or by calling 360-922-7294.
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