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Pet therapy can help with healing, recoveryDarrell Rice loves dogs and has always owned one. But since living at Martha & Mary’s long-term care facility in Poulsbo for the past five years, he’s missed having a pet around.

That’s why Tuesdays are special. He gets regular visits from Poncho, a golden retriever owned by volunteer Kari MacKenzie.

“Poncho rubs me the right way all the time,” Rice said. “He’s so kind and an easy dog to be around and enjoys being with people.” read more »

Cover Story

Cover Story: Special trees made into artIt started with a tree that was going to be cut down six years ago to make way for the parking lot of a Rite Aid store being built in a Northern California town. The landowner selling his property for the development knew Brian Beaulaurier and called to see if he’d be interested in buying the tree.

He was, because this wasn’t just any tree; it was an enormous Bastogne walnut tree that was a century and a half old.

“It had been planted by this gentleman’s great-grandfather in 1865,” Beaulaurier said. “Literally within days of when Rite Aid was going to start construction, I harvested that tree.” read more »

Environment and Ecology

Don Taylor, right, assistant district manager for composting operations at Pierce County Recycling, Composting and Disposal, chats with operator Steve Wandke while visiting the Purdy composting facility.Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula gardeners who utilize yard debris collection services are not only keeping their yards in meticulous shape, they are also helping Kitsap gardeners. The organic waste collected from around Pierce County — everything from recycled Christmas trees to grass clippings and dead leaves — becomes organic compost that is currently sold exclusively through Vern’s Organic Topsoil in Poulsbo. read more »

Cover Story
Coffee roaster marks 10th anniversary with accolades, new tasting room

Grounds for Change owners Kelsey and Stacy Marshall in the retail space of their newly opened tasting room.When Kelsey and Stacy Marshall had an idea more than a decade ago that combined their love of good coffee with their passion for sustainability, they encountered one roadblock after another. Several banks turned them down for loans, even after a few iterations of their business plan.

But the couple persevered. With a $10,000 investment from Stacy’s parents (who’d always had a modest income) and a 100-square-foot cottage they built on their Bainbridge Island property, Grounds for Change was born. read more »


Melissa Beers owns Sweet Melissa’s bakery in Uptown Gig Harbor. (Click for Video)When Melissa Beers saw the new Uptown Gig Harbor shopping center several years ago, she eyed the shops located right next to the Galaxy Theater and thought they would make a great place for a bakery. And although she’s had the dream for one in the back of her mind for years, she didn’t think much of it at the time. But last year, when the opportunity presented itself for one of those same spaces, Beers decided to finally take a plunge. read more »

Human Resources

Kitsap LeadersExperts on leadership have said that one of the characteristics that sets authentic leaders apart is having authentic followers, people who follow them not because of the job title but because these leaders inspire and motivate them. For an organization, whether it’s for-profit, nonprofit or in the public sector, having motivated staff, both paid and volunteer, is key to success. read more »


Real Carriage Door Co. makes all of its doors at a manufacturing facility in Gig Harbor. The doors are all made of solid wood and much of the process involves hands-on craftsmanship.While many homeowners have scaled down their budgets for custom home products in the past few years, one company that hasn’t been affected by the trend is Real Carriage Door Co. The family-owned business, which manufactures custom doors and hardware right in Gig Harbor, has been steadily expanding.

Not only has the company moved to a much larger space in 2007 read more »


Heritage Distilling Co. owners Justin and Jennifer Stiefel stand in front of a 2,000-liter pot still, which was custom-made in Italy and they call "Nona."Gig Harbor will add one more attraction to its portfolio in November, when Heritage Distilling Co. opens its doors. Long before opening, the business had already attracted some buzz, thanks in large part to its unique business model.

The distillery not only produces handcrafted, small-batch premium spirits, but also gives customers the opportunity to do the same. Through a program called My Batch, connoisseurs can choose a pre-approved recipe, run a micro-still and help bottle their own product. read more »


Business partners Leslie Pate, right, and Pam Buitenveld have numerous ideas for their venture and are still trying to wrap their arms around their final concept.Leslee Pate is a third-generation farmer who has been farming in North Kitsap for about 10 years. With a background in natural foods wholesale and retail as well as marketing, Pate said saw a disconnect between local producers and consumers. What started as an idea of a co-op to help bridge the gap grew into The Food Shed, a nascent Kingston business that combines farming read more »

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