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New tenants take up residence at Bayview Cash Store
Three South Whidbey businesswomen will tempt fate this week when they open a joint venture in the space only recently occupied by the Star Store in Bayview.
Sheila Streicek of Tres Gringos, and Vicky Brown and her daughter, Christine Maifeld, of Little Brown Farm, have joined forces and are planning a “soft” opening on Friday, Oct. 18, at 11 a.m.
The enterprise will be a bit … different, the trio admits. Streicek, formerly vending from a Ken’s Korner location and at the Bayview Farmer’s Market, will offer her signature Mexican food in a traditional deli-like setting. Cold foods meant to be taken home for reheating, and favorites like her $3 tacos, will all be available.
“I opened Tres Gringos to create beautiful food at affordable prices on the island,” Streicek said.
But a deli is where the similarities with the Star Store will end. Brown and Maifeld are essentially launching a pop-up business that will offer just about everything under the sun, from cookware and supplies to jewelry and fine art. The only requirement is that it be locally made.
“If it’s not from Whidbey Island, it’s not here,” Brown said.
Reminiscent of a bazaar or a Bayview department store, prices, like inventory, will be across the board, from $20 earrings to $3,200 gallery-quality works of art.
According to Brown, the idea was never to try to replicate the Star Store, a venture operated by people who have been in the grocery business for decades.
“I can’t reinvent their wheel and do it better,” Brown said. “What I can do is what I love and that’s supporting local.”
Both businesses plan to target island residents, rather than attempt to claim a slice of Whidbey’s seasonal tourism pie. Hand-crafted island products for island residents is the goal, Brown said.
The joint venture is, however, only a temporary partnership. Brown is only leasing her portion of the former grocer’s space until the end of the year, Dec. 31. From there, it will be Streicek’s show.
She is hoping by then to have established a stable base and be able to expand with a larger seating area, though not all the details have been worked out yet. As of Monday afternoon, Streicek and her seasonal business partners were still working feverishly to prepare for the opening later this week.
“I haven’t gotten past Friday yet,” Streicek laughed.
“I just like making really good food and letting people enjoy it,” she said. “This is a great opportunity.”
While Friday is a soft opening, a grand opening is scheduled for Nov. 2.