North Idaho Dental Group: Friends and family
Gates also went through the acceleration series of North Idaho College’s Small Business Development Center, where Mike Wells mentored him.
Maybe someday, the retail and commercial corridor between Riverstone, downtown, Midtown and East Sherman Avenue will be one big, prosperous family.It’s not yet.The recession hasn’t sped things along any, but despite the best efforts of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, the magnetism of this interconnected dynamo must remain firmly in the category of tremendous potential.Riverstone, as the cover story today details, has been a mixed bag in the live/work/walk arena. People who occupy those 130 or so condos got just what they wanted; they’re within walking distance of a nice park and pond, the movies, some shops and several good places to eat. But until the right anchor comes along and moves into the big building that had been reserved for Barnes & Noble, one senses that the whole place really won’t take off.Yet because the original Riverstone is generating positive property tax dollars, you’ll see improvements being made downtown, much as those urban renewal bucks brought Midtown into modern times. And we don’t think it takes too much imagination to see a booming downtown again before long, with prosperity flowing back toward Riverstone and perhaps even infusing investment and excitement along East Sherman Avenue.
POST FALLS – Kari Turnbough likes to cook from scratch.
“I don’t believe in cans and boxes,” she said.
Turnbough recently opened Grandma Zula’s Kitchen in the space formerly occupied by the Milltown Grill and Wooden Shoe restaurants at 306 N. Spokane St., Suite K, in Post Falls.
It’s named after Turnbough’s late grandma, Zula Turnbough, and offers country cooking for breakfast and lunch.
“I want people to walk in feeling like they’re in grandma’s kitchen,” Turnbough said. “Some of my greatest memories were with her. When she made biscuits, my job was always giving them a pinch of salt. When I was little, I pretty much lived at her house. She was always in the kitchen, and I remember big loaves of bread waiting to rise.”
This is Turnbough’s first run with a full-service restaurant, but she has a lot of experience with food.
“When I was a kid, we had a butcher shop and we had mobile concessions,” she said.
She also operates a business called Chef at Your Door, which makes and delivers meals to anyone who wants them.
With Grandma Zula’s, Turnbough believed there was a need for home-style cooking in the area.
“I hate going to corporate restaurants where everything tastes the same,” she said. “I want to have a place where people can have a home-cooked taste without having to cook at home.”
The restaurant makes its own bread, baked goods, pork sausage and gravy. The ham and bacon have no nitrates, and the fries are hand-cut.
“We try to make things as healthy as possible,” Turnbough said.
The breakfast menu includes biscuits and gravy ($4.95 half order; $6.75 full), steak and eggs ($9.49), chicken-fried steak and eggs with gravy ($6.99), eggs-potato-meat-bread combinations ($5.95 to $8.95) and four-egg omelets with toast and endless hash browns ($6.89 to $8.49).
Lunch includes hot, cold or grilled deli sandwiches for $7.39, fish and chips $9.39, chicken Ceasar salad $8.29 and a variety of burgers with fries from $6.49 to $7.99.
The restaurant employs nine.
Hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. Turnbough said the hours may be expanded to dinner later, depending on the market.
The phone number, starting Friday, will be 457-0228.
COEUR d’ALENE - Let’s give it up for aggressive consumerism.
Coeur d’Alene retailers saw jumps in turnout and sales this Black Friday, which some hope indicate an improving economy.
“The industry kind of uses it as a barometer of how the overall sales are going to be,” said Dave Harvey, president of Tri-State Outfitters.
Tri-State’s Coeur d’Alene store set an all-time record for Black Friday sales last week, Harvey said, beating its last record by 20 percent.
Usually Black Friday isn’t the store’s biggest sales day, he said.
But this year, it was.
“It really exceeded all of our expectations,” Harvey said.
The business had expected a healthy turnout because of the store’s recent addition of ski equipment, he said, though the success might also stem from more folks hunting for deals on practical items like jeans, which were among the most popular items of the day.
Harvey also gives credit to the store’s usual giveaway of free wool socks to the earliest risers.
“I think it’s an extra incentive, getting something for nothing,” he said.
Target saw close to 1,000 storm the store’s Black Friday sale, said Greg Foley, Coeur d’Alene store team leader.
“It was told that was several hundred better than previous years,” he said.
Opening at midnight played a big part in that success, Foley said.
And he wonders if individuals are starting to feel less impact from the recession.
“Customers have definitely become a lot more conscious in terms of waiting for those sales,” he said. “But at the same time, I do know for our store, it does feel we’re seeing an increase in shopping this time of year, as opposed to last year.”
Items like discounted TVs and video game systems were the most popular items on Friday, Foley said.
The gains of the sale, he added, are an obvious boon for the store.
“In retail, sales translate to payroll,” Foley said. “It’s really nice to give additional payroll to our teams with the increase in traffic.”
Big 5 Sporting Goods garnered sales just above last year’s Black Friday bonanza, said store manager Jack Cunningham.
“It was so close,” he said. “And close is a win, because last year (the day’s sales) was up big, within 20 percent.”
The store’s popularity is weather-driven, he said, so he attributes last Friday’s crowds to the snow earlier in the week.
The sale garnered more customers, he noted, but most of them made smaller purchases.
“I’d just have to go with the economy,” Cunningham offered as explanation. “I had the big items staged and ready to go, the items we normally run out of, and they just sat. But the smaller items just flew.”
Gift items like snow boots were popular, he said, while game tables were neglected.
Still, the sale was good for the store, Cunningham said.
“Black Friday is very important to the third quarter, and making the third quarter, so yeah, it’s important,” he said. “And it shows a positive kickoff to the Christmas season, which is a good thing.”
The boost in sales this Black Friday could point to more confidence in the economy, said Regional Economist Kathryn Tacke with the Idaho Department of Labor.
That could mean more growth this upcoming year, she said.
“Last year, a lot of people wanted to save, too, and they didn’t come out in quite such big numbers because they couldn’t spend the money,” Tacke said. “This is probably a good sign.”
COEUR d’ALENE - It was kind of like waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square.
Only replace the champagne with hot cocoa and granola bars, the lists of resolutions with tallies of discounted electronics, and the gleaming ball with neon retail lights.
But the energy of the crowd near midnight? The same.
As Thursday’s hours waned, hundreds lined up like human barricades outside major retail outlets in Coeur d’Alene, prepared to stampede toward Black Friday sales at the now prevalent midnight openings.
“It shocked me at first,” said Rena Gould of stores backing up sale times. “But I think it’s going to be easier. It gives me time to go to other places opening later.”
The Bayview resident and her family skipped sleep to drive to Shopko and line up two hours before the 12 a.m. sale.
A worthy sacrifice, she said, to afford Christmas gifts for a family of seven.
“One year, we saved about $400,” Gould said with a grin.
Armed with a legal pad listing the big deals, Jennifer Bickle arrived at Shopko three hours early, making her a shoe-in to save on clothes for her kids.
The Hayden woman was not seduced by the midnight openings, she said, which she deems a portent that Black Friday will soon become Black Thursday.
“I feel bad for the employees ripped away from their families on Thanksgiving to put up with people like me,” she said.
Meaning aggressive Black Friday shoppers.
“If you’re smart, don’t do it,” Bickle said. “There’s pushing, shoving. People try to take things out of your cart. It’s ruthless.”
So in case folks were wondering, earlier hours doesn’t mean less crazy.
Mobbing door-buster sales with the rest of the nation on late Thursday and early Friday, many North Idahoans scored deals on jewelry, clothes and electronics.
But first they had to suffer for it, enduring rain, wind and unhappy driving conditions.
Several had pitched tents outside Best Buy to nab the Sharp 42-inch LCD TVs for $200.
First in line at quarter to midnight was Dolan Valenzuela, 16, looking weary after camping out for over 24 hours.
“I had a job over the summer and saved up my money,” Valenzuela said, adding that he had killed time in line by napping and chatting up other obsessed shoppers. “I wanted the TV for my room.”
The rest of his day was firmly set.
“Just plugging in my TV and start playing games,” Valenzuela said.
Ronald Deucher, camping in line since 8 a.m., said he had been grateful to receive leftover turkey from a Meals on Wheels driver.
“People have been very helpful and friendly,” Deucher said. “Would I do it again? No.”
Waiting for Target’s midnight opening, Jay Myers said he was unsure the cold and the early sale hour were worth all the Christmas gift savings.
“It took me away from my Thanksgiving time with my family. Being here at 8 p.m., when I would usually be with family,” Myers said. “But it was my choice. No one put a gun to my head.”
Kim and Richard Frymire, veteran Black Friday shoppers, agreed it was much easier to stay up late than get up at 3 a.m. to procure a new TV.
“We’re probably going to get what we came for,” Kim said, noting their place at the front of the line. “There’s no guarantee when you’re in the back.”
The same applied at Kohls, where throngs waited for the doors to open at midnight.
Sheila Oetting, who arrived an hour early with her shopping partner, Kelli Shanholtz, said they planned to bulk up on items for a needy family that her own had recently adopted.
“That’s the whole reason we’re out here,” Oetting said. “We’re hoping to get lots of blankets.”
An hour before Fred Meyer’s 5 a.m. sale, many customers remained in their cars as the wind howled.
But Cody Edwards and Levi Berezay stood stoically outside the store doors, sans jackets.
What’s a little suffering, to obtain an Xbox 360 for half price at $200?
“I may be wearing shorts, but I’m determined to get what I want,” said Berezay, 20, who drove from Spokane to get the best price on the game system.
Edwards, also from Spokane, found that running three miles around the parking lot had warmed him enough.
“About 40 minutes left!” the 18-year-old announced, watching employees walk around inside.
The spoils of their mission wouldn’t be enjoyed until later, Berezay said, adding that he had to go to work in a few hours.
Edwards had other plans, too.
“I’m definitely saying sleep,” he said.
NEW YORK - Retailers awaiting the arrival of Black Friday are on the edge. How well they do during the biggest shopping season of the year will have lasting consequences not just on them, but the still-fragile economic recovery.
This weekend, many stores will for the first time use midnight openings along with the usual bevy of deals as they try to lure consumers, whose appetite for good-buys has been increasing since the Great Recession.
Economists and business executives will be watching closely.
“A bad holiday season would raise recession fears again, whereas a strong one would start to dispel those fears,” said Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics for Moody’s Analytics.
That would give companies more impetus to step up hiring, he added.
As usual, success will depend largely on consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. Their spending can impact stores’ expansion plans and inventory decisions into the new year.
And that trickles through the rest of the economy, from suppliers to jobs.
The November-December period accounts for 25-40 percent of annual sales. For 2011, that’s almost half a trillion dollars in revenue from spending on everything from tablets to toys. About a quarter of jobs in the U.S. are directly or indirectly supported by the retail industry.
As the critical sales time begins, economists and merchants are wondering whether shoppers will stick to their lists or pick up some extras for themselves not only on Black Friday but over the rest of the season.
Or will shoppers do what they’ve been doing for several years now – jump on the deals and retreat until the season’s final days when they think the bargains will be better? And how much discounting will be necessary to draw them in?
Just as in the past few years, merchants have tried discounts on holiday merchandise as early as October.
And those 4 a.m. openings on Black Friday are now outdated. The new trend is midnight openings, with many stores like Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s embracing them as they try to be the first to pull in shoppers.
Given this year’s challenging environment, online jewelry site Blue Nile is making a bigger push in marketing, launching its first online sale on Black Friday to snag more female customers.
“It’s going to be competitive. I want to get our brand out there in the mix,” said CEO Vijay Talwar, who estimates that 30-35 percent of annual sales come from the November and December period.
Earlier openings and a dramatic increase in early morning specials have helped make the day after Thanksgiving the biggest day of the year for the past six years in a row.
It’s predicted to keep that crown again this year, according to ShopperTrak, a research firm.
Just because stores have a decent start doesn’t mean the overall holiday period will be good. Merchants had a good Black Friday in 2008, as shoppers showed up for the enticing deals, but the season was a bust.
The impact of that period still lingers, from shrunken orders to the demise of some suppliers, experts say.
That was when spending plunged so much that many retailers were caught with too much product in the pipeline. As a result, they slashed prices up to 80 percent to draw shoppers and raise cash.
Even Saks Fifth Avenue had a fire sale of designer clothes. Others sold jewelry and clothing to liquidators for pennies on the dollar. Some, such as Circuit City, went out of business. And the woes still linger.
Retail hiring for the season hasn’t rebounded to its 2005 pre-recession peak of 642,000 workers, according to the National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest trade group. About 480,000 to 500,000 workers are expected to be hired this season, about even with the 496,000 workers hired in 2010. However, the 2011 forecast is still well above the recessionary low of 239,000 in 2008, according to the trade group.
Stores, scared they’ll be stuck again with too much holiday leftovers, have also kept their inventories lean. And they’re still being forced to push big discounts as shoppers contend with a 9 percent jobless rate and gloomy confidence.
The NRF expects total holiday sales to be up 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion, less than the 5.2 percent increase a year ago but slightly more than the 2.6 percent average increase over the past decade.
Among those watching nervously is Pamela Kebe, a partner at Piccolo Piggies of Georgetown, an upscale children’s clothing store in Washington, D.C., that derives 40 percent of its annual sales from November and December.
Her business is down from 40-50 percent from its 2007 peak. At one point, she liked the challenge of getting shoppers with discounts. But it’s not fun anymore.
Kebe said if she doesn’t have a good holiday season, she’ll have to cut inventory for next year and work with vendors to negotiate more flexible payment terms.
“I am very nervous,” she said. “This is the first time I feel like that.”
Anne D’Innocenzio can be reached at http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio.
COEUR d’ALENE - Three dentists are better than one.
Especially when they’ve known each other for years, respect one another and happen to have a modern facility with the latest technology and a terrific staff.
The eight-person North Idaho Dental Group was created this summer when Dr. Ben Gates welcomed to the practice Dr. Jim Landers and Dr. Paige Landers. Jim Landers is Paige’s father in law, and Ben and Paige have known each other since childhood.
The facility is state-of-the-art and beautifully appointed, designed to make patients feel as comfortable as possible.
But don’t let that scare you.
“I had built a practice which for whatever reason, mostly my location, had the public perceiving it as exclusive or expensive,” said Dr. Gates, who grew up in the Coeur d’Alene area and has been practicing dentistry since 1998. “That’s not the case at all. We’re accessible to our community and we do everything.”
“Everything” includes keeping costs affordable despite offering top service with superior technology and expert care – especially when the lingering effects of the recession haven’t lost their impact on patients.
Dr. Jim Landers, a Coeur d’Alene dentist for more than 35 years, said the rationale behind taking care of your teeth isn’t much different than properly maintaining your car.
“People say ‘I can’t afford it now,” he said.
He begs to differ.
Dr. Landers explained that filling a cavity costs about $150 – not chump change for most people, but a sound investment compared to the alternative.
“If they don’t get the filling,” he said, “that cavity turns into a root canal at $800 or $900,” he said. The root canal is followed by a post and a crown, bringing the total cost of a neglected $150 cavity to about $3,000.
“And the thing is, that filling is the best treatment for the cavity,” he said. “If you wait, you pay so much more for a lesser result.”
Dr. Paige Landers, who graduated from dental school in 2008, said that for those who haven’t seen a dentist in some time, a good starting point is to simply make an appointment for a check-up to get teeth examined and cleaned.
Dr. Gates said North Idaho Dental Group serves young children, the elderly and everyone in between – in other words, entire families.
He explained that opening five days a week and being available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. has helped make the practice more accessible to patients. Further, he said, the staff at North Idaho Dental Group works hard to help patients understand their treatment and insurance options.
“With good communication we can use benefits plans to assist in achieving good care and dental health for our patients,” he said.
Scrud’s Gourmet Grub cafe to open soon
Perhaps the strange variety of words, the menu and special decor will attract a variety of customers as Scrud’s Gourmet Grub cafe opens soon at 206 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene.
Using his teenage nickname Scrud, Brett Lyman and his wife, Emily, will specialize in stuffed burgers that can include cheese, bacon and an onion-mushroom-garlic sauce. They’ll also have hot wings, fresh-cut fries and desserts that include fried zingers and blueberry creamcheese-topped coconut cream pie (called a Sicka Pie). They’ll also have waiver-required five-pound stuffed burgers and hot wings.
Seating 38 customers at tables, booths and the counter, the theme combines baseball, vintage sodas and ’50s and ’60s music. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. With five employees, they’ll also offer take-outs and limited catering.
The Lymans came through Cd’A on a vacation from Mountain View, Wyo., and decided to bring their restaurant business here. Phone 667-6000.
Bakery opens in Athol
Grandma Louise’s sticky cinnamon rolls with raisins and walnuts are the hit of the new Knead n’ Dough Bakery in the little white house with the green roof at 5787 W. Highway 54 in Athol.
Other items include cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cupcakes, pies, homemade soups and sandwiches. Holiday orders can include fruit pies and pumpkin cheesecake.
Owners are the mother-daughter team of Louise Voves and Gwen Bakie, who 15 years ago had their bakery in Spirit Lake.
“Our mom could bake anything with very little,” Gwen said. “Her homemade items were well known. One of her secrets is using potato water.”
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 to 3 Saturdays. Phone 683-9051.
Cd’A Dog Co. in Harbor Plaza
Pet supplies and Invisible Fence are at Coeur d’Alene Dog Co. in Unit 114 of Harbor Plaza at Northwest Boulevard and Hubbard Avenue. The store primarily has dog items, pet doors, high quality food and treats, toys, bark control, remote trainers, harnesses, leads and Invisible Fence pet containment.
Owners Steve and Catherine Van Keirsbulck had a similar business in Atlanta and came to North Idaho in 2008.
“I’ve learned that pro-active responsible pet ownership is the way to go, and our store is geared behind that concept,” Steve said. “We also can find items and get them here for you.”
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and eventually Saturdays. Phone 664-9111. Check www.cdadogco.com.
Vivid Tattoo & Art opens nearby
Idaho natives Cody Reisenauer and Paige DeMers offer tattoos, piercings, portraits, paintings and Lucid Tree Design custom jewelry at the new Vivid Tattoo & Art Studio in Unit 106 of Harbor Plaza.
“Our main goal is to support the art community and show that we’re a clean and classy establishment that caters to all ages – not your usual tattoo shop,” Cody said.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Phone 457-2563.
Tackle these torrid tidbits
• Close to Harbor Plaza mentioned above, Phase 2 of road construction for the new Education Corridor will include a traffic light at Northwest Boulevard and River Avenue now that North Idaho College purchased the former Robin Hood Campground and neighboring Burlington Northern property. NIC enrollment has grown 45 percent in four years.
• On up Northwest Boulevard, new news for Riverstone should be in this space next week.
• And we’re checking out news from a spy that a formerly “for sale” restaurant in downtown Cd’A has a new owner and plan.
• While in the Southeast last week, we bought gas for $3.15 in South Carolina. More notes on that trip later.
• News-style note: Avoid double prepositions such as “at around” and “off of.” Just one of those words works.
• Contact Nils Rosdahl at email@example.com.
The Hedmans have been busy lately.
Really, they’re busy all the time.
Marla is occupied with running the family’s two stores in Silver Lake Mall. She and her daughter, Ellisa, make the business’ baked goods from scratch, her son, Larch, whips up jams and barbecue sauce from their secret recipes, and her youngest, Clancy, helps sell their tasty products.
Even her husband, Al, pieces together gift boxes.
“It’s a way of life for us. That’s all we do,” Marla said. “Most of us work seven days a week.”
It’s worth it to provide a quality product, she said. The Hedmans offer homemade, organic desserts, jams, and sundry other goodies, often featuring the region’s popular purple berry.
The family sells gift products at Elle’s Northwest, and also runs a cafe, Huckleberry Thicket, serving up espresso, desserts, soup and sandwiches.
Products have low or no sugar content, are never made from mixes, and boast a long list of natural ingredients, Marla said.
Even the bread for sandwiches is, you guessed it, made from scratch.
“We’re all-natural and organic,” Marla said. “We have a goal to serve foods that are good for you.”
But since the Montana natives opened the shops in Coeur d’Alene this July, word hasn’t spread as fast as the family would prefer.
“It’s not as busy as we’d want it to be,” Marla said.
So to help promote the store and the family’s vision, the Hedmans are throwing a grand opening this weekend that will allow folks to sample enough products to add huckleberry as a new food group.
On Saturday and Sunday, visitors can indulge in free treats like little smokies, ice cream, pie, brownies, pumpkin rolls and cookies. Folks can sign up for prizes, and can choose from 15 kinds of jams to dress up free pancakes. There will be free espresso or fresh brewed coffee.
“We would do an open house where we come from every year, and had a lot of fun,” Marla said, adding that the business relocated when sales slowed down in Montana. “It will be that way.”
Fun has been the priority since the family business, Larchwood Farms, began in 1986, she said.
She started the company with the intention of running it at home in Trout Creek, Mont., she said, to spend time with her children.
“They started helping me when they were just little kids, when they could barely pack a jar,” she said.
At fairs and shows, she let the kids take money, but only when they turned 8.
“They couldn’t wait to be 8, just to take the money,” she said with a laugh. “When they figured out how to do it, they wanted to move on to something else.”
Operating a family business is ideal, she added.
Her children are her best friends, she said.
“We all get along really well, and it’s nice to be able to see them every day,” she said.
She recommended folks stop by to order pies, rolls and buns for the holidays.
Their products are good options for any day, she added. That’s why she isn’t worried about owning a business in a challenging economy.
“I think people are going back to the simple pleasures,” she said. “They can’t afford a big trip, but they can still afford jam.”