• Retail Update: Install and Inspect

    Of all the updates on progress we’ve given so far (Get Creative, Let’s Build It, and Home Stretch) this one is certainly the most visually dramatically. Shelving and counter tops arrived and are installed, refrigerators came out of their crates and are in position, lighting fixtures are hooked up. It's really coming together!

    Status Update:

    Approvals, Negotiations, Initial Permitting, and Bids: Completed

    Funding: Completed

    Moving the Fire Door & Wall Repair: Completed

    Plumbing and Electrical Infrastructure: Completed

    Tiling and Paint: Completed

    Counter and Shelving Construction & Installation: Completed

    Signage: Delayed (incomplete application)

    Final Inspections: Pending

    Opening: Pending Inspections

    Seattle Times & Community Source Capital

    Before we dive into the construction progress, we want to call out the wonderful article written about Community Sourced Capital in the Seattle Times recently. We were fortunate enough to be included as the example company. Thank you CSC!

    We’re also being invited to participate in some other cool co-ops with CSC, as seen here with Aaron being interviewed. It’s opportunities like these that were afforded to us because of your help and contributions. Thank you again.

    Scullery and Kitchen Shelving

    With the tile wall completed, the plumber was able to install the sinks and water heater, piecing everything together like a careful game of Tetris. The entire scullery now fits within half the back wall and includes a prep sink (with indirect drain), hand washing sink, three basin sink, mop sink (filled via the indirect drain), an oversize grease trap, and on-demand water heater, all surrounded by washable surfaces.

    The other contractors went to work drilling in the stainless steel shelving. It broke our hearts to hear that drill piercing the beautiful tile that was just installed, but the results were well worth it! Soon those shelves will be filled with spices in fancy jars and colorful dishware for serving teas and coffees to pair with the chocolate.

    Pipe Shelving

    Aaron’s dad, John, was in town for a week and graciously agreed to help us a few important details. The big task we tackled was building the pipe shelving, which we couldn’t have done without John’s help. A day or so of design and talking through how far the shelving should reach into the room, another day of purchasing supplies from the hardware store and cleaning the grease off the black iron pipes, and then a day to install. A very fun project to the end.

    We choose to use untreated 12’ planks of wood to get shelving in as quickly as possible. Eventually we will come around to those planks again an update with something that’s received a bit more tender loving care.

    Bar tops

    Soon after the shelves went up we started receiving the big shipments and it became really messy again. It was good we scheduled them all to arrive around the same time, after the general contractor was done painting and repairing, because these monsters were not only extremely heavy but took up a lot of space. You can see the under-counter fridge on the bottom right of the image above, just in front of all the cabinet boxes that would become the sales counter and tasting bar.

    The sales counter is 10’ long, and the bar top 13’ long, and weigh around 150 – 200 lbs respectively. Getting them through the door was a team effort.

    Unfortunately during shipping there was a bit of damage. The marking above that looks like moisture is abrasion from the metal straps that were used to secure the top to the truck bed. It was secured so tightly that the mill scale wore away in some spots. With the metal being so stunning and beautiful, it was hugely disappointing to see so much wear and tear in transit. But at the end of the day, we are embracing raw and functional materials for their natural aesthetic. That aesthetic includes the character they will accumulate over time and we are choosing to celebrate it. Wear and tear is also beautiful.

    This week our builder came out to help install the boxes, set the counter tops, and install the fridge. Above is Aaron leaning over the sales counter to inspect the gap between the steel and the hand railing.

    Time to un-crate the display fridge! This was, by far, the heaviest single element in the shop due to the large areas of glass and mechanical compressors, totaling just under 400 lbs. With a lot of help we got it up onto the counter and dropped into the counter top without losing any fingers in the process.

    What we’re thinking about now:

    Inspections

    Health inspection happens tomorrow morning. The health department is notoriously strict, and it’s many hundred dollars to have them come out to do a second inspection if you fail the first time. This is a biggie. We followed our plan, though, so we are feeling more urgency to be prepared than anything else.

    Plumbing is all wrapped up. The building inspection had a few tweaks requested but nothing to prevent opening. Electrical will be completed soon.

    Fire inspection requires an alarm test. Unfortunately the first opportunity to do so is next Tuesday, May 19th.

    DPD will need these things before inspecting the structure. This means we’ll slip on the opening date just a bit, maybe until Wednesday the 20th. Hopefully we can wrangle that date in a bit. We'll see.

    Signage

    We were, however, given an “incomplete” status on our application for signage which will eventually go before the neighborhood historic preservation board. This is hugely frustrating. We feel our asks are very minor, put together a professional and clear application, waited a month before hearing anything, then asked to update the application with more requests (paint samples, wet signatures instead of electronic as if these are highly sensitive legal documents), and wait again. We’ll deal with it and open without signage.

    Stikwood

    Tonight we’ll be building a front to the counter tops and bars and applying stikwood to the front to give the counters a reclaimed and weathered wood look. Stikwood is particularly good for this because it is thin, pre-treated, and comes with an adhesive backing that will allow us to apply it quickly.

    When the boxes arrived, I thought for sure it would take at least 10 – 12 of these to equal 120 sq ft of coverage. Nope! They are that thin.

    That’s it for now. More to come!

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