Same business, new location: Mosquito Fleet Mercantile moves house

Rob Bates & Sandy Montana

If you want to find Mosquito Fleet Mercantile you’ll have to go to their new location.

After seven years owners Ron Bates and Sandy Montana shut the doors on their storefront located above the ferry terminal on A Street. The couple moved the business to the historic building on 95 Nichols Street, across from Sunken Park.

“When we first decided to open the business we thought the ferry traffic would be good,” Bates said. “But less than 10 percent of our business came from tourists.”

Bates said having low prices contributes to the loyalty the local customers have to the store.

The couple isn’t worried that they’ll be losing any foot traffic, in fact now that they have a parking lot right next door, and a wrap around deck, they’re confident business is only bound to get better.

The canary yellow building was built circa 1895 and once home to the accountant for the Pacific American Fisheries Cannery, Clare Washburn. According to historic records, the Washburn House had something of an open-door policy where men who worked at the cannery often dined with Washburn and his family.

This Nichols Street building, along with the Doctor’s Office cafe on Front Street, are the only two remaining structures on the waterfront associated with the cannery.

Steeped in history, Bates is pleased with the new locale.

“It lends itself to that old, general store feel,” he said.