Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the new business in the General Store location will be Rockcroft, but it will be the Friday Harbor Trading Post.
There have been some changes to local businesses.
Island Home Finishes
Appliances have been one of those items islanders trekked off island to purchase. Thanks to a new business in town, times are changing.
Bob Ericson, who grew up on San Juan, opened a Sears Hometown branch, called Island Home Finishes, on the corner of Market Street and Mullis on Jan. 18.
“It was his dream to open a store of his own,” said Lorien Peterson, logistics and sales lead.
Ericson had been a general contractor for over 30 years, and noticed there was no place to buy appliances in Friday Harbor.
A grand opening will be scheduled, complete with a ribbon cutting, during the spring, according to Peterson.
Island Home Finishes carries a wide array of home needs, from mattresses, water softeners and vacuums to washer and dryers, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, and freezers. They also carry flooring and cabinets, with employees on hand to help install them, or assist with remodels. It is possible to order from the hometown website islandhomefinishes.com, and ship it to the store for free.
Peterson also explained that Hometown broke with Sears in 2012, but will continue to contracted with them until 2025. The store is its own individual corporation, she emphasized, however, the contract allows the chain to carry the known and trusted brands and warranties, Sears provides.
Home Finishes hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m – 6 p.m, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. “Coffee and treats are ready,” said Peterson.
For more information call 360-317-4185.
“I bought the building in 1989, and opened that same year,” said Paul Ahart, owner of Island Bicycles, adding that, now in his 70s, he is looking get out of the retail business and have more free time. He is still available by appointment, by calling 360-378-2442 or 360-378-4941.
“When I moved here in 1971, it was not with the intention of working seven days a week until the day I die,” he said noting he is looking forward to doing other things, including bike trips.
Come April, however, the bike shop will reopen as Island Bicycles Precision Services and Repair, a home-operated business. Precision Services will primarily be by appointment and will offer fine-tuning and maintenance, as well as more serious repairs like wheel rebuilding. Pickup and delivery will also be available if necessary. He explained that he will continue to carry an in-depth inventory of repair parts and will maintain his wholesale accounts. The new business will have lower overhead, Ahart said, and he intends to reward his customers by charging less for labor.
“I do really love the work,” he said.
He still has a number of bikes and athletic wear in stock and plans on holding a clearance sale by the beginning of March. As the date for the sale gets firmed up, he will put out an announcement, especially on the Island Bicycles Facebook page.
The General Store, located on Spring Street, across from Kings Market, closed its doors last year. The owners also sold off their deli, to longtime islander Courtney Oldwyn. The deli is located in that same building.
Coming soon, in the space once occupied by the General Store, will be the Friday Harbor Trading Post. The shop will take “the convenience store to a new level,” according to owner Debbi Staehlin, by offering goods made locally and in the Pacific Northwest, as well as hand-picked wines, beers, snacks, tobacco products, and candies.
“We are a small family owned business,” said Staehlin. “My husband, Dave Staehlin, and I have partnered with our daughter Heather Easley to create a store that will appeal to both locals and tourists alike.”