June 30th, 2003

Mom & Pop store

It’s the traditional mom & pop store, with a few entrepreneurial twists…
It’s The Store, located at the intersection of Commercial Avenue and 37th Street. Owners are Frank and Priscilla Michaud, who purchased the business from Dave Welk in 1990. Old timers are still comfortable in the neighborhood grocery, which features original wood floors and an impressive collection of memorabilia ranging from a tube of Brylcreme to a tin of Sloan’s Linament. Catching the sunlight streaming in from a front row of ceiling-high windows is glassware including old design soda and milk bottles. While The Store still services residents of “The Hill,” but Frank and Priscilla have taken measures to draw customers from the entire city. They started their popular bakery six months after assuming ownership, and followed with a deli and wine shop several months later. Five years ago they converted an outside eating area into an enclosed, full-service dining area, complete with cozy gas fireplace.

Full menu of goods and services
Inflation has taken its toll, but “penny candy” and an old fashioned ice cream freezer still draw neighborhood children. The Store also offers a full line of fresh-roasted coffee, as well as espresso and other flavored drinks. “Mom and Pop” can’t run a seven-days-a-week operation alone, so they are assisted by a staff of 12: Heather, Erin, Laurie, Anita, Lisa, Cassidee, Julie, Kristy, Melissa, Robert, Sara and Cassandra (pictured). Frank serves as head baker, arriving at the store in the wee hours so customers will be treated to fresh baked goods. Stop by as early as 6 a.m. for a nostalgic experience … and don’t leave without having a cup of coffee and a pastry.

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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