Getting Back to Business Bainbridge Island Style (Part 5) – PopcornChef and Plum
It’s been a long tough road over the last few months, and although we’re not out of the woods just yet, we’re resilient, and slowly—under County and State re-opening guidelines—we’re opening our doors again to the public. Through this series, I’m excited to share the stories of our Island businesses—what they’ve been doing over the last few months and what they have planned going forward (please note: I’ll be featuring at least two businesses per article).
Per state health order 20-03, a facial covering must be worn in both indoor and outdoor public spaces (when you’re within six feet of people outside your household) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and our businesses open.
PopcornChef – throughout Doña Keating’s career as a prominent innovator in the policy and management consulting industry, she frequently used a family-owned gourmet popcorn company to ship gifts to her clients both in the U.S. and internationally, she loved it, and wanted to franchise the business, but the owner’s repeatedly declined. When she settled locally, she decided to branch out on her own, and PopcornChef was born in 2005!
Originally, PopcornChef sold online and through some retail stores, such as the old ice-cream shop on Winslow and 305. She also sold at local events such as the Vikingfest, Grand Old 4th, Kitsap Wine Festival, and several others. Not long after the business was formed it exploded and she moved away from retail to online only, catering to a wide variety of clients worldwide, gaining a huge foothold in the corporate market.
When Covid-19 hit, they decided to re-enter the local retail market, and now offer online ordering, featuring bags of your favorite gourmet artisanal popcorn in 6, 12, or 24 packs, as well as smaller snack-size bags, which are available for pick-up each Wednesday at the Winslow Green gazebo. They also continue to offer larger orders, which can be shipped per the purchaser’s instructions.
While they’re not quite sure how long they’ll continue the “pop-up” sales at Winslow Green gazebo, you can still grab yours, order at https://www.popcornchef.com/korn
Doña resides on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Charles, and their daughter.
Plum is located in the heart of downtown Bainbridge Island on Winslow Way, nestled into a wonderful little inlet next to Millstream. The owner, Theresa Collier, has been an island resident since 2000, and while raising her son, she worked for Bloedel Reserve establishing their gift shop, but she’d always dreamed of opening her own boutique. In 2014 that dream became reality, and Plum was born—the shop’s name is an ode to plum blossoms, which are the first to bloom after winter and symbolize strength and resilience—and Plum is the embodiment of that concept, you feel as if you’ve walked into an early spring garden, full of beautiful new treasures waiting to be discovered.
When she initially opened, she mostly housed home décor and gifts, however as the shop became more established and her relationship with her customers grew, she soon realized they wanted more, and has since added beautiful one-of-a-kind clothing, hand-crafted jewelry, accessories, and books.
“Plum is an Asian-inspired, Pacific Northwest-style shop featuring clothing, books, home goods, gardenware, jewelry, handbags, and more. Our store is located in the heart of downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island. And our online shop is right here! Our inspired and unique selections, many from local artisans, are thoughtfully curated to represent the natural and beautiful world in which we live.”
In anticipation of re-opening, Theresa sent out an email blast to her customers asking what would make them comfortable returning to the Plum shop and what they’d like to see in the shop going forward, and of course she listened carefully!
Wearing masks in the store the was an obvious requirement, but she also installed hand sanitizers at the entry/exit, has instituted diligent cleaning of the store and products (after a clothing item is tried on, she thoroughly steam cleans it before returning it to the display rack), limiting the number of customers in the store at one time, offering private shopping appointments or virtual shopping assistance, and installing contactless pads for payment (Apple Pay or Google Pay). 80% of the clients she surveyed also asked for fun new clothing, accessories and jewelry, so she added some fun stuff to her inventory of already fun items!
A new line of bamboo fabric clothing is now available—the knit fabric is temperature controlling, anti-static and soft to skin, anti-bacterial and moisture wicking, it’s also UV protective, cutting out 98% of UV rays and a UVP factor of 50.
She also brought in new fashion necklaces in blue shell or silver-toned and adjustable pendant styles, and rings in gold or silver tones, as well as lightweight summer scarves in poly or viscose blends and a new variety of cookbooks.
In addition, Plum hosts periodic events, such as book signings—to keep up to date on her newest finds and events, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or subscribe to her newsletter.
Plum is located at 124 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, New hours:
Sunday – Tuesday, by appointment only, and Wednesday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., (206) 201–3654, firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you’re an island business and would like to share your story, please contact me via the “contact” link in this blog.
*Images and logos provided by and used with permission by PopcornChef and Plum