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Community Stories Around Thurston County


Here in Thurston County there are many businesses that make this area such a great place to live. Recently at Greene Realty, we have been working to highlight some of these businesses in our community and shed some light on some of the great things that they do. Here are a few examples of some of our community stories and what makes them unique

Panowicz Jewelers

Panowicz Jewelers has been in the downtown Olympia community for over 70 years. What started as a small watch repair shop has now grown to be a premiere jeweler of the South Sound. They allowed us an inside look at what keeps a jewelry store in the public eye for that long. We were lucky enough to speak to Leslie Panowicz, the owner, Carey Capeci, the president of Hearts on Fire Jewelry and Phil Weisgerber, the senior goldsmith.

Well 80 Brewhouse

Well 80 Brewhouse is a brewery and restaurant located in downtown Olympia that brews their beer with the water from the artesian well, just like the old Olympia Brewery used to do. We got a peek into some of the “fun chaos” that takes place behind the scenes and where the phrase “it’s the water” really comes from. We got to speak with Chris Knudson, the owner, as well as Paul Pearson, the Head Brewer to tell that story.

Cutters Point Coffee

Cutters Point Coffee was a great experience to be a part of. Cutters Point has a few locations around the South Sound and each one that you go to, you’ll notice the staff are some of the nicest people you’ll ever talk to. That doesn’t happen by coincidence, and owner Rhyan Smith explains why when he is hiring, he’s looking for kindness.

The Popinjay

The Popinjay shared their history with us from all around the South Sound and the intricate history of owning a business since 1977. Now a staple of downtown Olympia, we learned of all of the different stores that existed over that 40-year period. More importantly, owner Janis Dean shared stories of all of the families and friends that she has seen grow up over all those years.

Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway

Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway has been in the Olympia community since 1944, and is going on a fourth generation business. Over time many stores have come and gone and we had the opportunity to tell the stories of the business that is 75 years old. Kevin Stormans, the President, Greg Stormans, the Vice President and Charelle Foege, the other Vice President of Stormans Inc. all took some time to tell us that story as well as where their company is headed in the future.

Stories like these are what make our community so unique and enjoyable to be a part of. We are happy to continue working to share interesting and engaging stories from our area, so keep an eye out for what comes next!

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