Mel's plans move to Wandermere area
Mel's, previously known as Mel's Nursery and located at 8800 N. Division, has sold its former location to Wendle Motors and plans to reopen in mid-October in smaller quarters in a multitenant retail building at 12501 N. Division.
Owner Sue Nimmer Shaw says the new Mel's will operate as a gift shop in the Wandermere area without the nursery.
The 43-year-old plant and gift center now will focus on the gift and goodies side of the business and will offer many of the same retail items as before, including furniture, apparel, jewelry, baby items, and candles, among others. It also will carry Toms Shoes and Brighton Jewelry, she says.
The new location has about 3,400 square feet and is located between Frosting Cupcakes and Dance Motions studio. Nimmer Shaw says she will retain six employees for the smaller store, down from 28 at the previous location. She says she's open to the idea of more stores, but will wait and see how business goes.
Nimmer Shaw says she will probably never retire. "I've done this my whole life and I love it, and I thought, 'I'm not ready to retire,'" she says.
Spokane developer Dick Vandervert owns the building in which the new store will be located and handled the lease and all upgrades to the space.
Nimmer Shaw's father, Morrie Nimmer, formerly operated a drive-in theater on part of the land where the Wendle auto dealership now is located. Of the decision to sell the longtime former Mel's Nursery space to Wendle Motors, Nimmer Shaw said in an announcement sent to customers, "We weren't really looking to sell, and they weren't looking to buy. It is just something that happened, and I'm glad that Wendle has my dad's old Theater property and now ours, too. There is no one I would rather sell to. Wendle has been a great neighbor. This is a good business opportunity for both of us."
Paper florist moves to space next door
aNeMonE Handmade Paper Florist, a specialty shop that sells and rents handmade paper flowers and bouquets, has moved its downtown showroom into a corner location for better visibility, says owner Mary Eberle.
The newly leased 700-square-foot showroom, located at 301 W. Second in the SoDo shopping district, is 1,000 square feet smaller than the company's former space at 309 W. Second. Eberle says the business needed less space because she has moved the flower-production part of the company to her home in west Spokane.
aNeMonE's new space previously was occupied by a boutique shop called Ronan's Door. The space didn't need to be remodeled, Eberle says, but did get a new coat of paint, including a bright magenta door.
Previously known as aNeMonE Handmade Paper Flowers, the company has been in business for 10 years, and currently has six employees including Eberle.
In addition to selling paper flowers, aNeMonE also rents them, and was chosen this year to create the flower arrangements for the Cobra Polo Classic, the Sept. 8 fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House that draws 1,200 people. Rainmaker Creative Inc. is developing a new website for aNeMonE that will incorporate the new location and new name, and hopes to have the revamped site finished before the Polo Classic.
Dave Black, of NAI Black, handled the lease transaction.
Janitorial company aims to grow market
Northwest Janitorial, Glass Cleaning & Carpet Care Services, of Spokane Valley, which currently conducts most of its business in North Idaho, has launched an effort to expand its market share here, says Zach Stillwell, Northwest Janitorial's co-manager and son of the company's owner, Randy Stillwell.
Northwest Janitorial provides full janitorial services, steam cleaning with a truck-mounted system, glass cleaning, concrete pressure washing and sealing, and construction site cleanup.
The 15-year-old commercial and office cleaning business got its start here as Able Janitorial, contracting mainly with a Spokane-area commercial real estate developer, but in recent years has conducted most of its business in North Idaho as Northwest Janitorial, with its biggest current clients in Sandpoint, Stillwell says.
Stillwell says the company is considering transitioning its name to Able Northwest Janitorial as part of its campaign to expand in the Spokane area.
He is based in Sandpoint, while his father is based here, he says, adding that they operate the business out of their respective homes, and they both travel between North Idaho and the Spokane area as business warrants.
The licensed and bonded company has six employees, all of whom have passed federal background checks, he says.
Vietnamese eatery opens downtown
Spokane-based Metro LLC, doing bus-iness as Pho City, has opened a Vietnamese restaurant near the Parkade downtown.
Helen Nguyen, who co-owns and operates the restaurant with brother Thu Nguyen, says the eatery opened in June at 112 N. Howard, in a leased 1,000-square-foot space. A restaurant called Santorini's Greek Cuisine previously occupied that space.
Pho City offers a variety of Vietnamese dishes cooked from scratch, says Helen Nguyen, who previously worked at a bank. The restaurant seats 35 to 40 people indoors, but an outdoor patio has about 15 additional seats, she says.
The restaurant employs seven people, including the owners.
After being raised in Vietnam, Nguyen moved to Spokane in 1995 with most of her family. She says she decided recently to open the restaurant with her eldest brother, who moved to Spokane from Vietnam a year ago.
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