Halpin's Pharmacy closing after 64 years
Halpin's Pharmacy & Treasure Room, located at 11406 E. Sprague, plans to close after 64 years of serving Spokane Valley, says Rick Ericson, one of the principals for the employee-owned business.
A liquidation sale of remaining inventory is now in progress and probably will continue through July, ending in August, Ericson says.
Of the factors that led to the decision to close, he says, "The biggest reason is the economy isn't supporting our business, and Rite-Aid came to us with an offer for our pharmacy we couldn't refuse."
Rite-Aid Corp. bought Halpin's assets that included the pharmacy's patient prescription files and some inventory, as of June 19, Ericson says, declining to disclose terms of the transaction.
As part of that arrangement, Halpin's pharmacy staffpharmacist and Halpin's co-principal Ron Gill and two pharmacy technicianswent to work for the Rite-Aid store near the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Pines Road, he says. Prior to their departure, Halpin's employed 22 people, he says.
Larry Verhaag, who has operated a watch repair business inside Halpin's for 35 years, will be moving his Larry's Watch Repair business to the Artistry in Gold Inc. jewelry store at 13817 E. Sprague, in the Evergreen Square retail complex, Ericson says. He says Verhaag is one of probably few certified watch repairmen still working in the Spokane area.
"I'm probably going to retire," says Ericson, who has worked for Halpin's for 47 years, but he adds that many of the Halpin's employees left jobless by the store's closure will have to look for work elsewhere.
"There's a lot of very sad people. We're getting a very big response from people who just can't believe it," he says.
Halpin's leases the 20,000-square-foot building that has housed the pharmacy and large gift shop.
J.E. Halpin founded the business in 1940 at the corner of Sprague and Pines, ironically where the Rite-Aid store now is located, and moved it to its current location in 1949, Ericson says.
Former Halpin's Inc. owners Frank L. Terhaar and Gary L. "Chris" Christensen, who had bought the business from Halpin in 1969, sold it to an employee stock ownership plan in 1993, he says.
N. Side early learning center, church to move
Destiny Kids Early Learning Center and the church with which it's affiliated, New Destiny Tabernacle, plan to move to the former Marrakesh Restaurant building on Northwest Boulevard by July 8, says Wanda Norris, learning center director.
The learning center and church currently occupy about 3,700 square feet of leased space at 2015 N. Monroe. The former restaurant building at 2008 W. Northwest Blvd. is a 6,800-square-foot structure located on a half acre of land, Spokane County tax records show.
The church will lease the building with the option to buy it, Norris says. The church will operate in the front part of the building, and the learning center will be in the rear, she says.
The Marrakesh Restaurant occupied the building for a long time, but moved to 1227 N. Division a couple of years ago and it has been mostly vacant since then. The building most recently had been fixed up to accommodate a day care center that didn't work out, so no remodeling is required, Norris says.
Destiny Kids currently cares for 46 children from one month to age 5, and it offers preschool for ages 3 1/2 to 5. In the new quarters, the day care will be licensed for up to 80 kids, ages one month to 12 years old, Norris says. The center currently employs 12 people, all but one of them full time, she says.
The church is about nine years old and has about 75 members.
Destiny Kids has been operating for about five and a half years. The church hopes eventually to serve children ages six to 12 with a youth group home, and the child learning center is a stepping stone for that, she says.
Downtown diner offers food delivery
Cruisers Burgers & More LLC, located in River Park Square and doing business as Cruisers Diner & Catering, has started offering delivery in part of downtown Spokane.
Dale Fruin, co-owner of Cruisers with his wife, Lynn, says the delivery area is between Monroe and Washington streets and between Spokane Falls Boulevard and First Avenue, within walking distance of the restaurant.
"That's mainly the skywalk area that allows us to deliver it by foot," he says. "We're trying to keep in to the downtown core."
The delivery service that started June 17 is free for orders that are $12 and more. If an order is less than $12, Cruisers charges $2 for delivery.
The eatery employs eight people, including Dale Fruin. It opened in 2009 in a small leased space on the mall's third floor, and it also provides catering for office meetings. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.
Donut shop planned with zombie theme
Dawn of the Donut, which will sell donuts and zombie-themed merchandise, is scheduled to open in August on Spokane's North Side.
Store manager Jayme De Boer says the shop's owners are Missoula residents Martin Judnich and his wife, Paige Judnich, who both visit Spokane frequently. De Boer says the business has invested around $80,000 in designing and renovating a 2,000-square-foot space at 3402 N. Division, which was formerly a Papa Murphy's pizza outlet.
Meridian Construction Inc., of Spokane Valley, is the contractor. Spokane Restaurant Equipment designed the space, which also will include a drive-thru lane, De Boer says.
She says plans call for some donuts to be designed "to look like brains, eyeballs, intestines," to incorporate the zombie theme, but that the shop also plans to offer traditional varieties of donuts.
"We're hoping to start out with 40 different types of donuts and continue to expand, and we'll have gluten-free and low-calorie options," De Boer says. "People are so intrigued with a zombie apocalypse. There are lots of movies out, and the owners and I have this slight fascination with them."
De Boer says she expects to hire eight to 10 employees. The shop also plans to sell some merchandise such as zombie-themed T-shirts, sweatshirts, and coffee mugs.
Business Cents moves to Rock Pointe space
Business Cents LLC, a business consulting concern that offers bookkeeping, payroll, and QuickBooks services, has moved to Spokane from smaller quarters in Liberty Lake, says Makenzi Rell, a business consultant with the company.
The company, owned by Steffanie Anderson, relocated last month to a 1,200-square-foot leased office on the fifth floor of the Rock Pointe Tower, at 316 W. Boone, from a 500-square-foot office in Liberty Lake, at 1328 N. Whitman Lane. Business Cents had been located in Liberty Lake since 2008 when it opened, Rell says.
Business Cents moved to be closer to its clients, who mostly are in Spokane, she says.
The company employs three workers full time, including Anderson and Rell. The company doesn't have any immediate plans to hire additional consultants.
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