Meet the Community Award nominees part 4: Citizen of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

I’m back with our fourth and final round of nominees for this year’s Community Awards, as well as a reminder that our online silent auction is officially live and accepting bids at (Yes, the silent auction is online this year. But our oral auction and banquet will be in-person. It’s the best of both worlds!)

We received 10 nominations for Citizen of the Year, which honors one individual from Tillamook County who made a significant impact on the community in the last year. Our nominees include nonprofit board members and local volunteers, to small business owners and teachers.

Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominees stand out. We will share some of that background information in the announcements.

And now, here are your nominees for Citizen of the Year:

Carol Weber: Carol is the Chair of the Board of Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. Under her leadership, the Center has drawn visitors from around the world to stop into view the world-class collection of textiles. Carol also travels to quilt shows around the state to educate people about textiles and publicize the Latimer Center and Tillamook. The time the Carol spends on behalf of the Latimer Center is immeasurable.

Doug Beeler: As a Peer Support Specialist at Tillamook Family Counseling Center, Doug has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to help people in our community find and maintain recovery from substances. He inspires hope and positivity in every possible way, and every person Doug meets is one step closer to a healthier, recovery focused life.

Jesse Borough: Jesse helped launch the Safety on Six information and awareness campaign about the safety concerns many Tillamook and Washington County residents have about Highway 6. Jess took on the project to create a safer commute for those traveling the highway. He organizes town hall meetings with the proper authorities, and he created the Safety on Six Facebook page to keep the community involved.

JoAnne Waters: JoAnne works with local seniors, students and families in Tillamook County to finds out specifically what the people need at this time in their lives that make living a little bit easier or tolerable. For example, she collects healthy snacks to distribute to hungry Nestucca students throughout the day. She also requests monetary help for PUD bills for people struggling, and she works with the PUD to ensure people do not lose their connection to heat and lights. She is an immeasurable resource for our community’s less fortunate.

John Sandusky: John Sandusky was the first executive director for CARE, and he left a lasting impact on Tillamook County. During his time with CARE, he ran the county’s first homeless shelter. He also played instrumental roles in starting the local chapter of the Oregon Food Bank, building the locations for Tillamook Early Learning Center and Cedar Creek Childcare Center, and establishing Kilchis House, Nehalem Bay House and Madrona House. Now he works as a full-time faculty member at Tillamook Bay Community College and serves as a Tillamook City Council Member.

Robyn Herrick: Robyn is the Clinical Director at Tillamook Family Counseling Center, where she collaborates with community partners and explores ways to reduce barrier to treatment. She has taken on additional roles outside of the directorship to make sure that mental health crisis services are available to our community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Her role is pivotal for providing the many services that TFCC has to offer, and her dedication to that job and our community is humbling.

Ryan Weber: Ryan is the Associate Vice President and Store Manager of the Tillamook Umpqua Bank location, but he is extremely involved in a number of different organizations throughout Tillamook County. His involvements include Rotary, Tillamook County Outdoor School, the Tillamook Early Learning Center, the Tillamook School District and the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Ryan’s commitment to the community is bar none. He uses his skills professionally to drive real change, and he knows how to empower other people to get involved, too.

Skyler Veek: The owner of Lucky Bear Soap Company, Skyler enhances the quality of life in Tillamook County through dedicated and tireless community involvement and social responsibility. She served as the president of the Tillamook Revitalization Association for several years, and she organized and ran the popular Moonlight Madness event downtown. She continues to be actively involved in community public forums, from City Council meetings to downtown association events.

Sydney Elliott: Sydney is a full-time faculty member at Tillamook Bay Community College, where she teaches English, writing and literature. She developed and continues to teach trauma-informed curriculum. She also trains other faculty to implement such curriculum in their classes. Sydney also serves on the Tillamook County Search and Rescue team, and she developed an online program to train volunteers while still adhering to COVID-19 guidelines that temporarily prohibited in-person meetings. Sydney’s’ talents are broad and prolific, and she shows her dedication to this community by sharing those talents with us.

Terry Phillips: Terry is a small business owner who continues to invest his time and money into renovating Downtown Tillamook. He continues to help beautify downtown with his visions. He invests in property, employees several of our residents and stays involved in the community. His accomplishments help to serve all those who visit and live in Tillamook County.

For all of you who have stuck with us over the last three announcements, thank you! We had a whopping 32 nominations across five categories this year, and many of our awards received several more nominees than usual. You can read about all of the nominees online at

We love the way this community shows up to support one another and celebrate in our successes. And we look forward to honoring all of these nominees at the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Banquet on January 29.

Until then, be sure to check out the virtual silent auction at We have more than 100 amazing items to auction off this year, and you can continue to bid on items through the evening of the Banquet — even if you’re not able to attend the event in-person!

Thanks for our best Shop Small Sweepstakes yet!

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Please excuse my quick interruption of the Community Award nominee announcements for this Chamber Chatter about the 2021 Shop Small Sweepstakes.

We officially wrapped up the Sweepstakes last week when we drew our grand prize winner. US Bank, our amazing sponsor for the local shopping program, brought out a big check to for $1,000 of Sweepstakes Bucks and helped us congratulate our lucky grand prize winner, Vicki Freehill. The complete video of the drawing is available to view on our Chamber Facebook page for anyone who wants to watch.

Congrats to our 2021 Shop Small Sweepstakes winner, Vicki Freehill.

This year our community totally knocked it out of the park with the Shop Small Sweepstakes. Over the course of 12 weeks, we received a total of 1,975 entries. That’s compared to 856 in 2020 (during a shortened 8-week Sweepstakes due to COVID) and 1,164 in 2019 (a regular 12-week program).

Nearly $103,000 was spent at locally owned businesses throughout the county — the largest economic infusion recorded for one of the Sweepstakes since we started tracking that information in 2018. For some perspective, the past record was set in 2019 with $67,470.

Those numbers represent the ever-growing amount of love, support and appreciation our community pours into our locally owned businesses during the Shop Small Sweepstakes. And our data represents only a portion of the actual shopping that occurred in the county between October and December, because not everyone enters the Sweepstakes for every single purchase they make.

More importantly, those numbers serve as a reminder of the amazing impact we can make on our community, simply by shopping a locally owned businesses. For every $1 you spend at a local business, an average of 70 cents stays in the local economy. That money can then be re-spent within the community to benefit the Tillamook economy, support local jobs and even to support local nonprofits. (Think about who sponsors your children’s youth sports leagues or donates awesome auction items to local fundraiser. It’s probably a local business!)

We want to thank everyone who participated in the Shop Small Sweepstakes this year, from the folks who made an effort to support local whenever they could, to the businesses who sponsored our weekly $50 gift cards, to US Bank for their continued support of this program since it started in 2017. It’s so rewarding to see our community come together to support local businesses and, in turn, benefit this wonderful place we call home.

And even though the Shop Small Sweepstakes is over for the year, we hope you’ll continue to shop local whenever you can. After all, it’s great for the local economy, and it’s the perfect way to practice your craft for next year’s Shop Small Sweepstakes!

Meet the Community Award nominees part 3: Business of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Welcome to the third installment of our announcements of the Community Award nominees! This week we’re excited to introduce the nominees for Business of this Year.

The Business of the Year category encompasses any business in Tillamook County with 10 or more employees. This year we received seven nominees for the category, covering businesses throughout the county.  Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominees stand out. As always, we will share some of that background information in the announcements.

And now, without further ado, here are the nominees for Business of the Year:

Braxling & Braxling, Inc.: Braxling & Braxling, Inc. is a second-generation contracting company that serves all of northwest Oregon with portable rock crushing, heavy hauling, road rocking and grading. Originally launched in 1961 in Newport, the company is now based in Tillamook and has 30-plus employees. The team is committed to serving Tillamook County, not only privately and commercial in road-based needs, but also they have shown commitment and dedication in benefitting Tillamook County in a time of need, including during the 2020 wildfires, when Braxling brought trucks and equipment to protect properties.

Garibaldi Portside Bistro: The owners of the Garibaldi Portside Bistro are beyond amazing. They’re friendly and accommodating and always work with our local Coast Guard to host holiday parties. They have worked hard to create a much-needed restaurant in Garibaldi, and they serve gourmet food that never disappoints. Their commitment to providing local ingredients and caring for our first responders has made this restaurant a top pick for our family and for community members throughout Tillamook. 

Manzanita Beach Getaway Vacation Rentals: Manzanita Beach Getaway helps support the community in several ways, including hosting events like the “Hall-O-Nita,” which allows the community and guests to trick-or-treat at small businesses in Manzanita safely. The business also donated more than 500 pounds of non-perishable food to the North County Food Bank, pledges to remain dedicated to hiring local community members and cared for its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Danielle Johnson makes a conscious effort to keep her business impacts on locals in mind, and she works directly with neighbors to answer questions and concerns, so the whole community can be involved in welcoming tourists with ease.

Rendezvous Cabaret: This establishment has stayed open to serve the community of Tillamook during the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic caused. Rendezvous enhances the quality of life in Tillamook County by hosting events and activities, as well as offering steady employment for those who work there. The staff and management make sure that each person that walk into the restaurant is greed with a smile and feels welcome. Rendezvous is a wonderful part of Tillamook County that often goes above and beyond to support the community.

Tillamook County Transportation District (The Wave): Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCTD has been a huge asset for so many who needed transportation throughout Tillamook County. Even with staffing shortages and COVID precautions, they delivered quality and important services to the county. TCTD provides affordable, reliable transportation from the tip to the tail of Tillamook County and beyond. In 2022, the TCTD celebrates 25 years of serving Tillamook County, and it is preparing to expand services even when other transportation districts in the state face service cuts. TCTD has visible impacts on nearly every corner of Tillamook County.

Werner Family Brands: Werner Family Brands (which includes Werner Beef & Brew and Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks) experienced accelerated growth and expansion in 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic. This growth was realized through the additional creation of jobs and construction of new facilities. During the year, the company implemented increased wages for all employees and added benefits to enhance the work/life balance of its team. Werner Family Brands also showed their dedication to the community through donations, financial support and investing in employee health and wellness.

Zwald Transport: Zwald Transport is a young company with big dreams for providing all of Tillamook County’s commercial trucking needs. The company helps people gain a career, working side-by-side with Tillamook Bay Community College’s driving program. Zwald can hire these “green” drivers when other business can’t, due to insurance limitations. The company also reached out to the community of commercial truck drivers to provide a barbecue lunch of appreciation in the Fall of 2021.

Congratulations to these nominees for Business of the Year! We’ll be back again soon the final round of announcements. And remember, if you missed our announcements about Program of the Year, Development Project of the Year or Small Business of the Year, you can find the past articles online at

Chamber News: Latimer Quilt and Textile Center a hidden gem for Tillamook

This December, the center celebrates 30 years as a Chamber member, community resource

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Nestled alongside the Wilson River in a former schoolhouse sits one of Tillamook’s greatest gems: The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center.

Latimer Quilt and Textile Center manager Kim Schauss says the working museum is a hidden gem for Tillamook.

A “working museum,” where visitors can explore the history of textile art while watching quilters in action, the center is one of just 10 of its kind in the nation, said manager Kim Schauss. It draws visitors from all over the world to learn about textile art and view beautifully crafted quilts and weavings — curated over the last three decades.

“It’s just a fun place to be. It’s a place you come to learn, to educate and to share,” said Board Chair Carol Weber.

This year, Latimer celebrates its 30th anniversary as a member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce. Weber said the Chamber has been a great support in ensuring Latimer can carry on its legacy right here in Tillamook, despite some of the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had to cut back during the pandemic. At first, we couldn’t have anyone in the center. Now, we are open to the public again, but only for 2 days a week,” Weber said. “Through it all, the Chamber has been a very good partner. They’ve provided free supplies like masks and hand sanitizer, and they coordinate a community calendar where we’ve been able to advertise the few events we can have.”

A working museum
Those events include small open houses for new exhibits at the museum. On display now are more than a dozen holiday themed quilts. Come January, Latimer will show a portion of the newest “crazy quilts” in its collection. (Crazy quilts are made from block with a wide variety of fabrics, cut in different shapes and often embellished with hand embroidery.)

Colorful textiles made by local artisans adorn the walls of the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, a working museum for quilts, weavings and other textiles.

“Our gallery features new northwest artists with six shows a year,” Weber said. “We also have an extensive collection of about 400 quilts ranging from the 1700s to present day.”

Latimer also displays antique quilts from its collection in the East Room, which doubles as a workspace for seamstresses. Textile-related groups like quilters or knitters can reserve the room for meetings.

Down the hall in the West Room, several large looms and spinning wheels wait for the weavers to use. Many looms have active projects on them, and once COVID restrictions lift fully, visitors that stop in when the weavers are there, too, can watch as they work.

“You don’t have to know how to spin or weave to enjoy seeing the processes in action,” Schauss said. “That’s one of my favorite parts of the center. You can enjoy it whether or not you’ve done textile arts before.”

For now, Latimer’s regular crafting groups meet while the museum is closed to the public. But even that is a joyous experience for many of the artists who spent months without their usual companions during the stay-at-home order near the start of the pandemic.

The West Room at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center houses several looms, where local weavers may be found making new textiles at the working museum.

“It was amazing the first time our knitters could get together in person again,” Weber said. “They had been meeting digitally over Zoom, but it’s not the same experience. They really missed leaning on each other, both metaphorically and physical, for advice, solace and levity during difficult times.”

Weber said she encourages anyone interested in learning more to stop by the center when it is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Residents can also purchase a membership, which covers admission for the year (otherwise $4 per day) and includes resources about all the classes, events and tools available through Latimer.

“Even though we get visitors from all around the world and are well known in the quilting community, sometimes it feels like we’re like Tillamook’s best kept secret,” joked Latimer Schauss. “We invite the community to learn more about this special and rare working museum right in their backyard.”

Meet the Community Award nominees part 2: Small Business of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Last week in the Chamber Chatter, we announced the Community Awards nominees for Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. If you missed those announcements, you can find the complete announcements on the Chamber’s blog at

This week, I’m pleased to introduce our nominees for Small Business of the Year. We received eight (that’s about double the average!!) nominations for this category, which represents businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out, and we will share some of the background that was submitted for each one as we introduce the nominees.

Please join us in congratulating the nominees for Small Business of the Year:

Boss Power Bikes: Boss Power Bikes helps enhance the quality of life in Tillamook County by going green with electric bikes. This company helps repair bikes for those in need with no home and supplies. They have the heart to help people that are on a tight or fixed income, sometimes giving away much-needed part and even bicycles. It also supplies green energy bikes to the community, which helps cut back on local emissions.

Burden’s Muffler and Towing: Burdens has been in business for 50 years and has continued to be involved in the community by participating in our parades and proudly flying the American flag on patriotic holidays. They also provide great customer service and continue to grow their business to offer more services. They are available 24/7 to meet the towing needs of the community, and they always do it with a positive and caring attitude.

Food Roots: Food Roots brings food from local farms and companies to one place that the community can shop at. They also have great programs for people with food stamps and CSAs (community supported agriculture) during the summer that benefit not only the customers, but the farmers as well. All of their products are local, and they work with the food bank, which benefits a lot of our lower income community members.

Great NW Painting & Construction: This small business has provided employment to a handful of individuals in our community, has helped improve the curbside appeal of many local homes and has strived to always leave a happy customer. Great NW Painting & Construction has showcased a commitment to the community by providing advice to local homeowners at no charge. They are also willing to take on new employees and teach them lifelong construction skills while on the job.

Lucky Bear Soap: Lucky Bear Soap helps to build the foundation for an amazing downtown, which benefits the entire community. This small business draws people to the town for shopping with its unique and all-natural products. The owner even saved a cow — the namesake for the business — demonstrating her commitment to this community.

Nehalem Lumber Company: The employees at Nehalem Lumber have been working non-stop to provide excellent service to the members of our community for decades. They have upheld pandemic regulations and continue to make various accommodations for their wonderful customers. The actively donates to fundraising projects and helps with other community events. Originally opened by Dale Stockton, Nehalem Lumber Company has been committed to serving members of our community for decades and will continue to do so.

Salty Raven: Owner Seasons Katz Sparks’ artwork and designs reflect the Tillamook area and provide a reminder of what a great place it is. Locals and visitors alike patronize her store and appreciate her art and products. Salty Raven recently opened its flagship store on Main Avenue. By investing in the community and providing a vibrant presence on Main Street, this business has displayed a willingness to engage with the community, and it appears to be here to stay.

West Elliott Boutique: This little business was brave enough to open and continue to operate in the midst of the pandemic. It brings light and cheer to Downtown Tillamook. At West Elliott Boutique, several local women joined together to showcase their individual talents. These girls put in a lot of time and elbow grease to beautify the space, and they continue to grow to meet their guests needs.

We’ll be back with more nominee announcements in two weeks. Until then, keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information about nominees, or check out past nomination announcements at

Meet the Community Award nominees part 1: Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As the holiday season nears its end, the Chamber wants to give the community a reason to continue celebrating — and we don’t just mean New Year’s Eve.

The nominees for the 2022 Community Awards started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the Chatter. This year we received more than 30 nominations across five categories, and we’ll be splitting our announcement into multiple parts, so we can give each nominee their time to shine.

Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out. The Awards Committee uses these to determine the final recipient for the award, which will be announced at the Community Awards Banquet, this year on January 29.  As we introduce the nominees, we will share some of the background that was submitted for each one.

We will start this week with the nominees for Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year. But before we get started, we want to give a quick sidenote about the Awards Committee. This group is made up of community members and past Community Award recipients. Chamber staff does not determine who will receive the award in each category. Instead, we leave the Community Awards up to, well, the community, because we trust that you know best.

Now, without further ado…

For Development Project of the year, the nominees are:

Grocery Outlet: Tillamook’s newest grocery store, Grocery Outlet adds another low-cost but quality choice for our community in Tillamook County. The store and its local owners showed a commitment to the community by investing in the property and building a new store in the area, so it can continue to service the grocery needs of this area.

JAndy Oyster Co.: Owners Todd and Tamra created an elevated but still comfortable space in town for people to gather and socialize, all while creating new jobs in the process. They expanded their business into the former Hidden Acres property to bring a new local hangout to Tillamook County. Despite the risk given the current environment, they made a gathering place for people to drink good wine, enjoy phenomenal food and socialize with one another again.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company: The new Blue Heron Candy Shop is a hit for littles, and the firepits outside with live music make for a romantic date! It’s always been enjoyable to visit the Blue Heron, and this has only added to the fun. It’s a great space to bring kids on the weekend or just enjoy and evening with friends. This expansion has so much heart and was so well thought out.

And for Program of the Year, the nominees are:

Kiwanda Corridor Project: A destination management project and program launched by Tillamook County and the Pacific City/Woods Parking Advisory Committee, the Kiwanda Corridor Project will add much-needed parking, multi-modal pathways, green spaces, restrooms and waste management/recycling services in Pacific City once completed. The work will help build visitor capacity and services, as well as improve community livability for residents. The project is being developed with community input and collaboration among county commissioners, county parks, state parks, local nonprofits, public works, tourism organizations and private sector businesses — the very definition of destination management. 

Tillamook County Public Health: Our public health nurses have worked tirelessly over the last year putting together daily and weekly updates on the COVID cases in Tillamook County. They have led case investigations; done contact tracing; hosted free vaccine clinics and testing sites; and assisted businesses, school districts, employers and community members in answering thousands of questions about testing, quarantine guidelines, immunizations and more. These nurses and staff gave many hours of their personal time to ensure that our community stayed safe and educated.

Prime +: The Prime+ program has helped bring low-barrier access to lifesaving resources for people in active substance use and seeking recovery. They have been out in the community, visiting encampments where folks are experiencing houselessness, and they’ve provided lifesaving clean needles and NarCan. Their work directly reduces the risk of death and serious illness as a result of substance use, prevents the spread of communicable diseases, and provides low-barrier access to recourse for recovery from substance use.

Tillamook County Transportation District’s Pacific City Free Shuttle: The Pacific City Free Shuttle program contributes to the quality of life in Tillamook County by helping to reduce traffic and parking congestion in Pacific City and the surrounding areas. The shuttle provides free, safe rides to Pelican Pub, Twist Wine Company and other local designations. Pacific City is a popular destination for out-of-towners and locals alike, especially during the summer months. By keeping the streets and parking lots more navigable, the Pacific City Free Shuttle helps keeps summertime spent in Pacific City enjoyable for all.

Thank to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to our nominees! We’ll be back again soon with the rest of our nominees in the Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Citizen of the year categories, so keep your eye on the Chamber Chatter in the coming weeks!

‘Imagine with me’: A vision for building strong community

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I heard one time from an industry colleague, “Everything you touch turns to gold” and I didn’t know how to respond. While it’s not 100% accurate, it is reflective of the programs and stability of the Chamber. What they — and many people looking in — don’t see is that most everything started out with having a vision and a hope. Some of those visions have taken years to bring to life, so naturally when they unfold, they do so in a thoughtful and successful way. How could it not when you have spent years thinking of the positive and negatives of every move?

Moving in to 2022 soon, I thought it would be fun to talk about a couple ideas that are in that visioning stage. These are ideas that are in various stages but, nonetheless, I have no doubt will happen.

Imagine this with me a countywide Chamber of Commerce. Sure, we have programs that support businesses throughout Tillamook County, and we never shy away from opportunities to help. In fact, 30% of our membership is outside of the City of Tillamook. Here is what I mean by a true countywide chamber. I envision a time when we have the resources to fund active staff positions in north, mid, central and south county. Those staff members can build each community’s capacity in the ways that are both unique to those regions, but also in a way that brings the county together as a whole. I see a time when all of our communities and local businesses can work together to make ideas come time life. A time when local government is truly investing in building stronger communities where businesses can thrive.

This is my vision for a countywide Chamber. There have been and will continue to be conversations of how to make it happen. Some will disagree and some will root us on – at the end of the day, I believe it is going to happen, and we have spent enough time on the vision that it will be a game changer for our county when it does.

Next, I want you to imagine our community with a non-profit resource that can help build community by bringing the passions of local residents and businesses to life. That is us, now — sort of. For the past several years I have held on to the vision of a community foundation, a foundation that is there for the community and not any one direct cause or organization. In 2021 the Chamber board of directors moved it to a priority project in our strategic plan and approved funding to get it started. I wasted no time and am proud to let you know today that we have successfully established the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity organization. This new non-profit is tied to the Chamber and will be staffed by the Chamber staff, but it has at-large board members and will have the flexibility for a much broader community focus. I am excited about the opportunities this provides for not only outside grant funding coming to our community, but also the opportunity for our citizens and businesses to be able to make a tax-deductible financial pledge towards project that they feel strongly about.

We are now entering the planning phases with community partners of exactly what our first initiatives look like, but I assure you there are some great things coming and I look forward to announcing that in the coming months.

As the saying goes, the sum is only as good as it parts. If you have any thoughts, constructive criticism or support for our vision, please feel free to reach out to me at or 503-842-7525. And I would be remiss not to take this opportunity to request that if you are looking to make a local year-end charitable contribution, I would love for you to consider the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation.

Last call for Community Awards nominations

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

There’s still time to make your nominations for the 2022 Community Awards — but you’ll need to submit your honorees before this Friday! Our nomination period closes at 5 p.m. December 9.

This year, the Chamber will hand out five awards at our annual Awards Banquet, which is scheduled for January 29. (Invites will be out in the mail soon, so keep an eye out!) The nominations we receive from community members like you serve as the basis of those awards, which honor Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Development Project of the Year and Program of the Year.

Making a nomination is as easy as visiting and answering three questions about your nominee on the online form. The questions ask about who is served by the nominee’s accomplishments, how the nominee shows a commitment to community and how the nominee provides long-term benefits for the community. You can also upload a letter of support or other documents that show how your nominee makes a difference in the Tillamook Community.

If you wish, you can remain anonymous. You also can request an invitation to the Awards Banquet, so you can celebrate all the honorees with us!

We encourage you to make as many nominations as you’d like to recognize any businesses, projects or people in Tillamook County. Nominees don’t even have to be Chamber members — you can nominate anyone, any project or any business you choose! And there’s no limit to how many nominations you can submit in any one category, so feel free to keep those submissions coming until 5 p.m. December 9.

Although it’s a simple process, making a nomination a great way to show the community partners you love just how much you appreciate them. There’s a lot of humble folks who work hard every day to offer services and products, invest money into projects or simply champion the Tillamook County community, and they deserve recognition for what they do.

The best part about the Community Awards is that they are for the community by the community. The selection committee that reviews the nominations and selects the final awards is made up of past years’ honorees and other community members. The Chamber staff does not choose the honorees — the community does.

Because all important things bear repeating, I’ll remind you again that nominations are due by 5 p.m. December 9. We will announce the nominees in the coming weeks, so until then, visit to submit your nominations.

Giving thanks for the little moments

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

A few days ago, as I was driving into the office for the workday, I noticed that I was having a particularly wonderful day. I had gotten to drop my daughter off at school before heading to the Chamber, where I was greeted by an upbeat and hardworking team.

As I was reflecting on the day, I realized that there really wasn’t anything different or special about it. I do all those things every day without so much as a second thought. So what made that day so much better?

The answer is that all at once, I had started to notice that little moments that were contributing positively to my life.  Something as simple as laughing with my daughter on our ride to school or greeting my employees before sitting down at my desk were adding a richness to my life. And in taking the time to notice those little moments, I realized the importance of slowing down to be grateful for them — a fitting message to carry with us into Thanksgiving, I think.

For me, little moments happen when I notice that my daughters are healthy and happy, or when I get to wave to my neighbors. I also notice little moments happening whenever the Chamber staff is all together in the office working on a big project, and there’s a magnificent feeling of fun, focus and teamwork.

It’s a little moment for me to know that Chamber membership is at an all-time high, which means I get the honor of working with nearly 300 businesses, organizations and individuals to build a strong community where we all can thrive. Our long membership roster also leads to many other little moments when I get to celebrate the wins with our members for successful grant applications or busy shopping days.

I see little moments as I watch as relationships strengthen between local government and the community, as we join together to tackle community needs, even when there’s not a quick and easy answer.

So what little moments make you thankful? And how can you pay more attention to those small things that make life sweet?

I’ve found that when I pay attention the little moments that make me smile or lift me up, days get better. And no matter the blessings or traumas someone has experienced in life, I know everyone has little moments worth noticing.

This holiday season, I hope you’ll join me in enjoying those little moments, whatever they may be for you.

Chamber News: Garibaldi Portside Bistro owners buy Barview Jetty Store

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Dennis and Amanda Cavitt love to combine history and business.

After starting a successful restaurant in 2016, for example, the couple took a leap of faith to move the Garibaldi Portside Bistro into the historic building that once housed The Troller restaurant. Many of the decorations in the restaurant today give nod to its former inhabitants.

So it just makes sense that the Cavitts begin their next big business venture with a store deeply rooted in history. Last month the couple purchased the Barview Jetty Store and Deli, a long running business with historic significance for not only the coastal community but also the Cavitts personally.

“Our decision to buy the store had a lot to do with history. Everyone has memories of this place from when they were a kid,” said Dennis, who remembers stopping into the store as a child, when his family would go camping at the nearby Barview Jetty County Campground. “I proposed to Amanda on the jetty, and we’ve been coming to the store as a family for a long time. We wanted to save it, so an out-of-town corporation didn’t buy it and totally change it.”

‘An incredibly loved store’

The Barview Jetty Store has stood for more than a century at its location just north of Garibaldi off Highway 101, where it has long served the community as a convenience store, deli and bait shop. It is one of few locations where local fishermen can find Puget Sound herring and fresh pizza all in one place.

For the last 19 years, the store has been owned and run by Marilyn Naase and Rick Hurliman. The couple purchased the business in 2003 and completed an extensive expansion to the store that added more than 1,300 square feet, including a sitting area in the back. They also worked hard to build up the reputation and service at the store.

“Rick and Marilyn created an incredibly loved stored right here on the Oregon coast,” Amanda said. “They embody what makes dreams come true: hard work, kindness and perseverance. We are so glad they chose us to carry that forward. We recognize that we have some big shoes to fill.”

Amanda and Dennis got to know the Rick and Marilyn over time, as they visited the local store on family outings to the jetty. Once the Cavitts opened the Bistro, they often found Marilyn and Rick in their booths ready for a good dinner and friendly chat.

“I think we shared a camaraderie of running our own business as a couple,” Amanda said.

That prior connection and shared business understanding made working with the Marilyn and Rick easy when it came time for them to retire and sell the store. Dennis said negotiating the sale of the business was easy and fair.

“Working with Marilyn and Rick has been great. They’ve stopped into the store a few times since we took over to help us or give us advice,” Dennis said.

“You do need a historic perspective to take over and run a place like this, and they’ve let us know that they are here for us when we need them,” Amanda added. “We want to continue the same business but take it to the next level with our ideas, just like they did when they first moved in and renovated.”

Take it to the next level

The Cavitts are using their first weeks as store owners to complete some slight repairs and renovations, including adding more cases for to-go food. Dennis wants to expand food offerings to include more fresh and local option, such as produce and meat.

“There’s been lots of requests from campers and local people for more produce and gluten free items, so we want to be able to add that to our offerings,” he said. “We also plan to add more to-go family packs, and maybe a barbeque pack for campers in the summer.”

A portion of the catering services now offered through the Bistro will move to the store, in part because there is a larger space to prep and organize, Amanda said. While some of the food served at the store will be similar to the Bistro, the menus at both businesses won’t completely mirror each other.

“We’ll specialize the store for to-go food. That will take some of the pressure off the restaurant, and it will also meet the needs of customers who are already coming into the store for that reason,” Dennis said.

Beyond those minor changes, the Barview Jetty Store and its operations at large will not change much from what customers were used to with the Rick and Marilyn. That includes that sale of pizza and bait — two items the Cavitts have already received several requests to keep.

“The two main concerns are whether we will keep pizza and bait. Let me put those concerns to rest now: We will be keeping pizza, and we will be keeping bait,” Amanda said. “Those two items are a huge part of the history of this store. Plus, this is one of the only places you can buy Puget Sound herring. We don’t want to change that.”

They aim to reopen the store to customers later in the winter, Amanda said. Operations at the store will not interfere with the Bistro, nor will they change the level of service or quality at the restaurant.

“Most of our staff at the Bistro has weathered the pandemic with us, and you can tell they have pride and a personal investment in the success of the restaurant,” Amanda said. “We’re very fortunate to have such an amazing team, and we look forward to expanding our staff with new employees at the store.

“There’s a lot of work to do with upgrading and expanding the kitchen and making some repairs to the store, but we’re used to that,” Dennis added. “We did that at the Troller building. I’m just excited to preserve the past of this new place and to meet new customers here at the store.”

Get rewarded for shopping local on Small Business Saturday

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

When I was growing up, my parents always told me that it’s important to do the right thing, even when no one is looking or there is no prize for good behavior. As true as that statement is, it still feels nice to get rewarded — and that’s the beauty of shopping on Small Business Saturday: There’s an automatic reward for doing the right thing by supporting locally owned businesses.

Sometimes, that benefit comes in the form of free goodies. Other times, it’s great discounts at your favorite neighborhood shops. But beyond the promos and deals, Small Business Saturday rewards you by reinvesting the money you spend back into the local community. Of each dollar you spend locally, nearly 70 cents returns to the community. That means your purchases on Small Business Saturday make Tillamook a more vibrant place to live, work and play!

This year Small Business Saturday falls on November 27, the Saturday right after Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll join us that day to do the right thing by participating in an extravaganza of local shopping.

One of my personal favorite rewards for shopping on Small Business Saturday is the chance to make unlimited entries to the Chamber’s Shop Small Sweepstakes. As a quick reminder, the Shop Small Sweepstakes is a special program the Chamber hosts to promote local shopping. During the Sweepstakes, you can enter your receipts from locally owned businesses for a chance to win a weekly gift card or the $1,000 grand prize shopping spree.

Usually, you can only enter one receipt per day. But on Small Business Saturday, for one day only, we open the contest up for unlimited entries. All day on November 27 you can submit any and every receipt you have from a purchase made that day. That means if you shop at 12 different stores, you can enter 12 times!

As an added bonus, we also host a special drawing on the Small Business Saturday, open only to entries we received that day. If you want the chance to win a free Tillamook hoodie and some other goodies, you’ve got to shop local on November 27.

In addition to unlimited Sweepstakes entries, the Chamber will host a free hot cocoa bar. Stop into Chamber HQ anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to get a free to-go cup of Dutch Brothers cocoa and a goodie bag full of toppings and toys!

You can round up your own set of holiday cookie cutters with this next Small Business Saturday promotion! The Chamber is partnering with several downtown businesses for a cookie cutter giveaway. Each participating business will have its own design of cookie cutter, and the first 20 shoppers to make a purchase in the store will receive a complimentary cookie cutter! Shop at all the locations, and you’ll get a totally free set of cookie cutters.

The Chamber is sponsoring a raffle prize for anyone who receives a cookie cutter through the giveaway. Bring every cookie cutter you collected back into the Chamber to enter into a drawing for a holiday kitchen basket, valued at $100. Each cookie cutter you collect makes you eligible for one entry.

There will also be independent promos and sales at several other stores, including a 10% discount at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum gift shop, a 10% discount at the Tillamook Air Museum admission and gift shop items, and a huge 40% off everything sale at Lot 35 Homes. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn about additional promotions at local businesses in the Tillamook area.

So join us for Small Business Saturday on November 27 to show your favorite shops just how much you love them — and get a little reward for your good actions.

Make your nominations for the 2021 Community Awards

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

You’ve probably seen it all over social media: Early November always brings the age-old question with it, of whether this month is Thanksgiving season or Christmas season.

The debate rages between those that hold steadfast that turkey day deserves some of the spotlight, and those that put their tree up as soon as the clock struck 12 on November 1. Sometimes, it seems like there’s no answer, no way to resolve the argument.

Let me try to be the peacemaker by offering a third option we all can agree on: This month is undoubtedly the season for the Chamber’s annual Community Awards nominations.

Every year around this time, we open up our online nomination form to recognize businesses, projects and people in five different categories. Those nominations serve as the basis for the honorees at our annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January.

We have five categories: Business of the Year (10 employees or more); Small Business of the Year; Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible to be nominated.

Nominations can be made online at There is no limit to how many nominations you can submit, so you’re able to spread the love to all your favorite people, business, projects and events.

Nominating a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, a beloved community event or even a memorable community program is a great way to show the folks involved in those businesses, projects and programs how much you appreciate them. For anyone or any business that made you smile last year, this is a great way to return the favor. Though it might seem like a small gesture, your nomination acts as a huge “thank you” to your fellow community members who work tirelessly to provide us with goods, services and events that enrich our lives and sustain our economy.

Nominations are due by December 9, so we have time for the selection committee to review applications and make their decisions. Our selection committee is made up of past years’ honorees and other community members, so we as the Chamber staff don’t choose the new award recipients. This truly is a chance for the community to recognize and honor the community!

You can remain anonymous as the nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. And fortunately, because the banquet is scheduled after the holidays wrap up, there’s no need to worry about getting in an argument over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead, we can come together to celebrate our community as one!

Big tasks, lengthy solutions: Housing

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you’re a regular reader of the Chamber Chatter, you know that we often write about all the events the Chamber has coming up or projects we have accomplished here. But the Chamber also has a number of long-term projects that require more lengthy solutions to complete.

These things take up so much time and never seem to end, and we don’t always remember to write about the work we’re doing while we are in the thick of it. I want to loop you, the community, in on the work we are doing with housing, homelessness, bioswales, signage and downtown renovations., because this work is extremely important, even if it’s got no easy answer.

Throughout the next few weeks, I will update you on our work in a series I like to call “Big tasks, lengthy solutions.” Let’s start this week with housing.

Back in 2019 we hired a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) intern, Alex Jonas, to work with the City of Tillamook to adopt some housing policy changes. During his 12-month internship, Alex also wrote an Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant that was successful at obtaining $200,000 for four downtown apartments, and he began working with a development company to look for land for future housing projects.

Last week we received some frustrating news, when the City of Tillamook brought the Chamber up to speed on some major sewer and stormwater capacity issues that will make developing large-scale, multi-family housing much harder than we originally thought. In short, the sewer lines that service the areas in Tillamook with the most developable land are reaching capacity limits — and that’s before we talk about adding new housing.

The City explained that all sewer lines east of Miller Avenue — where most of the developable land is — run to a pump station on 12th Street, then head to the treatment plant. The lines running to and from the pump station are nearing capacity and are unable to take on additional load at this point in time.

To add on that, the aging sewer lines throughout the City have a major issue with stormwater infiltration coming mostly from broken residential laterals, manhole bases, and lines. Usually, the local treatment plant can run at about 20% capacity. However, when stormwater gets into the sewer system, the treatment plant must run at full capacity. Right now, with the high rate of infiltration, that is happening for most of the year. That means mean that while we should have ample capacity at the plant for future housing, we don’t actually, because the system isn’t running efficiently.

While that news was rough, we left the meeting with a plan to work with the City on obtaining a cost estimate for running a new line and pump east of downtown. Once we get that estimate, we’ll need to find the money to fund the project, an expense that the City budget cannot absorb right now. Funding will be the first step to moving forward with any large-scale, multi-family housing in Tillamook.

Beyond our work on large-scale, multi-family housing projects, the Chamber also focuses on smaller developments. (Although bigger developments will have a bigger impact on solving our housing shortage, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket that we might have to wait on months or years as the sewer improvements are made). As we work out how to prepare the City’s sewer system for big housing projects, we will continue to chip away at smaller developments to put professionals and families in homes now. The four downtown apartments that received the revitalization grant when Alex interned with us should be completed in 2022. We also know of a 20-plus unit complex that our development company currently has under planning review. If all goes as planned, that project will be able to tie into the 12th Street pump station without putting the sewer system over capacity. And in other exciting news, there has been a recent downtown property acquisition, and we are working with the property owner on plans for approximately 10 second-floor units. As we do with many other projects, the Chamber will assist the property owner as they seek funding assistance through the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant Program and the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency.

So next time you ask yourself “Why is the housing shortage not being solved?” just know that there is a plethora of items that must be considered before developing. Public and private entities are working on them, but it’s not going as fast as any of us would like. Such is the way of big tasks with lengthy solutions.

(I will be back with another installment of the Big Tasks, Lengthy Solutions series in a few weeks. Have a topic you’re interested in hearing more about? Email me at, and I’ll see how I can work it in.)

Join us for Downtown Trick-or-Treat

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

One of my biggest claims to fame is the fact that I have only worn one store-bought Halloween costume in my entire life. Call it tradition or insanity, I’m an extreme do-it-yourselfer when it comes to Halloween.

So I’m excited to show off my costume designing skill during Downtown Trick-or-Treat on October 29, when participating businesses will hand out candy to local trick-or-treaters between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Last year, the Chamber successfully held its annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat with some modifications for state COVID regulations at the time. It was a highlight for the year, and we so enjoyed seeing all the creative costumes the kiddos wore.

This year will be just as fun — though it is a little bit more flexible now that state guidelines have changed.

Here’s how it will work: Participating businesses will set up a table or other means of handing out candy in front of their building. Keeping the trick-or-treating outside of businesses ensures that shops don’t get overcrowded, and it adds a level of safety by giving everyone more area to space out.

As for masks, the current state rules require you to wear a mask at outdoor events anytime you’re not able to maintain a six-foot distance from people who don’t live with you. That’s a little different than last year, when masks were required no matter what. This year we recommend bringing a mask, just in case, and wear it when you feel it necessary.

We do ask that the ghosts, ghouls and parents who come out for treats practice patience while waiting to get their candy and don’t crowd any of tables. There will be lots of kids out and about, and you may have to wait occasionally. I recommend using that time to admire other costumes or practice saying “trick-or-treat” in the most frightening ways!

Trick-or-treating starts at 3 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. rain, shine or anything in between. Please note that not every business downtown will be participating, and that’s totally OK. There will be plenty of places to get candy, and most of the stops will be easy to identify with their outdoor tables or the bright orange flyer in their windows.

And of course, I’ll be there, dressed up in my handmade costume and handing out candy from Chamber HQ. While I won’t spoil the surprise of what I decided to be this year for Halloween, I can give you a few hints to “chew” on: It’s sweet, colorful, totally nostalgic and back in my day only cost five cents! Beyond that, you’ll just have to bring your monsters and princesses, goblins and witches down to Downtown Trick-or-Treat from 3 – 5 p.m. October 29 to see the final product for yourself.

See you there…if you dare!

Chamber News: Riverside Floral grows in-home business to full-scale storefront

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Much like the plants on display in its windows, Downtown Tillamook’s newest store has a backstory rooted in growth.

What started as a seedling position as a wedding florist for a few friends flourished into a full-fledged business run out of a home. Then it grew more, moving into a back room at another downtown business until finally blossoming this fall into its own, stand-alone brick-and-mortar store.

“When I moved here in November of 1982, downtown was huge. Ever since then, it’s always been something I wanted to be involved in,” said Leilani Martin, who recently celebrated the grand opening of Riverside Floral, her new storefront at 2014 Second St. The locally owned florist and home décor store gives life to Martin’s years-long dream to run her own downtown business.

Leilani Martin, center, celebrates the ribbon cutting ceremony for Riverside Floral surrounded by her family, staff and partner vendors.

“I felt like we could really use another gift shop downtown,” Martin said. “And now, with everything that’s going on with the pandemic and staying indoors more, people can visit us to buy houseplants to bring a little bit of the outdoors in.”

Hooked on flowers

Martin’s time working with plants and flowers dates back several decades. She said she’s always been interested in learning about plants and flowers, and she’s an avid owner of houseplants herself.

“I just think it’s really interesting to learn about what each different plant needs to grow best,” she said.

She started helping with the floral department at the Tillamook County Fair in 1996, and she’s spent the last six years as one of the department superintendents. Her official foray into the floral business, though, happened in 2010.

“A friend asked me if I could do the flowers for a wedding, and I said yes,” Martin said. “After that, another friend asked. And then another. It kind of snowballed from there, and I got hooked on it.”

For several years, Martin created wedding arrangements through an at-home business she called Riverside Floral. Occasionally she sold houseplants and other floral products at regional retail bazaars. She also worked as a local beautician, a career she’s held for 40 years.

However, as she gained a reputation for beautiful arrangements, her floral business grew — and she began to look for a way to expand upon that interest.

Riverside Floral offers several different species of houseplants, ranging from flowering plants, leafy greenery and succulents. Owner Leilani Martin often provides caretaking advice for each species as customers check out.

She found a larger home for Riverside Floral last year, when she moved into a back room at West Elliott Boutique, a clothing store run by her extended family. Although the new location was a great start, Martin dreamt of growing even larger.

“At West Elliott, I didn’t have a cooler. I could have installed one, but I just felt like I needed more room,” Martin said. “When the space on the plaza opened up, and it had so much light, I decided to give it a try. I knew the houseplants would love those big windows.”

A new adventure

As Martin arranged to start her first brick-and-mortar storefront, she consulted her support system for advice. She said her husband, Jim, played a huge role in supporting her decision to switch directions from primarily styling hair to focusing on florals.

“At times, he’s not always so sure, but he’s always been a good support,” Martin said. “This is a new adventure for me, and I couldn’t have done this without him.”

Martin also relied on Sue Petty, one of her business mentors. The former owner of La Tea Da, Petty advised Martin to include home décor and gifts at her shop to help support sales.

Martin reached out to a few long-time friends and family members who she worked with at the bazaars to bring in additional products. Her partner vendors include Linda Masterson, who sells furniture; Nancy Reddekopp, who crafts birdhouses and signs; and Pink Eggert, who makes signs; and Stephanie Lewis, who offers vintage vases. The shop also stocks stationary, jewelry, throw pillows and blankets and other home goods.

“Having the gift shop is a new experience, but it’s a good fit,” Martin said.

The Riverside Floral storefront showcases a varied stock of houseplants, florals and home décor items arranged in realistic home setups, like the fireside living room setup shown here, to inspire interior design ideas for shoppers.

As her shop takes root, Martin hopes to further grow its offerings. She envisions a once-a-month event where shoppers can stop in for their morning coffee or a light lunch while they browse the stock.

She also looks forward to partnering with other downtown businesses and organizations, including the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce.

“As things start smoothing out, I’m excited to become more involved with the Chamber and other businesses to make downtown more supportive for our customers,” she said. “And I really want to hear from the customers as to what they would like. I just want to give back and add to the vibe in Downtown Tillamook.”

Hot off the press: Tillamook Living Magazine is officially in circulation

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The second edition of the Tillamook Living Magazine arrived at the Chamber last month, and it feels like it’s all I’ve been able to talk about since. I see so much potential in this locally produced lifestyle and relocation guide, which is available through the Chamber and at several of our member businesses!

As you may already know, the Chamber started publishing Tillamook Living last year. The idea for the magazine was born out of several conversations with local businesses, organizations, real estate agents and other community leaders about how we could highlight our community to attract and retain talented workers, as well as help newcomers settle in as they moved to Tillamook.

This year the magazine went through a major redesign. We started from scratch, rewriting all the content, refreshing photos and constructing a totally new layout. Yes, it was intimidating to look at a blank sheet and build a 60-page publication. But the final product is a seriously impressive resource that the entire Chamber team can be proud of.

As part of the redesign — and building off my own background as a local reporter — we added space for six short articles that tell a deeper story of Tillamook.  I really love these articles, which cover everything from one resident’s discovery of outdoor recreational opportunities right in her backyard, to the reason why our county fair is better than the rest. They showcase the values and personality of this community in a way that an informational blurb about local services can’t. They add the “lifestyle” content to this lifestyle and relocation guide.

The plan is to change out those articles each edition of the magazine. That means there will always be something new to read in Tillamook Living and learn about this community — even if you’ve lived here your whole life.

Another one of my favorite parts of the magazine is how genuine it is. All of the content was written in-house at the Chamber, and the photos come from local photographers who have a special eye for what makes Tillamook great. This isn’t a promotional publication made by a company that has never been to Tillamook. It’s an authentic look at this place we call home, created by locals who not only live here but also care deeply for this community.

You can pick up a free copy of the Tillamook Living Magazine at Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. The magazine is also available at local businesses and realtor offices, including but not limited to the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, Tillamook PUD, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Roby’s Furniture and Appliance, YMCA, REMAX and Tillamook Bay Community College.

If you would like to receive a bundle of magazines to distribute through your business, please call the Chamber at 503-842-7525 or email

More EIDL grants and loan limit increase

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Federal Aid for Small Businesses is still available, and it is being overlooked by many small businesses. We get it — there has been so many programs to help small businesses that it’s hard to keep them straight. But there are thousands of dollars still out up for grabs through the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors and private nonprofit organizations, so this update is worth your attention. (Agricultural enterprises are not eligible for these specific programs, but there are different programs for agriculture.)

Tillamook is categorized as “economically depressed” along with most of rural America by the Small Business Administration standards, which means we have new EIDL advance opportunities beyond the initial, forgivable advances. This means that you may be able to receive thousands of dollars in what is effectively grant funding. We have done the research for you, and we know firsthand to how the program works, because we received our forgivable advance last week.

But first, let’s rewind to 2020 when the COVID-19 EIDL program was first released. At that time, the Small Business Administration touted that any business who applied to the program would get a $10,000 advance that was forgivable and would not need to be paid back as part of their loan. This was confusing to many as it rolled out because as the SBA later changed the advance to be $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000 total. Also confusing was the fact that you didn’t have to accept the additional loan to get the advance. Bottom line: If you applied, you received an advance equal to $1,000 per employee and then got to choose a loan amount. Regardless of whether you took that loan or not, you got to keep the advance as a grant as long as you used it for operational expenses.

Fast forward to 2021 and the release of the American Rescue Plan. In this package the SBA was directed to offer what is being called a “Targeted Advance.” This additional advance is open to economically depressed areas like ours, and it is an opportunity for businesses to receive the difference between what their initial advance was and the full $10,000 that was originally intended for the advance, as long as they:

    • Can demonstrate more than 30% reduction in revenue during an eight-week period beginning March 2, 2020, or later.
    • Have 300 or fewer employees.

For example, if your business had three employees, it would have originally received $3,000. The targeted advance would provide an additional $7,000 to make the grand total $10,000.

And then there’s the icing on the cake — also in the American Rescue Plan. Some small businesses in economically depressed areas also became eligible for a “Supplemental Targeted Advance,” which provides an additional $5,000 forgivable advance on top of the first two advance programs. This advance is only available after you have received the full $10,000 from the previous two programs; it brings the grand total of EIDL “grant” funding to $15,000 per business. To be eligible for this advance, applicants must:

    • Prove more than 50% economic loss during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later, compared to the same period of the previous year. Applicants need to provide gross monthly revenue (all forms of combined monthly earnings received, such as profits or salaries) from January 2019 to the current month-to-date
    • Have 10 or fewer employees.

The advances are only available to businesses that apply for the EIDL loan. Again, you don’t have to actually accept the loan, but you do have to apply to the program to be able to access the forgivable advance money.

In short, if you haven’t applied for the EIDL program at all, you are essentially leaving a “grant” of $15,000 on the table. If you have applied for the program but haven’t sought either of the new, targeted advances, you are potentially missing out on thousands of “grant” dollars.

During the first year of the pandemic, the Chamber sent out weekly updates to help local businesses obtain millions of dollars through federal and state programs. This EIDL advance money is allocated to businesses and will head to communities around the nation soon. Let’s bring it home to stimulate our local economy!

In addition to the advances, the EIDL program has increased the loan limits for businesses that might need additional funds. There are restrictions on how these funds can be used, but a game changing program update now allows you to pay off existing debt with these loans. For some businesses, this could be a good option to lower debt and loan payments because the EIDL loans run on a 30-year amortization and have an interest rate of 2.75% (non-profit) to 3.75%, with payments deferred for two years from loan origination.

Stay tuned for a future article on this and the Employee Retention Tax Credit Program, another financial recuperation opportunity for local business.

And in the meantime, I encourage you to begin working on your application for the EIDL program and targeted advances. To start your loan application and receive the first advance, visit If you have already applied for the program, visit your online portal to find options to apply for the new, targeted advances and loan increases.

As always, if you have questions or need help, I am happy to assist you. Give me a quick call at 503-842-7525 or email

Shop, enter and win with the fifth annual Shop Small Sweepstakes

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Golden and red leaves, crisp air and occasional rainy downpour mean two things: My favorite season has arrived, and it’s time for the Shop Small Sweepstakes!

Now in its fifth year, the Sweepstakes is the Chamber’s way of encouraging everyone to shop locally, especially over the holiday shopping season. With so many amazing retailers right in your backyard, why not buy your Christmas presents at a locally owned business? The Sweepstakes rewards you for doing just that, with weekly gift card giveaways and the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree!

It’s been a long year with lots of other prize-filled giveaways, so here’s a recap on the rules for the Sweepstakes. Whenever you shop at a locally owned business in Tillamook County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, keep your receipts to enter into drawings for gift cards and a $1,000 grand prize. You can enter two ways: Drop your receipt off at Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave., or send a photo of your receipt and your name to 503-389-0631. You can enter one receipt per day, every day of the Sweepstakes.

Each week, the Chamber will draw one winner from that week’s entries, and the winner will receive a gift card to a local business. This year, the weekly prizes are bigger than before, because the Chamber will match what each business donates as a prize to double the value of the gift card. Then, the entries for each week will be entered into a pool for the grand prize drawing for $1,000 in Sweepstakes Bucks.

Did I mention that you can also win more than one prize? There is no limit to how many times you can win, and each entry you make increases your odds of winning not only a weekly prize, but also the final grand prize. All the more reason to shop local and shop often!

All of the Sweepstakes winners will appear on our Facebook channel, so we recommend following the Chamber so you don’t miss any updates! We also will feature several locally owned businesses throughout the Sweepstakes to give you ideas for where to do your holiday shopping.

We also encourage shoppers to join the Chamber’s Shop Tillamook Facebook group. A lot of our local retailers are part of the group, and they often post information about sales or special deals, so you can be the first to know about a good offer! You also can use the group to share photos of the places you’re shopping or the items you’re buying — at least when they aren’t gifts! Don’t want to ruin any surprises.

And we’d be remiss not to mention our sponsor, US Bank. They’ve sponsored the Sweepstakes all five years we’ve hosted it, and they are absolutely amazing partners! We are lucky to work alongside them to promote local shopping!

The Sweepstakes officially started last Friday, Oct. 1, and our first winner will be drawn on Oct. 12. Until then, be sure to get out and shop at locally owned businesses, enter your receipts and watch for your name to be drawn for a prize!

If you have any questions about the Sweepstakes, feel free to contact the Chamber at 503-842-7525.

From my Chamber internship comes a community foundation

by Brooke Johnston
Operations Assistant Intern

Time flies when you’re having fun — and especially when you’re helping the Chamber build a new charitable organization that will benefit your hometown!

Let me rewind for a quick second, because this is the first Chamber Chatter I’ve written. My name is Brooke Johnston, and for the last four months, I’ve served as the Operations Assistant Intern at the Chamber. You might remember me from the welcome article the Chamber published about me, though it did use my maiden name at the time because it came out before my wedding!

I’m a lifelong Tillamook resident, and I graduated from Tillamook High School in 2019. Now I’m studying nonprofit management at the University of Oregon in Eugene. The Chamber kindly offered me an internship so I could get real-world experience and fulfill one of my degree requirements to graduate.

My internship at the Chamber focused on helping with general, day-to-day operations. You may have seen me around at Chamber HQ, delivering visitor guides, helping Sayde at the Farmer’s Market or even selling apparel at the Tillamook County Fair.

I also got the exciting opportunity to help lay the groundwork for the Chamber Community Foundation, a charitable organization the Chamber intends to launch later this fall.

For those that don’t know, The Tillamook Chamber is a 501c6 mutual benefit membership organization. That means it is limited in the types of grants it can apply for, and it cannot offer tax incentives for people wishing to donate money through the Chamber. As a 501c3 charitable organization, the community foundation will have access to a much larger pool of grant money and will be able to offer tax incentives for donors.

The foundation also will have a broader mission statement that allows it to run community programs beyond the Chamber’s focus on its members. For example, the Chamber envisions starting a Young Professionals group under the foundation, because it would allow the network to provide educational and workforce development opportunities beyond the Chamber’s direct membership benefits.

The specific details for what kinds of programs the foundation will run are still in the works, and the Chamber plans to work with other community leaders to determine how to shape the foundation in a way to best fit the needs of Tillamook. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months, and feel free to contact Justin at if you have any questions about the foundation at this point.

Although there is still work to do before the foundation launches, I am proud to have played a part in building a strong basis it can grow from. I can’t wait to watch the organization benefit the community when it’s up and running, even if I’m leaving before I get to see it all start.

This was my first time working with a nonprofit, and I really enjoyed applying the concepts I’ve learned in class at UO to the real world. I’m also excited to return to my final year of college with practical skills and a real-world knowledge of how to start a charitable organization. I also have the advantage of understanding the difference between a 501c3 and 501c6 and how those two organizations can legally exist together. That’s not too bad for an undergraduate!

So now I return to UO to finish up my degree; I graduate in spring 2022 (Go Ducks!) My plan for now is to come back to Tillamook after graduation to gain more career experience in my hometown. I’d like to work at a local nonprofit and, if it all works out, continue to help the Chamber Community Foundation as it grows!

Now Hiring: Tourism Social Media Manager

The Tillamook Chamber is currently accepting applications for a part-time, contracted Tourism Social Media Manager position.  The Tourism Social Media Manager will create and manage content to showcase the activities, attractions and experiences of Tillamook, Oregon.

Tourism Social Media Manager
Contract position; part-time remote work
Compensation up to $10,000 annually*


 The tourism social media manager will create and manage content to showcase the activities, attractions and experiences of Tillamook, Oregon. Social media platforms will hold a brand identity to message community attractions, stewardship, and an authentic culture to visitors consistent with the Dairyland’s brand.

Proposals must include:

  • Summary of understanding of the scope of work and your ability to fulfill proposed creative brief.
  • Creative brief explaining your vision for social content that meets scope of work.
  • Portfolio of work style (photos, social media posts, social media accounts, etc.).
  • Content outline identifying preliminary schedule commitment.
  • Ability to include a diverse mix of people and places within content.
  • Fee for service cost proposal and terms.

Submissions & Questions:

Contact Mallory Gruben, Communications Manager, at 503-842-7525 or email

*Program of work to begin January 2022 upon successful grant funding. Selected applicant will receive $150 for proposal if grant funding is not successful.

Join us Sept. 25 for the Tillamook Farmers Market Season Finale

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

It’s hard to believe that the end of September is already upon us, and if you are anything like me you are already planning your Halloween costume and Thanksgiving menu. But before we jump headfirst into the holiday season, there is still one more weekend of the Tillamook Farmers Market to enjoy!

You might recall last year we partnered with Food Roots and several other local businesses to host a Seafood Stock Up event. We are excited to bring this back again for our season finale. If you pre-ordered seafood at bulk prices through the Food Roots FarmTable website, you can pick it up at the Tillamook Farmers Market from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you didn’t preorder seafood, there will be even more available for sale, so still come down and stock up your freezer with delicious, fresh seafood.

While you’re stocking up for fall and winter, be sure to get your fill of produce as well. From tomatoes to squash, eggplants, corn, Brussels sprouts and everything in between — the farms are bursting with colorful, flavorful produce right now. If you’ve been wanting to do some canning, now is the best time to come buy bulk produce for your canning needs and keep your pantry stocked with local foods all winter long. I mean, what could be better than that?

One thing I love about our market is that we are always adding new vendors all season long. If you haven’t been down in a few weeks, you may have missed the addition of Sun Buttah and their organic, reef-safe sun screen products. We are also excited to have Penny Eberle bringing perennials and shrubs she grew herself. Fall is one of the best times to do some landscaping, so your garden and lawn is ready for spring. Or, it’s not too early to be thinking about holiday shopping, and how many people on your list would love something unique and hand-made from the farmers market? From custom-made jewelry to wine to scrumptious jarred preservatives and the softest baby blankets known to mankind — there are gift ideas for everyone.

It’s been a tremendous season all around, and I’m so thankful to everyone who came down and shopped with us. I have to give such a huge, heartfelt thank you to my vendors for being the best group of people I could ever ask for. We have so much fun together and I look forward to seeing them every single week. They work so hard to be here and their passion and dedication shines through every single Saturday. We’ve also had fun getting to know new vendors this year, and look forward to what the next year will bring.

Until then, please come down and enjoy the season finale of the Tillamook Farmers Market on Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn What’s Up Around Town at Mornings on Main Street

by Ashley Christensen
Programs and Events Manager

Although many of our Chamber events take place in the evening, once a month we host a special function for the early birds in our community. The appropriately named Mornings on Main Street brings together community members and business owners every third Tuesday in Downtown Tillamook.

We meet at the Chamber HQ to discuss upcoming projects and events. It’s an early morning social hour full of good people and good snacks!

Our sponsor, Columbia Bank, provides breakfast pastries from SaraSotas, and the Chamber offers fresh-brewed coffee and tea. Once everyone gets their beverages and treats, we go around the circle to introduce ourselves and share a little bit about what we’ve been up to lately and what projects we’re currently working on.

We start around 8 a.m., and the whole conversation takes about an hour. But we keep it casual, so attendees are welcome to drop in when they can and leave when they need, even if that means coming for 5 minutes for coffee and a quick hello. There’s no shame in coming late or dashing out!

And here’s the best part – and something a lot of people don’t know: You don’t have to own a business or be a local politician to attend. This meeting is open to the public! In fact, I’ve seen a lot of value come out of Mornings on Main Street for our residents. It’s a great way to learn about what’s happening in the community, make new connections and get involved!

Some folks have heard about a job opportunity and landed a new gig. Others meet new friends with people they may not have crossed paths with otherwise. And it feels like everyone who attends learns about a fun community event they end up going to later, whether that be a volunteer party with Habitat for Humanity or a fundraiser with the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook.

So join us this month for Mornings on Main Street! We’ll meet at the Chamber (208 Main Street) starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21. I hope to see you there!

Welcome Your New Employees with the Tillamook Toolkit

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This week as Food Roots, one of our Chamber members, announced the addition of two new employees to its staff, our team at the Chamber packaged up two Tillamook Toolkits to send off to their storefront. Chock full of locally sourced goodies, the toolkit serves as our way of welcoming individuals to their new jobs and to our community!

The Chamber started sending out the toolkits a few years ago. I find it to be a simple but important tool – no pun intended – helping local businesses retain the talented staff they hire, especially when those employees move to Tillamook from outside our community.

Each toolkit includes an assortment of gifts a new employee needs to start off their job on the right foot. As an added bonus, every item in the box comes from one of our Chamber members, so we are able to highlight some of the amazing resources we have right here in our community. All in all, we consider it a small taste of what makes Tillamook a great place to live, work and play! And we hope it encourages everyone who gets a box to stay in our community a while, so their talent stays local.

I don’t want to divulge all of the items, for the sake of maintaining some element of surprise for the recipients. But I can tell you this isnt a box of cheap and useless trinkets – products from Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Werner Beef and Brew and Jacobsen Salt all make an appearance.

The toolkit also includes contact information for the Chamber, because we want everyone in Tillamook to know that we’ve got their back. Whether you’re a new manager at a well-known nonprofit or an entrepreneur upstarting your first business, our staff is here to help with any questions, advice or networking opportunities you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Typically, the toolkit goes to new business owners, managers, leaders and supervisors. The packages are shipped from our office, most often upon the request of an employer. (It’s hard for us to keep up with the news of every new hire or special promotion in town, so help us help you by alerting our office directly).

To order a Tillamook Toolkit, simply email with the name, position and mailing address of the person you’d like to receive it. If the phone is easier for you, call Tammy at 503-842-7525.

And don’t worry about delivery: We’ll send it out for you!

Employer Health Plans a Big Benefit of Chamber Membership

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Did you know that the Tillamook Chamber offers employers access to a health insurance program? It seems to be one of the Chamber’s best-kept secrets — but we want to change that, because it’s truly a neat program.

We partner with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Corey Bush with Hudson Insurance to bring Bend’s health insurance program to Tillamook. Here’s how it works: Any good-standing member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce also becomes an associate member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, which can then offer their rates and insurance plans right here in Tillamook. They are working with Corey as the local agent, so you have someone in town who can walk you through the process.

What’s especially cool about this benefit is that you can customize your plan from six different options from PacificSource, so you and your employees can get health benefits that best fits your needs. We know that health insurance is not one size fits all, so we are proud to be able to offer the option to choose.

The plans also come at competitive rates, so you might end up with better suited coverage at a lower rate. That’s something we’ve already heard from members who have taken advantage of this benefit!

For businesses that don’t already offer health benefits, you might find that this program finally makes doing so affordable.

With open enrollment for federal programs starting in November, it’s good to get started now to see if these plans are a good fit for you and your employees. It’ll give you time to work through details and ask any questions you need before insurance companies get busy later in the fall.

I won’t get into the specifics of each plan here, but I can tell you that all the health plans cover essential health benefits, no-cost preventive care, calendar-year benefits and all member out-of-pocket costs for covered services apply toward the annual out-of-pocket limit. Plus, PacificSource is a great network both in Tillamook and throughout the state of Oregon.

There is one small caveat: The plan is only available with a Chamber membership. We’ve talked before about giving our members an appropriate value for their membership, and this is one way we can do that. Considering that most memberships cost less than $200 a year, I’d say access to a health plan like this – and a slew of other membership benefits – is well worth it.

If this healthcare plan sounds like something you’re interested in, I encourage you to reach out to Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to learn more and see if it is a good fit for your business. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And for information on Chamber membership (step one of accessing these competitive health plans), call our office at 503-842-7525 or visit

What’s Brewin’ is on for August

by Ashley Christensen
Programs and Events Manager

After a short interim away from the Chamber office to spend time with my new baby, I’m jumping back in this month to once again start planning and hosting fun (and safe) Chamber events for the community. I’m especially excited for my return, because it coincides with one of my favorite Chamber events: What’s Brewin’.

For those of you who don’t know, What’s Brewin’ is a quarterly gathering of Chamber members and their employees. The venue for the get-together shifts between our members, giving our local businesses and nonprofits the opportunity to show off their locations to attendees.

The night is an informal networking opportunity full of friendly conversation, complimentary beverages and tasty hors d’oeuvres catered by local restaurants. What’s Brewin’ is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to make new friends and connections in the community!

That said, it’s important to note that What’s Brewin’ is one of the few events the Chamber hosts that is open to members only. In general, we try to be as inclusive as possible. The vast majority of our events are open to the community at large, including Mornings on Main Street, Sip + Shop and Small Business Saturday, among others. We also offer grant assistance and practical advising to any local business that seeks out our help.

Still, we like to be able to offer our members a little bit something extra, just to ensure that they see the value of their membership. That’s where What’s Brewin’ comes in. It’s one of the special perks that comes with a Chamber membership!

This quarter’s What’s Brewin’ is especially neat, because it includes an advance preview of JAndy Oyster Co.’s new location at the Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Garden Center.  JAndy recently purchased the local nursery, and they plan to move their raw oyster bar and restaurant into the new space later this fall. The company is gracious enough to host What’s Brewin to give our Chamber members the unique opportunity to hear about their plans before anyone else! How’s that for a membership perk?

Our members should have received a postcard in the mail with more specific information on the time and how to RSVP, so I won’t rehash the specific details here. But I do hope to see as many smiling faces there as possible.

Personally, I’m most excited to reconnect with my colleagues and friends as we come together for a laid back evening of socializing and, of course, delicious food. (Rumor has it JAndy will be serving mini shrimp cocktails and oysters as the hor d’oeuvres! Yum!)

It’ll be the perfect welcome back to the office, and I just can’t wait!

Chamber News: New owners, same smiles: Davis family takes over Kelly’s Brighton Marina

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

There are several parallels between the former and new owners of Kelly’s Brighton Marina — their bright demeanors, their enthusiasm for outdoor adventure, their willingness to raise their children around a business they love.

Former Kelly’s Brighton Marina owner Kelly Laviolette shakes hands with new owner Colin Davis. Customers knew Laviolette by his infectious smile and infamous crab hat.

But the most uncanny just might be their origin stories.

Former marina owner Kelly Laviolette moved from Utah to Oregon with his family when he was a child. Although he initially knew very little about crabbing, he learned quickly while he worked for his family at Jetty Fishery on Nehalem Bay. About 10 years ago, Laviolette bought the Brighton Marina with his wife, Janice, to run their own crabbing business.

New owners Colin and Randy Davis also hail from Utah. They too relocated their family to Oregon and became involved with crabbing despite a sparse background knowledge of the crustaceans. This summer, they purchased the marina from the Laviolettes to run a crabbing business of their own.

“It kind of comes full circle,” said Randi Davis.

‘Good product, good location’

Kelly and Janice Laviolette have run Kelly’s Brighton Marina for the last 11 years. The couple bought the business in 2010 after working at Jetty Fishery with Kelly’s family for more than a decade each.

At the time, the marina was known as the Brighton Moorage or Brighton Marina. It ran on a seasonal schedule, closing for the fall and winter.

Janice Laviolette said they added Kelly’s name to the business in hopes of drawing their loyal customers from Jetty Fishery to their new shop. The couple also extended operations to a year-round schedule, added extra deck space and generally grew the business.

“I think over the years we just built up good will in the local area and brought in a lot of people from the Northwest and all over the place,” Janice said. “There was no secret to the business. It was just good customer service. When you have a good product and good location, it’s not hard to build from there.”

Reputation ruled for the business, which relied mostly on word-of-mouth promotions and building relationships with customers who returned almost every season. Many of the regulars came to know Kelly and Janice on a first name basis, and most fell in love with Kelly’s infectious smile and infamous crab hat.

“We both will really miss the wonderful people we’ve met along the way and being a part of all their family memories has really been an honor to us,” Janice said.

In his infamous crab hat, former Kelly’s Brighton Marina owner Kelly Laviolette poses with new owner Randi Davis.

Though it may come as a surprise to some customers, the Laviolette’s retirement was planned for some time. Janice said she told her husband when they bought the business that she “had about 10 years in me” before she wanted to step back from work. She also worked part-time as a postal carrier in Nehalem, and the couple got very few breaks from their jobs, especially in the summertime.

“I’m happy to take a breather,” she said. “Like I told Randi and Colin, my husband and I attended our first wedding together in 20 years. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my family and friends, and to do things we haven’t been able to do in quite a few years.”

Janice said she and Kelly were “very fortunate” to find the Davis family to take over. The “young family with lots of enthusiasm” received the complete endorsement of the Laviolettes to step in to carry on the business after their retirement.

“No one likes change, but I think people will be very happy to know that there is not going to be a whole lot of change going on with the new owners,” Janice said. “They hope to keep the same vibe and same type of core operations. I think customers will be happy to know that not much will change, and there will still be a lot of smiling, welcoming faces.”

Carrying on a legacy

Colin and Randi Davis took over the Marina in July after living and traveling in a camper van for over a year with their three kids. The couple said they took a break from Colin’s job in “corporate America” to travel the country and reconnect with family and friends.

About six months into their trip, they started planning for what to do once their mobile lifestyle wrapped up. Randi said the family “wanted to build something and help people get in touch with nature.” They settled on running a campground because they had found them the perfect place to try something new, especially outdoors.

The Davis family recently took over Kelly’s Brighton Marina after longtime owners Kelly and Janice Laviolette retired. From left to right: AnaBelle Davis, 11, Randi Davis, Dominik Davis, 9, Colin Davis and Bentley Davis, 7.

“You’re sort of forced into a place where you’ll have a really cool experience and you’re forced into a new place where you’ll meet new people,” Colin said.

The Davises looked at several campgrounds for sale, but nothing captured their attention until Kelly’s Brighton Marina. They especially liked that the marina included more than just an RV site, but also the added experience of crabbing and a well-trained crew to help.

“I liken it to getting married. You date a lot of different people, but something always goes wrong until you find the one. We kept looking at different campgrounds but none of them quite worked. And then one day, we finally realized we had found the right one,” Colin said. “We love the Laviolettes and what they have built here and thankfully, they didn’t hate us.”

“Kelly and Janice have been so great during the transition. And all the staff teaching us how to crab…that’s one thing that’s cool. We can tell people that we were beginners, too,” Randi said.

The Davises don’t plan on making any major changes at the business. They will keep Kelly’s name on the marina, and all the usual activities remain. The biggest change is simply new faces to greet customers as they enjoy their visit to Kelly’s Brighton Marina.

“It’s mostly just fine-tuning what Janice and Kelly already started,” Randi said. “It will be cool to be able to have their legacy continue.”

Chamber’s Tillamook apparel on sale at the County Fair

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It must be Tillamook County Fair season, because lately I’ve been dreaming of elephant ears, Pig ‘n’ Fords and new Tillamook jacket designs!

Here at the Chamber we prepare for the fair by creating a line a Tillamook apparel for the year, which we officially start selling at the county fair.  Each design features something to positively promote our town, whether that’s just the words Tillamook, Oregon, or a colorful design with a forest, fish or dairy cow.

The Chamber first launched its apparel line about 8 years ago after noticing that there were limited opportunities for visitors to purchase clothing promoting our town. We saw visitors wearing shirts from Seaside and jackets from Newport, but nothing from Tillamook.

So we started our own line of Tillamook, Oregon, sweatshirts and shirts to sell from our Chamber headquarters. All of the designs are created in-house by our local staff, and we have all of the clothing printed locally at PSI Screen Printing & Embroidery Services.

About six years ago, we started bringing our apparel from our booth at the Tillamook County Fair. What originally started as an idea to fill a gap in our visitor services grew into a way for our residents to show their pride for Tillamook. Local families began buying the sweaters and shirts, and now we see our friends and neighbors happily wearing their Tillamook apparel around town.  We even know some families who stop by the booth every year to buy the latest designs, and they’ve never missed a year to update their Tillamook hoodies.

We are excited to continue offering the community apparel they are proud to wear, and we love that you can help us promote this town we love so much with a high-quality hoodie for a reasonable $30 for adult sizes or $20 for kid sizes.

So catch us at the fair Aug. 11-14 at our booth right next to the Tillamook ice cream booth in the Main Pavilion. We’ll have three brand new designs, as well as the 2020 line, which wasn’t available at the fair last year due to the circumstances.

We hope to see you there with elephant ear in hand and Tillamook apparel on!

Hitting Our Stride at the Tillamook Farmers Market

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

We are just at the halfway point of the Tillamook Farmers Market season. If you haven’t been to visit yet, I encourage you to do so! We are almost back to pre-pandemic glory.

Last week we brought back the kids activity table and will keep that running for the rest of the season. Kids can come down and participate in fun, hands-on activities like rock painting, seed planting, decorating pumpkins and other fun (albeit messy) projects.

While they are there, be sure to stop by the Farmers Market HQ and get Kids Bucks. A big shout out to TLC, a Division of Fibre Federal Credit Union for being our Founding Sponsor and supporting Kids Bucks program. These $2 vouchers can be used to get $2 off things like berries, honey, vegetables or other delicious fruits. You can spend them that day or collect them to purchase something bigger later in the season. Kids Bucks are good through the end of September.

We also brought back live music this season, and so far have enjoyed tunes from Scott Casey, Eric Sappington, Rhythm Method and several others. The music plays each market day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is sponsored in part by the Tillamook Creamery. We are so thrilled to have such incredible musical talent available locally and hope you’ll stop by and enjoy it with us.

There is a great variety of vendors this season as well; both returning favorites and brand new faces. Some of our new additions include Bamford Bakery out of Forest Grove. You have to try their jumbo cookies! Oceania Galleria is also brand new this year, selling gorgeous, hand-painted cutting boards, dishes and original artwork all resembling the stunning colors and movement of the ocean. The Hummus Stop is another new vendor this year, and you’ll find them each week with home-made pita chips and several flavors of hummus. We are also excited to have Josi Farms with us this year selling their fresh produce and dramatically large onions.

If you are a SNAP customer and have tried to spend your SNAP dollars at the market and have been turned away, I am pleased to share that we have a brand new processor and are up and running again! Thank you for your patience while we worked through technical difficulties for the first half of the season. You can now bring your SNAP/EBT card to the Farmers Market HQ and we will charge your card in exchange for SNAP dollars that can be spent on eligible food items at the market. The first $10 you spend each day will be matched with an additional $10 in Double Up Food Bucks — good for vegetables, fruit, nuts, mushrooms and plants starts. Double Up Food Bucks is made possible in part by the Farmers Market Fund.

I hope you’ll come down and say hi to me and Brooke, enjoy the live music, play a friendly round of cornhole and do some shopping to support local businesses, farmers and producers. The Tillamook Farmer’s Market runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through September at the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street

Chamber News: Aquaculture plus agriculture: JAndy purchases Hidden Acres Greenhouse

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As one Tillamook business owner ends a chapter of her work life, another local business looks to carry on the storyline.

Debbie Smith, owner and founder of Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Café, retired on June 30 and sold the business to JAndy Oyster Company, which took over operations July 1.  JAndy co-owner Tamra Perman said the oyster company plans to meld the two beloved businesses into “JAndy Acres.”

“It is exciting to see what Todd and Tamra are going to bring to carry on the nursery part and meld their oyster company with it,” Smith said.

JAndy Oyster Co. recently purchased Hidden Acres Greenhouse, with plans to combine the aquaculture and agriculture businesses.

All the things that customers love about both shops will remain, Tamra Perman said. JAndy will serve its traditional menu at the restaurant in the former gift shop and café space, and shoppers can still purchase plants from the greenhouses. The new centerpieces for the restaurant tables – miniature succulent gardens planted in oyster shells – serve as a visual example of the blend.

“There was a lot of love that’s been put into this nursery, and we are excited to build from that,” Perman said. “We want it to be a blend of Debbie’s nursery and our seafood.”

A History of Hidden Acres

Smith started Hidden Acres in her home in 1997. She moved the business to the nursery in 2003 after nearly a year of preparing the space for the greenhouse operation.

“It was an old house … with property full of tires and trailers and blackberries. So we basically took a sad piece of property and put in the fence and the landscaping and the building and greenhouses,” Smith said.

Her husband and children helped with much of the work, and the business quickly became a family operation. Smith aimed to create a homey, welcoming atmosphere at the business.

JAndy Oyster Co. will relocate its raw oyster bar and restaurant to the Hidden Acres Greenhouse and Café later this fall. The new space includes seating in a beautifully landscaped outdoor area.

“If the weather was nice, you could sit outside in the garden. And if you wanted to spend three hours out there talking to a friend, that was fine,” Smith said.

As her children grew up, started families of their own and moved east near Bend, Smith started considering retirement. She eventually relocated to Bend to be closer to her children and grandchildren but continued running the Tillamook nursery “basically long distance.”

“For five years I’ve been traveling back and forth,” Smith said.

Up until this year, she still had one son living nearby in Portland who could lend a hand with the business when she needed. However, he recently moved near Bend, too.

“It just made it a little more isolated being here with the family all over in Bend,” Smith said. “JAndy’s offer to buy the business came at an opportune time for me, as far as being able to retire and move closer to my children.”

Hidden Acres founder Debbie Smith, left, and JAndy Oyster Co. co-owner Tamra Perman pose together outside of the entryway to Hidden Acres Greenhouse. Perman said the oyster company plans to meld its business with the beloved nursery.

Handing off the business she built from scratch was bittersweet, but Smith said the transfer was made easier because she knew JAndy owners Todd and Tamra Perman want to keep the business as a place that the community could gather. The Permans also agreed to add the nursery employees to their own staff.

“The nursery was kind of my baby, and I just wanted to make sure it was going to the right people. To see that it is going to a family that already seems to love it made it easier. They want to make it a community spot, and I’m excited about that because I really think the community needs that,” Smith said. “This is not the end of Hidden Acres. It’s just a different chapter for it.”

Space to dream

 JAndy Oyster Company began growing oysters in 2012. For many years, the family-owned business processed and sold the hand-picked oysters in a rented warehouse at the corner of Seventh Street and Ivy Avenue in Tillamook. In 2019, the business added a small raw oyster bar in the warehouse.

JAndy Oyster Co. owners Todd and Tamra Perman.

The move to Hidden Acres significantly upsizes the business’s square footage adding seating, a full-size kitchen space, a dedicated processing warehouse and storage areas for the oyster farm boats and oyster bags.

“This is exponentially more space. The possibilities are amazing,” Perman said. “We can dream and create.”

The new location also offers a large, beautifully landscaped green space JAndy plans to use as an area for lawn games, picnics or events. Perman said she hopes to eventually convert one of the empty greenhouses into a special seating area that can be rented for private gatherings.

“We felt like an event and gathering space was something the community needs, and this is the perfect setting for it,” Perman said.

The new location will even allow JAndy to grow much of its own produce, so it can have fresh ingredients for its shrimp cocktails and coleslaw. That particular plan is a favorite of Todd Perman’s son, Jacob, the company’s namesake and self-appointed “continuous improvement manager.”

The sun sets over the JAndy Oyster Co. farm on Netarts Bay. JAndy grows millions of oysters at any given time on its farm in the pristine waters of the bay.

Tamra Perman expects the JAndy raw bar and restaurant to be up and running at the new location come September. Until then, customers can purchase oysters at the JAndy warehouse on Seventh and Ivy, or stop by Hidden Acres to buy plants, many of which are currently on discount.

Tillamook Community Calendar a resource for events goers and throwers

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

For the first time in what feels like a very long time, my calendar is booked up.

This weekend I will attend the first living showing of a TAPA performance, and I’ve blocked out the second week of August for Tillamook County Fair (it’ll be my first Pig ‘n’ Ford experience!). My scheduled also includes a full slate of Chamber sponsored events for the fall, including regular Sip + Shops, Mornings on Main Street meetings and Cork & Brew (more on that soon!)

You might be wondering how I manage to keep such a full schedule, especially considering that we just now started transitioning back into in-person gatherings and events. My secret is the Tillamook Community Calendar.

You can access the calendar directly at, but it also appears online in several places, including the Chamber website, the Headlight Herald website and the City of Tillamook website. It’s the largest, most widespread and most comprehensive listing of events in Tillamook County.

The community calendar is where I hear about weekend entertainment events and learn about the beloved community festivals that make Tillamook so great. It saves me a lot of time, because I don’t have to sift through multiple websites and Facebook pages to find details on various events. They are all in one place on the community calendar!

The calendar took a sort of hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly because there were few in-person community events happening. But now that gatherings are allowed again, more and more listings are appearing on the community calendar.

For me, that means my personal schedule has started to fill up again. The same is probably true of anyone else who uses the calendar to find something to do. Once you know about it, your days of languishing around the house with nothing to do become a thing of the past!

But the community calendar serves a greater purpose than simply padding our social lives. It also gives you a way to get the word out about your own public events with a single submission that blasts to multiple websites. In short, the calendar is a free and easy marketing tool to reach a lot of people quickly.

Submitting an event to the community calendar is easy: You simply fill out a short online form with the name of your event, the dates and times it’s happening and a brief description of what it is. There’s even an option to upload a photo or flyer to generate even more excitement!

It feels great to be able to gather, attend live events and carry on with social life as usual again, and I’m glad to have the Tillamook Community Calendar to help me find and share events.

Check it out for yourself today at

A Fresh Set of Eyes: Redesigning the Tillamook Living Magazine

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As one of Tillamook’s newer residents, I get the pleasure of looking at this beautiful dairy town with a fresh set of eyes that makes everything feel new and exciting. That perspective has been especially helpful lately as the Chamber has started the redesign process for our Tillamook Living lifestyle and relocation magazine.

The magazine is intended as a resource that real estate agents, service providers, businesses and other community groups can hand out to new residents as a go-to guide of the town. It’s packed full of information about Tillamook’s local industries, services, retail shops, hikes, community service groups and so much more. It covers everything from hooking up electricity when you first move in, to finding a new doctor or dentist, to attending a community event once you’ve settled in. And it includes the Chamber’s complete membership directory.

The Chamber started publishing Tillamook Living last year. It was a project born out of conversations with business owners and community leaders about how we could recruit and retain new workers. In its simplest form, Tillamook Living is a tool to show off this place we are so lucky to live work and play in – and draw new talent into our ranks.

Tillamook is the type of rural community where you know your mail carrier by name and rally together to help a neighbor in need. But unlike some rural towns, Tillamook also has three big name grocery stores, access to world class seafood and craft beer and ample opportunities to hike, paddle or fish in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country!

Tillamook has all the benefits of small town living without losing any of the big city amenities people want. And that’s a fact we must communicate with potential future residents! We need to show new residents how amazing Tillamook really is, and we believe Tillamook Living is the best way to do that.

Speaking from my own experience, the magazine was a really helpful tool in getting to know the community. My personal copy is dog eared and marked up in many places, and I still refer to it when I’m looking for a particular business or service in town.

But I come to Tillamook from another small town. I already know the value of living in a rural community, and I seek out the special parts of a small town that make it great. I understand when the magazine says Tillamook has many community events, it doesn’t mean just events. It means beloved traditions unlike any event you’ve attended before. It means special moments the entire community looks forward to, so we can gather together and build relationships.

People from larger cities might not be as adept at finding those special things or reading between the lines. So this year we are using a fresh set of eyes to redesign the magazine to better communicate the benefits of living in Tillamook.

We plan to add multiple feature articles that highlight our businesses, our community leaders and our local industries. These articles will show off the personality of Tillamook. But more importantly, they will explicitly share how Tillamook stands out from other rural communities. The articles will answer the “why” in “Why move to Tillamook?”

Once all is said and done, the Tillamook Living magazine will look very different from last year’s edition. But the publication will be even more useful for newcomers than the current edition. Copies will be available later this fall.

And should you come across a copy of Tillamook Living later this year, I hope you’ll flip through and give the articles a read — even if you’re a longtime resident. If we’ve done the redesign right, the magazine will give you a fresh set of eyes to remember why exactly you chose to live, work and play in Tillamook!

Chamber News: Garibaldi Charters celebrates 20 years with Tillamook Chamber

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

When it comes to office views, the captains and crew at Garibaldi Charters has most competitors beat.

The fishing charter company staff spends most days out on the water guiding customers in hooking bottom fish, salmon, halibut and lingcod. It’s not uncommon for a bird to land on deck to rest for a bit, or for a dolphin to follow along in the charter boat’s wake.

“Every day that you’re out there on the water, you see things that people get to see once in a lifetime,” said co-owner Tamara Mautner. “We get to see this stuff every day.

Garibaldi Charters celebrates its 20th anniversary as a Tillamook Chamber of Commerce member this year. The family-owned business has spent just as many years mingling with ocean wildlife and getting customers hooked on fishing.

“Personally, I really do like being out on the water. … But I also really enjoy getting people out there for their first time and seeing them really light up. Maybe they’ll become a lifelong fisherman,” Mautner said.

Mautner has owned Garibaldi Charters with her husband for the last 8 years. Before that, the company belonged to her parents.

The crew at Garibaldi Charters takes customers out on the water to catch fish and fall in love with the sport.

The business operates three charter fishing boats and one guide boat. The charters primarily focus on bottom fishing, but Mautner and her staff also offer trips for halibut, tuna, salmon and occasionally crab.

“It’s a great way to get out on the water if you don’t own your own boat,” Mautner said. “Maybe you want to just try it out, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of buying the boat, maintaining the boat, paying for gas, taking the boat to the launch, launching the boat, paying to launch the boat and finding where the good spots are. We can do that for you.”

Garibaldi Charters also offers whale watching trips in the spring.

Most of Mautner’s customers come from out of town, and during the summer the charter trips are “nonstop visitors,” she said. Many of those visitors learn about the charter company through brochures at the Chamber offices, or in the official Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide co-produced by the Chamber.

“I feel like it’s important to be a part of the Chamber because they are really in tune with the community,” Mautner said. “I really like getting their email updates, especially over the last year keeping up posted on what’s going on with COVID and regulations and restrictions and what to expect and what’s going forward.”

The charter company happily caters to locals who don’t own boats or have a large enough vessel for deep water fishing. Offshore lingcod fishing trips tend to be a favorite in the Tillamook area.

“We have larger boats and can do some of the trips that maybe they can’t do in their own 25-foot boat,” Mautner said.

Like any charter fishing company, Garibaldi Charters operates at the mercy of the weather and fish stocks. Mautner said the business works closely with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to make sure it stays within harvest guidelines for each species of fish.

“We are not just out there raking in all of the fish. We want to make sure this continues to be sustainable,” Mautner said. “I think some people have the perception that fishermen just want to go out there and catch all the fish, but this is our livelihood. We definitely want to make sure we are doing it in a way that we will still be able to do in 20, 30 or 50 years from now.”

Meet the Chamber of Today

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Imagine for a moment the community without the Chamber. This was not far from reality a decade ago, when we were months from the Chamber becoming a completely volunteer-run organization or not existing at all. The budget was unsustainable, our membership roster was short and frankly, at that point in time, the Chamber was a visitor information center that hosted three small community events. Somewhere along the way, the Chamber had lost its way.

Fast forward 10 years, and you’ll find that the Chamber has made a concerted move to embrace its unique role of building a strong community where businesses can thrive (not so coincidentally, that is our current mission statement.) Between board leadership and staff vision, it seems that we have turned things around for the better.

Today, the Chamber boasts the largest membership in our history, with members as far north as Manzanita and as far south as Pacific City. We have two full-time, two part-time and two seasonal staff to run our programs, a board of seven directors that governs the organization and five strategic teams dedicated to one of five focus areas.

Our Leadership Team is the guiding force for the Chamber. This team focuses on internal operations and practices to make sure the Chamber is staying relevant, innovative and adaptive. The “jobs” that fall under this team include but are not limited to managing service contracts; strategic planning and aligning the Chamber’s mission with the needs of the community; and creating a positive workplace culture that can be a model for other organizations.

Our Business Growth Team focuses on exactly what its name suggests: supporting businesses as they grow both operationally and financially. More specifically, this team promotes businesses, shares business development opportunities with local businesses, advises business owners, promotes tourism and assists businesses as they apply for grants. Workforce, and lack thereof, has become a major focus of this team recently, and it is contently at the front of our minds.

Our Community Engagement Team plays the role of event host and quality of life improver. This team draws in and retains entrepreneurs and workforce members by making Tillamook and the greater county a great place to live, work and play. This is where events like June Dairy Parade, Cork & Brew Tour, Treats + Sweets, monthly Sip + Shop and the Tillamook Farmers Market come into play. Each one enhances the overall quality of life locally. This team also oversees the beautiful Downtown Planter Program and the production of the Tillamook Living Magazine, a community profile and relocation guide.

Our Connections Team aims to broker connections for our members to customers, other businesses and partner organizations. Even in the age of Google, direct referrals are still a core function of the Chamber. In fact, every day we field dozens of calls and in-person visits from people asking for referrals. The Connections Team also holds monthly Mornings on Main Street meetings for both business and community members to attend and network with each other, as well as membership events, such as the What’s Brewin’ social evening and the Annual Chamber Banquet.

Our Collaborative Advocacy Team is our newest team, and it’s where the Chamber steps into the political realm. This team provides information, opportunities and a voice for initiatives relevant to creating a healthy local economy for our businesses. I always get a kick out of it when people say, “That’s not the Chamber’s job,” because it quite literally is why chambers were created. Also, our membership surveys show that policy engagement and candidate endorsements are a high priority of our members. Our advocacy efforts often focus on land use issues, local codes, downtown safety and beautification and ballot initiatives that benefit local businesses. Housing has also been a major focus area the past couple of years, and we see it remaining so for the foreseeable future.

The Chamber is a unique organization because we have many roles, and people view us in many ways. Some people see us as a visitor information center and tourism promotion organization, while some people view us as the group who puts on community events. Some people think we are the group that only helps businesses, and some view us as a political advocate. Some say we are friend, and some say we are foe.

The thing is, every one of those people is right. The Chamber of today is all of those things. We embrace our varied roles in this community, and we continue to look to the future for ways to keep building a strong community where businesses can thrive.

We’re not the Chamber we were 10 years ago. And that’s a good thing.

June Dairy Parade’s Return to Normal a Smash Hit

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The 64th Annual June Dairy Parade is one I will never forget. It was a whirlwind to put together a traditional parade in just one month, after having planned for another inside out. But we pulled it off! And it was the was the perfect way to ring in the return to normal, not just for the parade, but the state at large. The governor announced the day before the parade that all COVID-19 health restrictions would be lifted by the end of the month.

More than 70 groups signed up an entry into the parade this year. (Don’t be alarmed if that sounds lower than usual. We changed how we count entries this year.) It’s easy to forget how long the parade was after just a year off, but this year’s parade had just as many entries as we did in 2019. Thousands of people showed up to watch. And no one melted, despite the warm weather.

We couldn’t have done it without the help of our volunteers: Chandra Allen, Cami Aufdermauer, Gary Brunmeier, Tom Connaughton, Lou Gonzalez, Bill Hatton, Chris Kittell, Randy Lamkin, Stephen Murphy, Gretchen Power, Ron Rush, John Samagaio, Khayla Sheldon, Chris Weber and Patsy Weber.

These folks direct parade check in entries at one of our three staging areas, direct entries into the right place in the lineup, time the sendoff the entries so there are as few gaps as possible for parade viewers, clean up the staging areas after the parade wraps up and generally help us pull off a successful June Dairy Parade. Many of them are return volunteers who have helped with the parade for multiple years in a row – and some for multiple decades! We are so thankful for them all.

However, the real star of the show is always behind the scenes. Chamber Office Manager Tammy Samagaio holds the reins of the parade year in and year out. She handles all the entries and parade logistics, and she manages all the volunteers and correspondences. This parade does not happen without Tammy, and I am so grateful we have her.

We also want to thank the Tillamook County Creamery Association, Visit Tillamook Coast and the City of Tillamook for putting resources behind the parade. TCCA has been the presenting sponsor for the June Dairy Parade for as long as our records show. This year, Visit Tillamook Coast also stepped in as a sponsor to help us cover last-minute costs associated with the quick turnaround of plans. The City lends us services from the Public Works and Police departments to handle road closures and traffic control during the parade. The financial backing and traffic resources are essential for hosting the parade at all, and we really appreciate all of these groups for their help!

The Tillamook Fairgrounds, Tillamook High School and Tillamook PUD are rock stars for lending us space to organize the lineup. There’s no way we could get the lineup ready to go without our temporarily donated staging areas.

Speaking of staging areas, we are grateful to the late Don Rust. Don was a Tillamook County Pioneer and a mainstay at the fairgrounds for years. He also was the June Dairy Parade volunteer who invented the way our volunteers set up the fairgrounds during the parade. Don’s system is easy and efficient. Even though he’s no longer with us, his positive impact on our community and on the June Dairy Parade specifically will carry on his legacy as an outstanding volunteer.

A big thank you is in order for our parade entries, too. From the young dancers from three local dance school who delivered flawless performances despite the heat, to the mini-Tillamook buses and cheese samples, to dancing horses and rodeo queens and so much more, we had a great variety of entries this year – and all the fan favorites. We know it wasn’t easy to switch plans last minute from a stationary entry to a moving one, but we are so glad they made it work. The entries really are what make this parade. After all, you can’t hold a parade with no one in it!

Last but certainly not least, we want to thank all the community members who braved the heat to celebrate the parade with us! It was so amazing to see the streets lined with familiar, smiling faces not hidden behind masks. We really missed our community traditions over the last 15 months – and our community even more. It’s great to be back to normal and back together again.

Don’t forget about the children’s coloring contest. You can download the printable coloring sheet at or pick up a copy at the Chamber at 208 N. Main Ave. You have until July 12 to submit your entries to the Chamber.

Chamber News: International Police Museum celebrates new location, five years of Chamber membership

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

During his 40 years of policing, retired Rockaway Beach Police Chief Ed Wortman had the opportunity to travel the US and the world making friends, swapping stories and trading artifacts related to that profession. Wortman’s personal collection of police gear grew until he retired in 2015, when one might ask, what do you do with it?

In Ed Wortman’s case – and with a cadre of dedicated volunteers to help – he used the collection as a foundation to open the International Police Museum (IPM). Just a month shy of 6 years old, IPM is celebrating both its five-year anniversary as a member of Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and the success of its new home in Wheeler, Oregon.

Ed Wortman used his personal collection of police uniforms and gear to start the International Police Museum, the only institution of its type on the Northwest Oregon Coast.

While Wortman’s collection served as the initial foundation of IPM, the museum now regularly receives a variety of items donated by visitors, current and retired officers and their families. Many face a similar problem: What to do with items they or family members proudly collected but have no room or desire to keep.

The only museum of its kind in Tillamook County and the Northwest Coast, IPM’s mission is to foster mutual appreciation and understanding between police and the public they serve. Wortman referred to “Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement.”  Written nearly 200 years ago, one of the principles reads “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”

Wortman said many of the police shows on TV do not accurately depict police work, and IPM hopes to give the public more accurate insight into the life and work of police officers by providing an opportunity for families and children to view – and even interact with – exhibits covering nearly 150 years of law enforcement history and culture.  As stated in IPM’s motto, it’s not all guns and cuffs.

Items on display currently range from some of the earliest known police uniforms, to equipment such as handcuffs, lie detectors, and early communication devices. Many of the items represent Tillamook County and Oregon.

One example, the “Oregon Boot” was originally designed for a prison project in Salem. Prisoners from the Oregon State Penitentiary were sent to build a new prison there around 1866. The typical ball-and-chain leg restraints were problematic on scaffolding, because if the ball or heavy chain fell off the structure, a prisoner might get trapped dangling from the scaffold.

The “Oregon Boot” temporarily replaced the ball and chain restraints used in prisons in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Designed by Oregon State Penitentiary Warden J.C. Gardner, the Oregon Boot replaced the ball-and-chain with a heavy iron band locked around the ankle, supported on a bracket affixed to one boot or shoe worn by the prisoner. The 26 pound ankle weight still prevented prisoners from moving quickly, but it was less dangerous for construction work.

The Oregon Boot at IPM is especially interesting because so few exist today.

“They quit using them in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and most of them went to the smelter during WWII because they needed metal for the war,” Wortman said.

True to its name, the IPM collection also includes items from around the globe, including helmets from Barbados, England, and Canada, among other countries. Wortman’s collection contains artifacts from over 167 different countries. Visitors from Canada, England and Japan have also contributed items to the museum.

The breadth of the collection sets IPM apart from other police museums, which usually focus on a specific police agency or a single state, Wortman said.

IPM strives to make displays that make the museum child friendly and educational. Many of the cases house one of the “bear cops” that are part of a museum scavenger hunt. The museum also has a fingerprinting station, where children and their parents can learn to take prints; a police motorcycle ride; and a real jail cell door that offers great photo opportunities. Wortman said many parents have expressed their appreciation for a place that the whole family can enjoy.

IPM moved this year to a space in the back of the Wheeler Treasures Mall store. Wortman said the move was prompted due to a change of ownership of the previous building in Rockaway. The new location seems to have increased the number of visitors stopping in to learn more about police work.

These badges, on display in the International Police Museum, are just a small sampling of the complete collection.

“We’ve exceeded the number of visitors we had in April and May in 2019, pre-COVID,” Wortman said.

Other advantages of the new space include a seven-day operating schedule and extra help with cleaning and sanitizing from the store employees.

“Shopkeeper Peggy Schuman has many great ideas to promote the merchandising of our gift shop. IPM is looking forward to an exciting 2021 in our new location,” Wortman said.

He also plans to complete some renovations so the museum can add more displays. He expects the museum’s Chamber membership to be of value in that process.

“It is a benefit to be a Chamber member because you have a sounding board, in some cases, for the things we want to do,” Wortman said. “The Chamber also keeps us up on things happening in the business world that we might not be tracking as we focus on day-to-day operations.”

Chamber News: Grocery Outlet opens new store in Tillamook

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The long-awaited grand opening day for Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Tillamook drew more than 100 shoppers ready to score deals that would make them say, “Wow!”

Grocery Outlet, the nation’s fastest-growing, extreme-value grocery retailer, officially opened its new Tillamook location Thursday, June 24. The store is independently owned and operated by Tamara and Stephen Tuttle, who are originally from Nehalem.

“We’ve have been waiting for years to get back home,” Tamara Tuttle said at the grand opening ceremony. “And we know that you’ve been waiting a long time for this store.”

The comment was met with cheers from the crowd; at least one shopper replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes, we have!”

Plans to open a local branch of the California-based grocery retailer date back to 2018. The Tillamook City Planning Commission approved a proposal for the 18,000-square-foot store in October of that year but required the company to meet several conditions, including receiving some state and federal permits.

Over the next three years, the store successfully met those conditions and began to build up the storefront at 2055 N. Main Ave. The store is located right off Highway 101 between Roby’s Furniture and the Coastal Plaza. It employs 30 people.

“We’re here to stay, and we are very much looking forward to building a wonderful place to work for 30 of your neighbors, friends and family,” Tamara said.

Grocery Outlet owner/operators Tamara, left, and Stephen Tuttle, right, present a donation of $1,000 to Tillamook Habitat for Humanity.

Grocery Outlet encourages its owner/operators to get involved in their local communities – and the Tuttles have wasted no time doing just that. The couple has volunteered to help the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, and on Thursday, they donated $1,000 to Tillamook Habitat for Humanity in the Tillamook store’s honor.

“Thank you to our new friends Stephen and Tamara Tuttle, owners of Grocery Outlet, for donating $1,000 to support Habitats building programs,” said Habitat Executive Director Cami Aufdermauer. “We cannot wait to see the many ways your new adventure will continue to support our community.”

Grocery Outlet offers a full range of products including fresh produce, meat, deli and dairy, along with a wide assortment of natural and organic choices. The store also carries a large selection of beer and wine, health and beauty care and seasonal items.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve received seven whole trucks of groceries, deli, produce. Anything you want to buy, we have it,” Tamara Tuttle said.

Tillamook Grocery Outlet owner/operator Tamara Tuttle, left, greets a shopper and her son on opening day at the store.

Grocery Outlet is an extreme-value grocery retailer based in Emeryville, California, with 400 stores throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania.  Each store is owned by an independent operator from the community they serve.

“My heart is full,” Tamara Tuttle told the crowd at the grand opening. “I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.”

#ShopTillamook Sweepstakes Wraps Up, But Local Shopping Can Continue

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

We pulled the last 10 winners of the #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes on June 24, wrapping up a multi-month campaign to support local retailers across Tillamook County. Congratulations to all the winners – and a huge thank you to everyone who participated!

Over the course of the 10-week campaign, the Chamber received several hundred entries, each of which represented a purchase made at a locally owned retailer. The Chamber also infused the local economy by purchasing all 80 gift cards we awarded in the raffle – a $4,000 value – so local businesses didn’t have to cover the cost.

More than the individual entries and gift cards, though, was the excitement we saw for our local businesses on social media. We released 30 promotional videos featuring local retailers, and those videos received a lot of love online. In total, the videos were seen more than 65,000 times on Facebook and earned well over 125 comments and 1,300 likes.

We loved watching our community support its local businesses on the video posts. One of my favorite things to do during the campaign was read through comments people left on the videos. The comments included positive reviews from loyal shoppers that frequent local retailers, as well as excitement from shoppers who learned about a business they’d never been to before.

Oftentimes, the repeat customers would inspire new shoppers to stop into a business for the first time, either by answering questions about the business or building up the staff and management. Think of it like a good Yelp recommendation, but with more weight because it comes from one of your friends or family members. And that was exactly the type of energy we wanted to build with the sweepstakes!

With all that’s gone on in the last year, it’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers that persevered through all the ups and downs of the pandemic. Our local retailers continually provide the community with great products and services, and word-of-mouth reviews like we saw in the comments of our #ShopTillamook posts give them a leg up. Not only does it show them how much their loyal customers love them, but also it attracts new shoppers to support the business!

The love doesn’t have to stop now that #ShopTillamook is over. In fact, we hope the community will continue to shop locally, thank its local retailers and share their experiences with friends and family.

Our local shops power our economy, support our community events and sponsor our children’s sports leagues. Even during the pandemic, our local businesses found ways to give back to the community and keep our citizens safe. In exchange, we should continue to Shop Tillamook whenever we can!

Business Growth on the Horizon in Tillamook

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Fostering business growth is an often unnoticed or unseen part of what the Chamber does, but recently more businesses have been seeking out that benefit. So I wanted to take some time to explain what exactly that process looks like.

A lot of people think the Chamber helps businesses grow only through training. As owners and operators learn more about running a business and reinvest that knowledge into their own shop, their businesses expand. While that is true, there is more to the story. Helping with business growth also includes providing “practical advising” on topics like property acquisition, relocation and renovation, operational efficiencies and hiring – and that’s the side that the Chamber focuses on.

I’ll add quickly that we are fortunate to have the training side covered by the Tillamook Small Business Development Center. Their work on academic and technical advising frees up time for the Chamber to direct its attention to helping with the other side of the business growth equation. Plus, the SBDC plays a vital role in educating businesses on the nitty gritty details and requirements of entrepreneurship, so business owners are more prepared to have practical advising conversations with us later down the road.

What do I mean when I say the Chamber provides practical advising for businesses growth?  It can take a few different forms.

When an aspiring entrepreneur first hatches the idea to open a business, the Chamber helps grow that idea by talking through the potential pitfalls they might face. These conversations cover more than what kinds of licenses a business owner needs to open legally. We talk about challenges and opportunities within the industry, sustainability of their business model, how to avoid burnout and how to prepare for future growth now.

We also advise businesses throughout the property acquisition process, whether for a new shop or a relocation. We help business owners navigate general land use and zoning requirements or conditions. (Just because there is a piece of property for sale doesn’t always mean it can be used for business right away). We also talk through how a certain property they are considering best fits their business model.

 You’ve seen our work helping with business growth in the form of storefront renovations. (Think Dutch Mill, Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and Flavors on First Street, for example). The businesses apply for urban renewal grants and complete the renovation work, but we love to help them formulate the best pitch and design renderings to secure the award.

We’ve even helped businesses grow by providing our shared workspace at Chamber headquarters as a location for hiring interviews. This is especially beneficial for businesses that are just getting started, because they can begin the hiring process well before opening, even if their own location is not quite ready for visitors yet. Really, it’s a major leg up for forming a staff.

After the long year businesses have endured during the pandemic, you might be surprised to hear that business growth advising is taking up a large portion of our time at the Chamber. Our business community is resilient and strong.  Many local business owners are working hard to enrich the community with new services, new products and new opportunities, pandemic or not. I am proud of their work – and more than happy to help them along in the process.

And while I can’t talk specifically about some of the ideas brewing in our business community, I can tell you this: There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon. So keep your eyes open to see how our local businesses grow!

Tillamook is Looking Beautiful — Thanks to Our Community!

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Let me take a moment to brag about how beautiful Downtown Tillamook looks right now.

Just last week, more than 50 large planters burst to life with flowers and foliage. The Chamber contracts local plant experts to run our Downtown Planter Program, which places large flower planters throughout the downtown district. The Chamber began this program in 2013, and the planters add a decorative element to the city.

We maintain the planters year-round with appropriate plants for the season, including hardy winter plants in the colder months. The arrangements are revamped semi-annually, and I love to see what new and unique designs is planted in them. But it seems the planters always look so amazing in the summer. It must be something about seeing those bright florals after a long winter of gray skies…

Of course, we couldn’t run the program without the help of our contracted expert green thumbs Cindy and Melissa, who plant and care for the flowers all season long. We also contract with the City of Tillamook crew, which waters the plants through the summer, and from the business owners who sponsor the program financially. You’ll know who those sponsors are because they have a planter right outside of their storefront!

And the Downtown Planter Program is just one of the many city beautification efforts happening in Tillamook right now. Maybe you noticed that city crews have recently ramped up efforts to clean out and weed the bioswales along Main and Pacific avenues.

For whatever reason, those bioswales seem to be the perfect habitat for weeds to flourish, and we get a lot of comments about how we can make them more appealing and less overgrown. So we are very encouraged to see the city tackling that task. They are listening to our community and problem solving right alongside us!

City crews also hung flower baskets throughout town. I think they pair perfectly with our larger planters on the ground. Having hanging baskets and sidewalk planters really ties together the walkways!

And don’t forget that all this work comes just about a month after our Downtown Tillamook Cleanup. More than a dozen volunteers lent a hand in May to clean between brick pavers, blow away old leaves, pick up garbage and wash off signs. We are so grateful to our cleanup volunteers – and to all of the community members who find little ways to make a big difference for our city.

It can be as simple as picking up a piece of trash you see where it shouldn’t be or applying a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of your home or business. We see these beautification acts happening every day in Tillamook, and altogether it amplifies the beauty of the place where we live, work and play!

Welcome Brooke Reibach to Her Tillamook Chamber Internship

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The Chamber is trying something a little new with our staff this summer: a summer internship program for Tillamook’s very own Brooke Reibach. Join us in welcoming Brooke to our team!

Brooke’s internship will focus on nonprofit organization, management and event planning. She also will help us with a special project to formulate the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation charitable organization. (More on that later.) Her official title will be our Operations Assistant Intern.

“This will be my initial experience working with a nonprofit, so I really want to see how that’s different from working for a for profit company, and what it looks like to be a mission-focused organization. I’m also excited to be involved in starting the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation,” Brooke said.

Brooke was born and raised in Tillamook, and she graduated from Tillamook High School in 2019. In fact, she has spent all her life here, except for nine months she attended the University of Oregon at the Eugene campus before the pandemic opened up remote options for her.

At UO, Brooke is majoring in nonprofit management with a minor in religious studies. She said she hopes her education will create career opportunities to make a positive difference in the world.

“I picked this major because it actually teaches you about the world and how you can improve communities,” she said. “It seems like a ‘doing’ major, where other majors felt frustrating because you are just being told what’s wrong but not being told how to fix it.”

Part of her degree requires Brooke to get an internship with a nonprofit. She reached out to the Chamber to see if we might be able to help her, and we found a way to add a summertime role to fit her needs.

“I think it’s really special to intern in my hometown. Tillamook is a really great place to grow up, and I feel like sometimes people take that for granted. So I think it’s important to now have my chance to give back to this community that has been there for me my whole life,” Brooke said.

The Chamber has hired an intern before, though that internship looked a little bit different than Brooke’s will. It was highly specific because it was funded through an outside grant and university program with detailed terms, while Brooke’s is more general and adaptable. Hers will also be the first single-semester internship we’ve ever offered, and the first filled by a Tillamook local.

We are fortunate Brooke decided to intern in Tillamook and share her talent locally, instead of choosing a different community where she could gain the same skills. We see Brooke’s internship with us as a chance to give her real-world taste of the nonprofit sector – and potentially get her to stay in Tillamook even after she graduates. There is a lot of value in keeping young professionals in the town they grew up in, because they already know and care about the community.

Brooke’s first day at the Chamber will be June 21. She will work with us until her fall classes start in early September. Please come by the Chamber office to introduce yourself to Brooke when you have time!

Tillamook Farmers Market Returns June 12

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The return of longer, warmer days can only mean one thing: It is almost farmers market season!

The Tillamook Farmers Market will return for its 21st season on June 12 and run through Sept. 24. As always, you will find the market on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday.

While many of our COVID-19 restrictions from last year will still be in place, we will slowly (and safely) be phasing in some of our regularly scheduled programming. We have received confirmation from the Oregon Farmers Market Association that we can bring back live music, and I am working on scheduling some of our local, talented musicians for the months of July and August when the weather is particularly nice, and everyone can properly spread out.

We will also be bringing back our SNAP service and Double Up Food Bucks incentive program. If you or anyone in your household has an Oregon Trail Card, they can come to the Farmers Market HQ trailer, and we will not only process their EBT card so they can spend SNAP dollars at the Market, we also will match the first $10 they spend with an additional $10 for fruits and vegetables.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, we have added a few extra farms this year that I am very excited about. Z’s Fresh Microgreens will be joining us for the entire season, and if you haven’t tried their microgreens yet you are missing out! They are great as a nutritious, flavor-packed snack or the perfect topping for salads and sandwiches. Josi Farms also will be joining us this season selling not only their produce, but also farm-raised beef. Of course, all your favorites, like Pitch n Plow, Brickyard Farms, the Berry Patch Girls, MC Family Farms (the one with all the beautiful flowers), Mountains to Rivers Ranch, and Fawcett Creek Farms will all be back this year, as well.

You also will find Oregon Coast Honey, Three Sisters Kettle Corn, Pacific Roots Coffee, Nestucca Bay Creamery, Sweet Treats by George, Bewley Creek Woodworking and many of your other favorite vendors returning this year, as well as plenty of new faces to come check out. We are also planning another seafood stock up event toward the end of the season, when you can find fresh, canned and frozen tuna and other locally sourced seafood to stock up on before summer ends.

If you were hoping to get in as a vendor, you may have noticed that our online application has closed, but we are still taking your information in case there is an opening. Because we are still spacing vendors six feet apart, we are limited on the number of booths we can accommodate. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions or would like to get on the waiting list.

We look forward to seeing everyone on June 12!

Chamber News: Aufdermauer Celebrates 10 Years as Chamber Director

Justin Aufdermauer

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce of a decade ago may well be unrecognizable to its modern-day self.

With a more accessible headquarters, more members and a stronger reputation within the community, the organization has changed significantly since 2011. Past and present Chamber board members say that Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer is the mastermind behind those changes.Justin Aufdermauer

“When he started, the Chamber wasn’t doing very well,” said Whitey Forsman, a former Chamber board member who worked with Aufdermauer for 8 years. “Justin put a strategic plan together and followed it. And it proved successful.”

Last month marked Aufdermauer’s 10th year in the Chamber’s top leadership position. In that time, he has moved the Chamber headquarters, built stronger relationships with business and community partners, and provided a face for Tillamook County on regional and state boards.

“I think people now see the Chamber as informed and educational. They appreciate what the Chamber does for our businesses and for our community. Justin has been the one that’s driving all of that. He has elevated the Chamber in that way,” said Lisa Greiner, president of the Chamber board of directors.

When Aufdermauer started at the Chamber, the organization’s headquarters was based in the Tillamook County Creamery Association parking lot as a visitor center. The Chamber had significantly fewer members, and it focused more on tourism and visitor relations than the community, he said.

A car salesman with Tillamook Ford who was serving in a number of community leadership roles at the time, Aufdermauer applied for the job because he saw it as an opportunity “spend my career” doing something he loved: positively influencing his hometown by being involved in the community.

Tillamook Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer ‘walks the walk’ by volunteering for the 2021 Downtown Tillamook Cleanup and other community events throughout the year.

Forsman said the new director added “credibility” to the Chamber. He was a life-long local resident who knew the community well and truly cared about it.

“Justin walks the walk and talks the talk,” Forsman said.

Aufdermauer brought his community connections from groups like Kiwanis and the Tillamook Revitalization Association to the Chamber with him. He built upon those relationships to grow partnerships with the Creamery, the City of Tillamook and others, Forsman said.

Those partnerships eventually led the Chamber to grow its membership to more than 300 businesses and individuals, and to move Chamber headquarters to a more prominent spot in Downtown Tillamook.

“The Creamery approached us as they were expanding and worked closely with us to relocate. It was really a great opportunity for us to find a downtown location that afforded us an opportunity to still accommodate visitors while becoming more engaged with a broader part of the community,” Aufdermauer said.

In his early years at the Chamber, Aufdermauer caught some flak for being a “free spirit” who was direct about what he wanted, Forsman said. But as he grew into the role – and was mentored by Forsman and other board members – Aufdermauer learned to use that quality to his benefit.

“What really makes the difference with Justin is that he doesn’t mind confronting issues, but he doesn’t carry any ill feeling around,” Forsman said.

Greiner added that Aufdermauer is “direct, but not mean about it.”

“Sometimes when you’re too soft with people, the message gets lost. So I appreciate Justin’s bluntness,” she said. “He also has an energy that is infectious and gets people excited for things that are happening. His passion and excitement rub off on other people.”

Tillamook Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer, left, celebrates the local business community by hosting the Chamber’s annual Community Awards Banquet.

Greiner said she see the Chamber as the “rising tide that floats all of the community.” Aufdermauer’s talents and competitive nature fuel daily improvements that benefit Chamber members and the community at large, she said.

“Justin wants the Chamber to be the best it can be for the community, to always be better than it was yesterday,” she said. “He thinks about problems from 360 degrees. He has an organizational thought process, and he understands that there is a need for the people to be involved and informed. He just gets what the Chamber is here to do: build community.”

Since starting at the Chamber, Aufdermauer has shifted his board service from local organizations to state and regional groups. He serves on boards for the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Destination Association and Oregon Coast Visitors Association, among other boards. Those positions allow Aufdermauer to represent Tillamook at the regional and state levels, which have not historically featured a local voice for the community.

“He’s well-respected in the state and on state boards,” Forsman said. “He really is the go-to guy for politicians to get a pulse of what’s going on in our community.”

Aufdermauer joked that his greatest accomplishment over the last decade has been adding to the membership roster businesses that had long avoided joining the Chamber.

“One of my favorite accomplishments was getting Tom (Connaughton) at Diamond Art and Cindy (Gardner) at Sunflower Flats to join the Chamber,” Aufdermauer said. “Those were two anchor stores I grew up with as a local, but they were not members of the Chamber. When they finally joined, I felt like I could cross that off my bucket list.”

In his first decade as the Tillamook Chamber’s Executive Director, Justin Aufdermauer, right, led the Chamber in adding members, moving to more prominent location and expanding community engagement.

On a more serious note, Aufdermauer noted that adding longstanding Tillamook businesses as Chamber members indicated that the organization was operating in the way it was originally intended. Many businesses that had not seen the value of a membership before changed their minds as they saw the Chamber grow.

As businesses started to see the value of a membership, Aufdermauer took it as a sign that the Chamber was making an impact in the community and meeting its mission to build a strong community where businesses can thrive. For him, that is the true pinnacle of his work so far.

“Ten years ago, the Chamber had reached a point where it wasn’t supporting businesses and building community like it should. Me, the board and my staff have been able to fill that void successfully,” he said. “That is my greatest accomplishment: knowing that in the past 10 years, we’ve had a positive impact on building a stronger community.”


Chamber has free PPE for small businesses

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The Chamber recently received a third shipment of Personal Protective Equipment from Business Oregon, and with our in-house storage space stocked with masks, gloves, and sanitizer, it feels like a good time to recap the free PPE program we’ve been helping manage.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s economic development agency Business Oregon has provided Chambers like ours with PPE to distribute at no cost to local small businesses. The shipments include a wide variety of supplies, including face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers, sanitizer wipes and spray, and thermometers. Pretty much anything a business might need to follow state guidelines.

The program saves money for businesses, who don’t have to personally incur the expense of buying PPE. In Tillamook County the program has provided more than $100,000 worth of PPE.

The only requirement for a business to receive PPE through this program is that it qualifies as a “small business” under state definitions. That means any local business with 500 or fewer employees can call the Chamber to order PPE at no-cost to their business. You don’t even need to be a Chamber member, (though we recommend joining, because members also get the added benefit of reminder emails and regular updates explaining state data and guidelines as they change).

So far, we’ve distributed well over 200 orders to local businesses all across Tillamook County. Orders have gone to businesses as far north as Manzanita and as far south as Neskowin. (We’ve got to give a special shoutout to Dan Haag, who helped us reach dozens of businesses up in North County!)

The most recent bunch of supplies should be the last full shipment we will receive from Business Oregon, though we expect to get a special restock of hand sanitizer refills for the no-touch dispensers later that should last through the end of the year.

We distribute on a first come, first serve basis, and we will continue to hand the supplies until we run out. Although we are low on some items – sanitizer spray seems to be most popular – our stock should be enough to meet business needs for the next several months. We simply ask that businesses don’t call in for a restock just to amass back stock at this time.

Businesses can reserve new stock or request a restock of PPE by calling Tammy at 503-842-7525. Orders are customizable, so feel free to ask for just one or two items if that’s all you need for now. We are happy to help however we can!

New Ways to Enter #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Hello … is there anybody out there??

As we near the end of the first few weeks of the #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes, we have just TWO entries. We are giving away $4,000 in gift certificates over the course of the campaign. So where is everybody at?

Maybe we weren’t clear that there is $4,000 in prizes up for grabs. Eighty gift cards worth $50 each. And we are drawing winners in a raffle style each week, which means you could very well win one gift card every week of the campaign. That’s a possible total of $400 per person, if you enter each week and luck is with you! But you can’t win even a single gift card if you don’t enter.

Maybe we poorly explained that any and all purchases made at a locally owned retailer are eligible. And by “local,” we mean Tillamook County. You can shop at small businesses in Manzanita to Neskowin and still have a chance to win!

Whatever the reason for the slow kickoff of #ShopTillamook, we’ve decided to extend the sweepstakes though mid-June. And we’ve added two new ways to enter to make it easier for everyone to participate. Now, in addition to positing a photo of an item you purchased from a locally owned retailer, you can also text a photo to 503-389-0631 or bring your receipt into Chamber Headquarters at 208 Main Ave.

There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop and the more items you buy, the more likely you are to win. And potentially win again and again each week! We randomly select up to 10 winners weekly, but it’s up to you to improve your odds of being drawn.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is a great time to #ShopTillamook for local gifts. Show your mom how much you appreciate her, while also supporting local retailers who have continued to serve this community despite all the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents. You can even keep your gift secret with our new ways to enter, which won’t accidentally alert your mom of her Mother’s Day gift.

You can also participate by revamping your summer wardrobe and showing it off on social media. Or by purchasing new toys for your kids to play with during summer vacation – and new gadgets to boost your backyard barbecue game (I’m looking at you, Green Mountain Grill).

So let’s recap: Our #ShopTillamook Sweepstakes is still underway with two new ways to enter. You can – and should – participate by purchasing something from a locally owned retailer and:

  • Posting a photo of the item on social media with #ShopTillamook
  • Texting a photo of the item to 503-389-0631
  • Bringing your receipt into Chamber HQ

We saw the energy this community has for supporting its local businesses during the #TillamookTakeout campaign. Help us show our local retailers the same love and excitement as you did our restaurants – and win a gift card while you’re at it!

Redesigned Chamber HQ a COVID Safe Workspace

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I’m a strong believer that people work best when their surrounding environment is comfortable. Go ahead and kick back on the couch! While it might sound counterintuitive, it often leads to greater inspiration and productivity.

That’s why our shared workspace here in Chamber Headquarters focuses on creating a comfortable yet productive atmosphere. And we recently redesigned the space to further enhance the experience.

Take, for example, our new seating arrangement near the picture windows looking out to Main Street. With a loveseat and two comfy armchairs all nestled around a coffee table, it looks a little like a living room. Pair that with free WiFi for guests and courtesy coffee or tea, and it comes alive as a productive workspace. It’s not unusual for us to find someone typing away on their next big project while curled up in one of the chairs.

We also added collapsible tables with wheels to replace the traditional tables that used to fill our upstairs area. The new tables allow for easy rearranging, so you can reconfigure them however best meets your needs. They also make social distancing simple: Just wheel your workspace six feet from any other people that might be sharing the space!

State guidelines for COVID-19 led us to reduce the overall number of tables available in HQ to meet capacity and social distancing requirements. The change opened up the space, adding light and brightness. You won’t feel that work-from-home claustrophobia here because we’ve got ample room!

The state guidelines also inspired us to purchase a Keurig machine for our coffee bar. Now we can offer individual serving sizes, instead of a sharing a single pot of coffee among many people. The even better benefit is that everyone can brew the beverage of their choice, guilt-free of wasting coffee that’s been on the burner all day.

All told, the redesign amplifies the atmosphere, making Chamber HQ the natural choice for a productive place to work. Our shared workspace is open to the public, and we are happy to host people who are working remotely or who need a space to safely meet with clients in-person.

You can reserve a portion of the space by calling Tammy at the office 503-824-7525. Walk-ins are also welcome, and we encourage you to drop in to check out the new furniture and try out the new couches, rolling tables or Keurig for yourself! Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to boost your workflow.

Save the Date for June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Clear your calendar and rev your engines for June 26: The 64th annual June Dairy Parade is a-go, though it will once again be inside out. The parade theme will be “As the World Churns.” (Fitting, we think, for how our community keeps trekking along despite any of last year’s obstacles.)

We looked at every angle possible for hosting a traditional parade, but based on current state guidelines and OSHA enforcement, there’s simply no way to line our streets with the some-20,000 parade spectators that usually show up to watch. So instead, entries will stage along a parade route, and spectators will drive through to enjoy the floats, dancers, and other festivities.

Although we are eager for the days when we can return to a traditional parade style, we’ve found that the inside out model is a good temporary substitute. Last year more than 400 cars showed up to drive through the parade route, which consisted of approximately 50 entries staged for nearly a mile. As cars drove through, parade entries passed out candy, cheese, jerky and other goodies from a safe distance, so none of the snacks or swag you’re used to was missing!

Both participants and entries had a great time. And as a testament to our success, a handful of other cities in the region reached out to us for tips on hosting their own inside out parade. We’ve become an example for how to hold fun and safe community celebrations during the pandemic!

Of course, we are always looking for ways to improve. This year we will start the parade at 10 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, to avoid the increased traffic on Pacific and Main that caused some delays last year. We’re planning to block additional roads along the route to ensure that vehicles can get through the parade in a timely fashion, as well as adding measures to reduce the wait-time at the fairgrounds. We’ll have more on the specifics as June 26 gets closer.

We also hope to grow the number of entries and participants this year to make the inside out parade bigger and better than before. So break out your globes or butter-making equipment, get creative, and help us celebrate all things dairy! After all, the dairy industry is a big deal here in Tillamook.

If you would like to be a staged entry in the 2021 June Dairy Parade, please submit your application by May 31 at And keep your eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and additional information.

#ShopTillamook Launches This Week

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Did you know you can purchase high-quality farm and garden supplies, homemade bath bombs, hand-painted vintage furniture and mouthwatering smoked meats all right here in Tillamook County?

Sometimes it feels easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers in our community. More than saving a long drive into Portland, these local shops power our economy, support beloved community events and our children’s sports leagues, and care about our hometown just as much as we do.

So we’re launching the #ShopTillamook campaign to remind everyone about all of our great retailers and show our local shops how much we appreciate them!

#ShopTillamook is an idea gleaned off the success of our past events promoting local businesses. Think #TillamookTakeout meets Shop Small Sweepstakes. In many ways, #ShopTillamook combines those two events to show off all the great retail options available in our community – and give you a reason to buy that special shirt or fancy new tool you’ve been eyeing for a while. After all, it pays to shop when every purchase makes you eligible to win one of 80, $50 gift cards!

The rules are simple: Every time you purchase an item from a locally owned retailer between April 4 and May 31, snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using #ShopTillamook. Each post automatically enters you to win gift cards to local stores. There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop, the more likely you are to win!

Each week we will randomly select 10 winners to receive a gift card to a local business. We’ll also share videos of several local businesses to give you an opportunity to scope out your next purchase and learn a little bit more about retailers throughout the county. Between our videos and your pictures, we will flood social media with hundreds of reasons to visit local shops. Let’s encourage each other to buy locally!

Shopping locally helps our community thrive. It supports your neighbors, your friends, and your family. It keeps our community vibrant and unique. And it shows local business owners – the same ones who support FFA, youth sports and local nonprofits  – that we appreciate all they do for our community! They took a risk to open a business and provide you with great products and services just down the street. Participating in the #ShopTillamook campaign is a great way to say thank you.

The Tillamook community showed up for our local restaurants big-time with #TillamookTakeout, and we hope you’ll all do the same for #ShopTillamook. What better way to do that than to treat yourself to a new shirt, a nice piece of furniture or a new gadget. And, of course, enter yourself for the opportunity to win a gift card!

Welcoming Kristin Holleran to the Chamber Board of Directors

Kristin Holleran

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you are a regular reader of this column you might notice a theme lately: We have a lot of new faces (and new energy) here at the Chamber. I am excited to introduce you to our other new board member, Kristin Holleran.

Kristin HolleranOriginally from Spokane, Wash., Kristin is the Director of Plant Operations at the Tillamook County Creamery Association, where she has worked for the last five and a half years. She oversees all the manufacturing, cheese making, packaging, ice cream and whey products. She joined the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors as a way to get out in the community, meet new people, and start giving back.

“The Chamber is involved in almost every major event in the community,” she added about why she applied to the board of directors. “I am looking forward to being to help with the Tillamook County fair booth, the Cork & Brew Tour, and to help bring up and foster the Young Professionals.”

Kristin has been a part of the TCCA scholarship committee for the last several years and said she has seen first-hand how talented and driven the youth in our community can be, and she looks forward to opportunities to mentor young professionals as they build their careers.

Kristin added that she is passionate about chambers because they have an opportunity to be a real influence in the communities they serve. “They are a source for networking, a wealth of educational information, and an advocate for local businesses,” she said. “That has really shown through this last year with COVID in the multiple ways that our chamber advocated for our small business community.”

It’s clear Kristin understands and values the work that the chamber does, and we are excited to involve her in our many events, projects, and programs going forward.

Member News: West Elliott Boutique and Studios Turn One

West Elliott Ribbon Cutting

Earlier this month West Elliott Boutique and West Elliott Studios celebrated their one-year anniversary — and their persistence through the COVID-19 pandemic — with a special Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony. Built up of a boutique, esthetics, photos and florals, the downtown Tillamook shop is a collection of dreamers looking to bring happiness to others.

West Elliott Ribbon Cutting
Michelle Dooher, Kait Dooher, Natalie Travis, Candace Martin, Kim Martin Travis, Hailey Travis and Leilani Martin.

“So many people are repeat customers who come in and support us,” said boutique owner Kim Martin. “They could go to Portland or shop online, but they still got all of their Christmas gifts at our shop. They still think about us for birthdays or baby showers. I really want to thank the community, because without them coming in every week to support us, I don’t know if we would have made it.”

West Elliott started as a studio space for photographer Natalie Travis and makeup artist Kait Dooher.

Kait has been a staple makeup artist in Oregon for more than six years. She went to Aveda Salon in Portland right after high school, and she’s spent time on the East Coast. Eventually she made her way back to Tillamook, driven by her passion of making women look and feel their best.

Natalie has been doing photography on the Oregon Coast for four years now. She was a barista for six years before finding her passion in life. She especially enjoys photographing all things related to love: couples, weddings, engagements, motherhood, newborns, families, self-love and more.

The women started the business while brainstorming places for rent in their hometown. The space at 112 Main Ave. was perfect for what they needed. Natalie could use a portion of the space as a photography studio, while Kait could reserve an area for a spa room and makeup lounge.

In a nod to the building’s long history in Tillamook, Natalie and Kait decided to name their studio after “Mr. Elliott,” the building’s owner during the early 1900s. They added the word “West” to represent their Pacific Northwest geography.

Renovations started in January 2020. Soon afterward, Natalie and Kait realized that they had more space than they knew what to do with, so they started thinking about the possibility of opening a storefront. Natalie’s mom, Kim Martin Travis, has always wanted her own little boutique, and with this new journey, the women wanted to make that dream a reality.

Kim joined the girls in business in March, opening West Elliott Boutique. The COVID-19 pandemic took hold no more than a week later.

“We were really worried. It felt like we had put all our time and resources into this business, and all of the sudden we didn’t know what would happen,” Kim said.

But the women persevered, finding ways to continue doing business even while their storefront was closed by state mandates.

“I would post online whenever I got new items in, and people would comment on social media. Then, they could meet me down at the shop, and I could hand it to them,” Kim said. “We also did contactless payments using Venmo.”

In some ways, the pandemic inspired growth at the business by allowing other family members to start their own lines of products for stock in the boutique. Natalie and her sister, Hailey, partnered together to open the Iron Threads earring and accessory business while working from home. And Kim’s mother, Candace Martin, launched a line of bath and skincare products called Love & Lather.

Kim’s cousin, Lelani Martin, also joined in on the fun by partnering her business with the boutique. She offers Riverside Floral flower subscriptions, fresh floral arrangements and wedding floral services, which can be ordered through West Elliott.

“It’s all family,” Kim said.

By summer, as businesses began reopening, the women of West Elliott realized that their shop could and would make it through the challenge of a pandemic.

“It just all came together. Everybody is pitching in and making it work,” said Kim, noting that the boutique is able to keep overhead costs low because family members donate their time to run the cashier and other daily operations at the shop.

Chamber events also helped generate foot traffic after months without during the quarantine. Kim said the Chamber’s Sip & Shop has been particularly successful for West Elliott, which nearly sells out on the Friday evenings when customers stop in to enjoy a glass of wine and browse the racks.Sip + Shop

The boutique re-invests its profits into buying new products and expanding its offerings, Kim said.

“The shop used to be about a quarter of the size, and my daughter had the other side for her photography. But we just kept growing,” she said. “Now it’s a full, thriving shop.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony this month, the family was “just about in tears” as they reflected on and celebrated their first year in business.

“It was really emotional. We were like, ‘We couldn’t believe we’ve made it,’ ” Kim said.  “But we are still here, and it’s better than we all expected.”

Welcoming Shannon Cahoon to the Chamber Board of Directors

Shannon Cahoon

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am thrilled to welcome Shannon Cahoon to the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors. Shannon CahoonShannon recently relocated to Tillamook after frequent visits caused her to fall in love with the area. She said she was motivated to join the Chamber Board of Directors because she believes Chambers are vital in each community.

She added that she is especially proud of and impressed by the work the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce continues to do throughout the county.

“I’m immensely proud to be a part of the organization and hope I can add to its positive impact and growth during my time on the board,” she said.

Of all the programs the Chamber currently operates, Shannon said one of her personal favorites has been Tillamook Takeout. “We can never say enough about what it did and does for our local restaurants and families who depend on those jobs for their livelihood,” she said.

Shannon is also excited to be a part of the advocacy work the Chamber does to help bring a united Tillamook voice to Salem when it needs to be heard.

“A good Chamber plays a vital role between creating a favorable operating environment for local businesses and advocating on their behalf,” Shannon said. “A Chamber that is operating to its full potential has positive impacts on the local business community, as well as the residents by ensuring that local needs can be met locally and that residents have access to good quality of life.”

We are so pleased to have Shannon’s positive energy and passion for our area on the board. We are lucky to have her, not only as the Chamber, but as a community. While she may not have been born here, Shannon is planting roots here and said she hopes to make a positive impact. (I would argue that she already has.)

I hope the next time you see Shannon out and about doing good work that you congratulate her on her new board position.

Mallory Gruben Joins the Chamber Team!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am pleased to welcome Mallory Gruben to the Tillamook Chamber team as our new Communications Manager. You may have met Mallory at a recent Mornings on Main Street, which she has been regularly attending with her partner Jaykob Wood.

Mallory and Jaykob moved to Tillamook when he was hired as the Executive Director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Previous to that, Mallory was working for a newspaper in Longview, Wash. where she covered both business and environmental issues. She has a degree in journalism from Hastings College in Nebraska.

Mallory said she really enjoyed her job with the newspaper because she got to learn the ins and outs of the business community, both before and during the pandemic.  “It was really cool to get to tell the stories of groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the SBDC that were finding a way against all odds to make sure the business community survived,” she said. “[This job with the Chamber] is an exciting opportunity to get to continue to highlight those stories and work more in depth with the business community.”

Mallory is originally from a small town in Colorado, and she had dreams of living on the Oregon Coast when she finished college. Landing in Tillamook has been a great fit so far, and we are excited to have her expertise as a writer and journalist here at the Chamber. She is also from an agricultural community, and said she loves seeing all the cows and dairy farms because it feels like home.

“I love this type of community where everyone knows everyone, and people want to pitch in and volunteer to see the best for the community,” she said.

About her new role at the Chamber, Mallory said, “It is a really exciting opportunity and a great way to be involved in the community. I look forward to working with the Chamber and helping with the great work they already do to continue to make downtown attractive; encourage people to visit here and live here; and to make sure that our businesses are thriving.”

Mallory brings her curiosity and strong communication skills as a journalist with her to the Chamber, two incredibly valuable skills for the success of what we do.

Please come by the Chamber office and introduce yourself to Mallory when you have time. When she’s not writing, she and Jaykob have two pet rats and are learning to make cheese in their spare time.

Thanks for a Great Night, Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If I’ve said it once, I say it every year: the night of the annual Chamber Community Awards Banquet and Auction is my favorite night of the year. Not my birthday. Not Christmas Eve; that particular night tops it for me every year.

When we had to go virtual this year because of Covid, I knew it wasn’t going to be the same in all the ways I loved. What I wasn’t expecting though, was the amazing way the Tillamook community stepped up to support the Chamber. The business community supported us through their donations and sponsorships like I’ve never seen. You guys killed it.

Our silent auction brought in a record-breaking $20,315! Just to put that in perspective, our auction in 2020 was also a record-breaking year, bringing in just over $7,000. The silent auction and oral auction combine raised $36,185 for the Chamber and our programs. I am honestly without words on that one.

While we didn’t have the in-person camaraderie that we all enjoy and, quite frankly, miss at this point, we still had fun chatting with everyone virtually and sharing the great work that the Chamber has been able to accomplish amidst a global pandemic. A point of pride for the banquet each year is the buffet that consists of food from over 15 local restaurants, but in true let’s-figure-it-out fashion we once again offered event sponsorship in the form of Virtual Dinner Tables that came with 10 dinner vouchers good at over 15 restaurants. And boy, was our business community ready to support our restaurants and Chamber. We had 23 virtual dinner tables sponsored, raising another $17,250!

It was this same let’s-figure-it-out attitude that permeated the Chamber in 2020. Overall,as soon as the shut downs started happening our philosophy was to try and keep things as normal as possible. We went into it thinking: if we can just keep the community engaged, keep businesses open and moving, and a sense of normality, then we are doing our jobs. Instead of canceling events, we asked ourselves, how can we do this differently? And, apart from the Cork & Brew Tour, we were able to keep all our regular events and programs up and running in some form or another. We wanted to be clear that we had not abandoned the community, and that we were here for them every step of the way.

Which is why we sent out emails weekly, sometimes even daily, breaking down the new regulations, offering information about funding and how to apply, and where businesses could get PPE.

It was this same can-do mentality that launched Tillamook Takeout less than 24 hours after restaurants were shut down to in-person dining – the first time. And let me tell you, it’s all worth it when you hear stories from Jen Malcom, the owner of Downie’s Cafe in Bay City, saying that Tillamook Takeout may as well have saved her business and now she can’t make cinnamon rolls fast enough to keep up with demand. Yeah, we can take credit for coming up with the idea, but we as a community made it happen and made sure our restaurants stayed afloat during one of the toughest times they’ve ever seen. Thank you, Tillamook. You are awesome.

I would be remiss if I didn’t again thank my co-host Brett Hurliman, and my team: Ashley Christensen, Ashley Rushing and Tammy Samagio for their hard work on this event. And a special thank you to Kaylan Sisco, who came in at the last minute to pinch hit on the technical live feed aide and hit it out of the park. Also thank you to our sponsors, and everyone who donated an item to our silent and live auction.

Be sure you go check out the Community Impact Awards video that debuted the night of our virtual auction (posted to our Facebook page and on our website) and have fun remembering all the wonderful things that happened in 2020 – because yes, there were plenty of opportunities to smile through it all.

Join us this Saturday for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction

By Ashley Christenson
Programs & Events Manager

It’s hard to believe that the Community Impact Celebration and Auction is this Saturday! If you haven’t checked out our silent auction yet, there is still time to get your bids in at Or, if you haven’t looked in awhile, you might be pleasantly surprised by new items we’ve added as we get closer to our live event.

Speaking of the live event, that will take place (virtually of course) on Feb. 20th at 6 p.m. The event will be co-hosted by Justin Aufdermauer and Brett Hurliman! The celebration will consist of a short Chamber update, live auction and the Community Impact Awards presentation.

Unlike past years where we have selected a single award winner in multiple categories, we have decided to recognize over 30 businesses, people, projects, and programs that made a positive impact in Tillamook County this past year. These award recipients were nominated by the community and we are really excited to recognize them through a presentation video.

Some of our live auction items include a year’s worth of flowers from Sunflower Flats; a multi-course meal prepared by Chef Phil of Pacific Restaurant; a private kayak tour for eight; eight hours of professional yard work; and much more. You will also be able to bid on silent auction items right up until the end, so be sure to tune in and make sure you don’t get out bid.

Like any non-profit in our county, we really are unable to do the things we do without the community’s support. Typically our in-person banquet serves as our main fundraiser, which allows the Chamber to fulfill its mission. This includes being an advocate for small business owners; creating community events that positively impact livability, like the June Dairy Parade and the Tillamook Farmers Market; offering networking opportunities that support businesses and professionals; and much more. If you have attended the monthly Mornings on Main Street meetings, or enjoyed a Cork & Brew Tour, then you’ve directly benefited from the programs and services offered by the Chamber. All of these things help us fulfill our mission, which is to remove barriers and make connections for businesses to grow and thrive, and help increase the quality of life for our community.

So I hope you will join us THIS Saturday at 6 p.m. at
A huge thank you to all those who made a donation to our auction, or who have already made bids on items, for your continued support of the Chamber. We couldn’t do this without you. I look forward to the day we can gather together in person, but until then, we hope you will gather with us virtually and continue to support the great work being done in our community.

Apply now for the 2021 Tillamook Farmers Market

By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The Tillamook Farmers Market is returning for its 21st season June 12 – Sept. 24.

If you would like to join us this year as a vendor, you can fill out an application on our website, We are always looking for new farmers, producers, hobbyists, artists, bakers and just all-around-fun people to come hang out with us. If you’re not sure if your idea or product would qualify, that’s ok! Reach out to me and I will be happy to see if it meets Market standards. Typically we are looking for homemade, handmade, and homegrown items – but there are a few exceptions.

As per usual, the Market will run every Saturday from June 12 – Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street. When it comes to COVID and safety guidelines, we are following the requirements from the Oregon Farmers Market Association. That means, just like last year, all vendors will be in masks, they will be properly spaced out, there will be hand sanitizer available, and shoppers will be required to wear masks and maintain distance.

We are hoping to bring back hot, prepared food this year, but of course that depends on who applies! Again, if you have a delicious idea for a food item you would like to serve to shoppers email me so we can talk about it. Anything for consumption on the premise also has to go through the health department so it can take a few extra weeks to get approved. In other words, don’t wait until the last minute to apply!

As soon as we are able to, we will bring back things like live music, kids activities, demonstrations, and all that fun interactive stuff. Until then, we appreciate everyone who makes the effort to shop small and support our vendors. Having a neighborhood farmers market is a privilege, and it takes all of us supporting it to keep it going.

Be sure to follow Tillamook Farmers Market on Facebook for more updates as we get closer to the season opening. And to learn more about the Market, email me at

Travel to Italy and Greece with the Chamber in 2022

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Let me be the first to admit it: I have the travel bug. After basically 12 months of staying home, I am ready to get out and go on an adventure. While our Chamber travel trip was planned for May of this year, sadly COVID-19 has halted global travel for now.

What that means for folks who have already signed up is that we will be waiting until May of 2022 to travel to Italy and Greece, after vaccines are widely distributed.

And, if you didn’t originally sign up for the trip, now you have an extra year to plan! I image there are a lot of us who will be dying to get out of the country and explore other cultures come Spring 2022.

As a reminder, this trip will take us to the warm Mediterranean region of Greece and Italy. We will explore the Seven Wonders of the World, visit the ancient Gymnasium (where the first Olympic Games took place) and peek inside the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

Oh, and did I mention that’s all just one day? Now picture 12 days of exploring not only Greece but Italy as well. Discover historic churches, winding canals, and picture-perfect piazzas; step inside the iconic St. Mark’s Square; view the legendary Florence Cathedra; enter the massive Colosseum in Rome; and visit the Temple of Apollo where, according to legend, the gods once communicated with mortals.

If Venice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Delphi and Olympia are on your travel bucket list then you will want to join us for our next Chamber Travel Adventure. The trip includes 12 nights in handpicked hotels, breakfast each morning, guided sightseeing tours with local experts and a private deluxe motor coach. A few of the trip highlights include Temple of Apollo, Ruins of Olympia, and the Archaeological sites of Mycenae, Acropolis, Parthenon. There are also free days to explore Rome and Florence at your leisure.

If you’re ready for more information about the itinerary, pricing, or just group travel in general then please email me at Final payments won’t be due until February of 2022. Let’s make this the trip of a lifetime!

It is Time

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As we near the one-year anniversary of the very first state-wide shut down due to the global pandemic, the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce is looking to ensure the voice of the business community is heard. In short: business need to be allowed to open immediately within CDC recommended guidelines.

Our small business community is a vital component of Tillamook County. It is the very backbone of our culture, and it is what makes Tillamook such a unique place to live, work, and visit. Yet it is the small business community that has been unfairly targeted by regulations and closures from the Governor’s office over the last 11 months. Nearly every small business was forced to close at one time or another, and many have had to react on a moment-by-moment notice of whether they can operate or not. While our small business owners are resilient, and have done a remarkable job of holding on and rolling with the punches, many Tillamook County businesses are on the verge of letting go.

Those that have been able to continue operations have been extremely responsible and responsive to the COVID-19 guidelines coming from the state. The recent adoption of the Oregon OSHA Covid-19 Standard further means that Oregon workplaces are some of the safest and most sanitary places for customers and employees to be. And yet, public health officials have been clear that Covid-19 is spreading in Oregon for reasons unrelated to businesses being open. Locally, as of January 15, 2021, we have seen 357 positive and presumptive cases and two (2) deaths in all of Tillamook County since March 2020, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Tillamook County has remained as the third lowest rate per 100,000 for several weeks, only behind Wheeler and Wallowa counties. Something has to give.

The Tillamook Chamber, in accordance with the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, believe all local businesses should be open in some capacity. Currently 26 counties sit under the Extreme Risk category which prohibits operation of indoor fitness (dance studios, YMCA, etc.) and entertainment (theater, museums, etc.) and any indoor dining at restaurants. This is a problem for all of rural Oregon, but especially here on the Oregon Coast where small business owners already face unique challenges that they must overcome to be successful during much of the year.

Last week, the Chamber submitted a letter to Mayor Burris and the Tillamook City Council asking them to collectively support the opening of businesses within the recommended CDC recommendations and submit public support to the Governor’s office, stating that small businesses should be allowed to reopen with the same considerations being granted the school districts; allow businesses to re-open in a manner that requires masks and physical distancing measures and frequent hand washing; and allow our small businesses to tackle the safety measures with the same spirit they used to carve out their niche in private enterprise.

The Tillamook Area Chamber Board of Directors and the City Council of Tillamook stand united in our commitment to continuing to do our part, within our authority, on behalf of safety and small businesses by encouraging every member of our community to follow the health and safety guidelines established by the CDC, OHA, and Tillamook County. We are in no way advocating for the disregard of State mandates – we are requesting a change to reduce the Extreme Risk levels mandates to those of the High Risk category, which will allow all businesses to open in one form or another.

At the time this is published, Tillamook County may have received word that it will move down to the High Risk category, and while this is welcome news, this creates a lot of market volatility for small businesses as they have to be prepared to shut down as soon as two weeks later due to single digit positive case increases as we have seen recently in Clatsop County.

Our business community has made unparalleled sacrifices over the last 11 months to help the state fight the novel coronavirus. The continued, seemingly never-ending, addition of more restrictions and closures from the Governor’s office on their shoulders is too great a burden for anyone to bear. The weight of this pandemic cannot unnecessarily rest on a limited number of businesses.

Please continue to support Tillamook County businesses, now is the time to not only shop local, but to offer encouragement and let them know how much you appreciate their presence in our community. Your kind words may be the encouragement some of these businesses need to keep holding on.

Join the Chamber and Guests for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction Feb. 20

By Ashley Christensen
Programs & Events Manager

*** Register now at ***

Typically in mid-January the Chamber is hosting its annual Community Awards Banquet. It’s an exciting and elegant night that I know many of you have attended in the past. The food is divine, the atmosphere is charming, and the company is the best.

Of course we are saddened that we can’t host this lovely in-person event for our community right now, but we aren’t going to do nothing; that wouldn’t be right, and it certainly wouldn’t be on brand with the Chamber! We’re all about making the most out of a less-than-desirable situation.

So this year, I am excited to invite you all to the Community Impact Celebration and Auction on Feb. 20th. You can join us virtually by heading to where all the fun will start at 6 p.m.

But you don’t have to wait til Feb. 20th to participate! We have more than 100 items in our silent auction, that will premier on that same website on Feb. 6.

From your phone, computer or tablet you’ll be able to visit and bid on incredible items from all over our community. Things like guided fishing trips, vacation packages, an incredible leather couch from Roby’s Furniture, a custom-built bike from the Tillamook Rental Center, and the most amazing gift baskets you’ve ever seen.

While the silent auction opens on Feb. 6th, we will be releasing new items each day leading up to the 20th so be sure to keep checking back and making your bids on these fabulous gifts. Whether you’ve participated in the Chamber’s annual silent auction before or not, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount and scope of items up for bid. We were so jazzed to have an incredible outpour of support from our local community, and you will definitely want to check it out for yourself.

We are also seeking sponsors for the event that will not only help support the auction but also sponsor the Community Impact Awards video that will be released in early spring and will highlight the businesses, organizations, programs, and people who have made a positive and lasting impact on the community even through the pandemic. All of our sponsors will also be recognized in this video – but that’s not all! Sponsors also receive 10 gift cards redeemable at any local restaurant that they can use the night of the Community Impact Celebration and Auction to buy dinner for their family, friends, or even employees and co-workers.
One of the things that makes the annual Chamber Banquet so unique is that it is catered by a variety of local restaurants in and around Tillamook. We wanted to bring that same flare to our virtual event, so we are giving out gift cards to those who choose to sponsor that can be redeemed at the restaurants of their choice. It’s a fun way to bring home your own taste of Tillamook while you settle in for the live auction.

Speaking of which: the live auction portion will be co-hosted by Justin Aufdermauer and Brett Hurliman, who is always a blast to have at any event! And while the two of them are entertaining as it is, we will have special guests popping in throughout the evening so even if you aren’t planning on bidding on any of the big-ticket items, it will still be an entertaining way to spend your Saturday night!

So mark your calendars and don’t forget to join us on Feb. 20th for the Community Impact Celebration and Auction at Silent auction items go live Feb. 6th! If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, call our office at 503.842.7525.

A huge thank you to all those who made a donation for your continued support of the Chamber. We couldn’t do this without you.

Recap: 2020 Wasn’t All Bad

I’m sure many of us would rather just put 2020 behind us by now as, ultimately, an epic fail. And, in many ways it was. But for the Chamber it was perhaps busier than ever, and while things were canceled left and right, people were sent home to work, and schools were closed, we were able to take a bad situation and make an incredibly positive impact on our community.

Here’s some of the highlights we accomplished in 2020:

Tillamook Farmers Market: 2020 was actually a banner year for the Tillamook Farmers Market, as it was the 20th anniversary. We didn’t get to properly acknowledge this milestone thanks to the pandemic, but we still had a successful season. Sales were up significantly for our farmers especially as people focused on planting victory gardens and found the outdoor shopping experience safer than the grocery store. We had to adapt to COVID regulations but overall the market resembled some normalcy for people, which was greatly appreciated.

Covid Business Resources: From March on, it seemed like things were changing by the day, if not by the minute. We’ve worked diligently to stay on top of the information as it comes from the state and feds and filter it to our business community in a way that clearly showcases what impacts them and their business. Additionally, we distributed over $30,000 in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at no-cost to local small businesses.

June Dairy Parade: Inside Out: In the midst of closures our team rallied around a vision to keep the June Dairy Parade alive, and instead offer it in a way that would be safe for the community and safe for the parade participants. We came up with the Inside Out Parade, where parade “floats” stayed stationary and the audience drove through the route. It was a logistical nightmare, but we knew if we pulled it off it could be a great event for our community during a summer where things were being canceled left and right. While I hope we never have to do it again, I heard from many people who thoroughly enjoyed the parade in this new format and asked that we do it again next year. It was a glimmer of hope during an otherwise bleak summer.

Tillamook Takeout: Probably one of my personal favorite accomplishments of 2020 was the Tillamook Takeout campaign. We started this in early March just as restaurants were being shut down by the Governor’s Executive Order. The goal was simple: get people to support our restaurants by ordering takeout. We threw together a quick plan and received immediate funding from Visit Tillamook Coast to offer weekly giveaways to folks who got take-out and used #TillamookTakeout on their social media. We created a Facebook group to track takeout entries, that has more than 4,200 members and is still actively supporting restaurants. Fast forward to the second shutdown this December, we knew we had to make another run at and hit it hard, and thanks to sponsorship from the Tillamook County Creamery Association we were able to do just that. We knew from the get go that Tillamook Takeout had the ability to be successful, but we were overwhelmed by the impact this had on our restaurant community with more than $3 million dollars generated through takeout orders.

We hired new staff: In 2020 we brought on a new Programs & Events Manager, Ashley Christenson, and a new Communications Manager, Ashley Rushing. Yes, it does get complicated around here with two Ashleys, but we are really benefiting from their fresh eyes, positive attitudes, and artistic perspectives on our projects and programs. Together they have revamped Sip + Shop and turned it into a cohesive downtown event, even through COVID, and launched a new family-friendly downtown event: Treats + Sweets.

#WereStillOpen: Through some grant dollars from Visit Tillamook Coast, we were able to produce a video for our downtown retail community reminding residents – and visitors – that we were still open for business. Stay tuned as we expand on this idea for 2021.

Shop Small Sweepstakes: For one final blow to 2020’s efforts to ruin everything we ended the year with the Shop Small Sweepstakes. This year we expanded the sweepstakes to all locally-owned businesses in Tillamook County and for community safety we added an extremely popular text entry option. With video highlights of businesses and many more entries, we ended 2020 with an extremely successful sweepstakes sponsored by US Bank.

It was a stressful year – no question about that – but overall, I was incredibly thankful for my board, staff, and our Chamber members for their willingness to fight for our business community. We will come out of this stronger, and I am just blessed to be a part of it. So take that, 2020.

Nominations Due for the Community Impact Awards

By Justin Aufdermauer

Let’s think positive for a minute. This past year has thrown an enormous amount of curveballs at our community and it’s easy to get discouraged, especially as we adjust once again to shut downs and limitations. Instead of focusing on the negative, I am encouraging everyone reading this to think back on the last year and ask yourself: who (or what) has made a positive impact in my life?

I ask because we at the Chamber want to start the New Year by recognizing those people, businesses, development projects and programs that have gone the extra mile in 2020 and made a positive impact. We are now taking submissions for the Community Impact Awards over on our website, The form is very simple this year: just tell us who you are nominating and why. We will take the list of nominations and compile the majority of them into a Community Impact video that we will share out on our social media channels and other digital platforms.

This is your chance to say “thank you” to a local restaurant, a thoughtful shop owner, a first responder, an event or program that you enjoyed, a development project that made your life better, or a dedicated volunteer. Who took the time to make you smile, or meet a need that you had? The 10 most impactful submissions in each category – person, business, development project, or program – will be given highlighted in this year’s Community Impact video.

Traditionally we have always announced the winners of the Community Awards at our annual banquet, which has always been a highlight of the evening. We love being able to start the year off by recognizing the best of Tillamook County and celebrating the people behind the projects, the passion behind the business, the sweat and tears of development projects and the heart of our citizens. We don’t want to lose that celebration, even if we can’t gather together for a formal banquet quite yet. We believe it’s more important than ever that this year we don’t focus on a winner, but more so the positive things that have happened in Tillamook County during 2020.

There is no limit to the number of nominations a person can submit. Just visit our website, and fill out the form before December 31, 2020. I think it will do us all a lot of good to focus on the positive impacts of 2020 and recognize those who made a difference in our lives. Let’s end the year on a high note and give a big (virtual) hug to those in our community who need it most.

There is Still Time to Shop Small – and Win $1,000

Shop Small Sweepstakes Tillamook

By Ashley Christensen

Programs and Events Manager


There is still three weeks left of 2020, and while that in itself is something to celebrate, it also means there is still plenty of time left to shop small and enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes! While you’re out finalizing your holiday shopping, remember that every receipt you collect from a locally-owned business could be your ticket to winning $1,000!

You can enter once per day, every day. All entries throughout the entire sweepstakes are entered into the grand prize drawing of $1,000 Shop Local Dollars, redeemable at any locally-owned business in Tillamook County. The grand prize is graciously sponsored by US Bank.

While there might be only one grand prize winner, we also draw for weekly prizes as well. These gifts are sponsored by our local businesses. For the remainder of the contest we will have weekly prizes from Salty Raven, Tangled Yarns, West Elliot Boutique, Lucky Beach Soap Co., the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and Recurrent. There are still plenty of chances to win so keep shopping and keep entering your receipts!

To enter your receipts, bring them into the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9-5) or you can text in a picture of your receipt and your full name to 503-389-0631.

Shopping small is the best way to support our local business community, but there are also other ways you can help them without spending any money. If you’re on social media, like their Facebook and Instagram pages, and share their posts. Comment on things you like; it can help them gain exposure. When you find something you like at a specific shop – tell someone about it! Word of mouth goes a long way in a community like ours.

A lot of our downtown shops are still offering curbside pick up, or can arrange special shopping times for you if you like to do your shopping without other people in the store. Some even have online options and can ship directly to your house, so you can still support local with the convenience and safety of online shopping. And, chances are they can get you your items quicker.

There are so many great reasons to support local businesses. Don’t forget to enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes while you do, and there might just be a fun prize in there for you as well!

Nominations Open – 2020 Community Impact Awards

By Justin Aufdermauer | President/CEO


Drum roll please… Many have been waiting patiently to hear our plans for the annual Chamber Banquet and Community Awards Ceremony. Well, it’s no surprise at this point that our banquet will look different than it has in past years. With a limited capacity on crowds at the state level, we are reimagining how to host a meaningful banquet for folks, fundraise for Chamber programs, and recognize our business community, organizations, and individuals.

One way we are doing that this year is by modifying the awards to honor as many of the businesses, people, organizations and programs that we can who have made a positive impact in 2020. Take a look at the last 10 months and ask yourself: who made a difference for me? Who went above and beyond to be there for their community, and make the most of a tough situation? Yes, it’s been a weird year to say the least, and we’ve all had to make changes and sacrifices that we haven’t liked. But now it’ .s time to take a look at the basket of lemons and ask ourselves: while we were busy being frustrated, who was making lemonade?

Let me get you started with few to get your thoughts flowing: When the YMCA was shut down, they refocused their efforts to collecting food and other essential items and delivering it to people in need. Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and the Tillamook Liquor Store property have undergone beautiful transformations, while Pelican Brewing Co. added a completely new brewhouse in their Tillamook location. Pacific Restaurant and Blue Heron French Cheese Co. started offering family-sized take-out meals on their menu to give working families a week-night break. Instead of canceling, the Tillamook County Fair organized a walking tour of fair exhibits. During the Pike Road Fire, several local restaurants, businesses and individuals donated food and essentials to those on the frontlines. (And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the phenomenal dessert auction organized by PNW Fire Relief that raised thousands of dollars in a few hours.)

We have seen immense challenges this year, but we have also seen incredible generosity and positivity. Where COVID brought new regulations, it also brought innovation. We saw curbside pick-up and people choosing to support and shop local over other options. Let’s take some time to focus on the good and nominate a person, organization, business or program for a 2020 Community Impact Award.

To make your nomination, text “iNominate” to 56525 or visit and fill out the online form. At least the top ten nominees in each category will be recognized and celebrated in the community and at the 2021 Chamber Banquet and . And don’t worry, we will be revealing more details about the banquet in the upcoming weeks. Until then, go make your nomination. There is no limit to how many nominations a person can make. I think it will make us all feel good to recognize the good work being done by those in our community.

Reminder: June Dairy Parade June 27

Line up at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds starting at 10:30 a.m. to travel the parade route

The June Dairy Parade is returning to downtown Tillamook on June 27th. While this event typically draws thousands of people who show up before sunrise to mark their seats along the parade route – this year will be a bit different.

Instead, load up your family in your vehicle and drive to the Tillamook County Fairgrounds where groups of 30 cars will be escorted through the parade route, every five minutes, starting at 10:30 a.m. The last group will leave the fairgrounds at 1:30 p.m.

“Vehicles driving though the parade should expect about a 30 minute drive with parade entries on both sides of the road for approximately ¾ of a mile one you hit the route,” said Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer.

Each group of vehicles will be led through the route where parade entries will be carefully staged with social distancing in mind. Parade goers will still be able to see all their favorite dancers, bands, and colorfully decorated entries that will be passing out candy and other parade goodies to cars as they go by.

“Normally we release the parade route by now so that people can plan where to sit,” Aufdermauer added, “but this year we are keeping it under wraps the best we can to do our best to limit traffic impacts. So, you will just have to show up at the fairgrounds to find out.”

Aufdermauer also said that for those who are feeling festive there will be a new award category this year for the best decorated participation vehicle. Other award categories include the Mayor’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Awards.

Looking for something else to do with the family after the parade? Be sure to check out the Tillamook Farmers Market on Saturdays between 9-2 on Laurel between 1st and 3rd St.

Inside Out: June Dairy Parade Gets Creative for 63rd Anniversary

It can’t rain on our parade.

For 63 years the June Dairy Parade has graced the streets of downtown Tillamook, drawing thousands of people outside to watch this old-fashioned event that honors the dairy industry and its impact on our community.

For over six decades this Tillamook tradition has marked the beginning of summer and a chance for our community to come together and celebrate. And while events are being canceled left and right in Oregon due to mandated orders from the state – the June Dairy Parade isn’t one of them.

No, they aren’t breaking the law. They’re just going inside out this year.

“We are flipping it on its head,” said Justin Aufdermauer, Executive Director of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, which manages the June Dairy Parade each year. “We will be operating under the restrictions of Phase 1; each entry will be staged along the parade route with enough space to hold up to 25 people, while maintaining a physical distance of six feet. Spectators will then be able to drive through the route to enjoy the floats from the safety of their vehicles.”

As the parade entries stage at their designated locations, parade goers will gather at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds parking area, remain in their vehicles, and be released in piloted groups of 20-50 vehicles. Parade processionals will begin at 10:30 a.m. from the Tillamook County Fairgrounds with the last one being at 1:30 p.m.

“For those who are feeling festive there will be a new award category this year for the best decorated participation vehicle,” Aufdermauer said – so get your window paint, balloons and streamers out and have some fun.

And, fear not! The traditional snacks and swag will still be handed out at the parade – just safely by masked individuals who may have to throw it into your vehicle to have some fun with the physical distancing requirements.

“Many of the details are still being worked out,” Aufdermauer said, “but what we do know is that we are aiming for safe fun. The Tillamook June Dairy Parade is an important part of our community and the Chamber is committed to keeping our community’s spirits up during this challenging social and economic time.”

If you would like to be a staged entry in the 2020 June Dairy Parade, please submit your application by May 31 at

And be sure to mark June 27, 2020 on your calendars for the 63rd annual June Dairy Parade and the first ever Inside Out June Dairy Parade.

Chamber Member Recognition: Dutch Mill Diner

We have to give a shout out to Chamber member, The Dutch Mill Diner, for their most recent building upgrade. The new neon lights on the back side of the building are elevating the entire parking lot area and are quite eye catching at night! Congratulations to the Dutch Mill Diner Team and thank you for your continued investment in our downtown.

Chamber Board of Directors sends Letter in Opposition to SB 1530

Below is a letter that was sent on behalf of the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors to the members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means in opposition to SB 1530:

RE: Opposition to SB 1530 with amendment comments

Dear Honorable Members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means,

On behalf of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, I wish to express our opposition to SB 1530. If passed, SB 1530 will have significant adverse impacts not just on our local businesses, but families in Tillamook County.

In addition to the opposition to SB 1530 in its entirety, we wish to specifically address proposed amendments to SB 1530 and political posturing currently before the legislature. The Tillamook Chamber:

Supports amendment A52, which removes the emergency clause from the bill.

Supports amendment A43, which refers the entire bill to the people for a vote.

Opposes amendment A41, which removes the ability for utility companies to pass through rate increases to citizens to offset the cost of Cap and Trade projects.

Opposes amendment A 51, which is the fiscal allocation of an estimated $20 million to SB 1530.

• Additionally, the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is strongly opposed to any changes to the sitting members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means during this session. Any changes of committee positions at this point in the session is clearly be identified as a deliberate attempt to rig votes and, while legal, will be viewed as highly unethical.

I plead to your integrity and respectfully request you support local businesses and the citizens in our state and oppose SB 1530. Oregonians, particularly, those of us in rural Oregon, cannot afford to bear the burden of this legislation. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully Submitted,

Natalie Rieger
Board President

Downloadable Version: SB1530_TillamookChamberOpposition

Winter Planters Receive Refresh

Earlier this month our downtown planters received a facelift. They have been restocked with winter-hardy plants to get through the rest of the cold weather to keep them looking full and eye-catching. Thank you to the talented Cindy Gardner for her hard work on this and attention to detail! Each planter is unique and adds a decorative element to our downtown.
These downtown planters are a program of the Chamber and we handle their planting and placement around downtown. If you would like to have one in front of your storefront or office, reach out to our office at Planter “parents” pay an annual fee that keeps the planter in front of their business. We handle the cleaning and semi-annual planting to make sure they look their best so all you have to do is enjoy them.

Tillamook Living Magazine

We are excited to announce the arrival of our newest publication: Tillamook Living Magazine. This publication premiered at the Chamber Banquet, and serves as a lifestyle and relocation guide for the Tillamook area. This project was born out of conversations the Chamber has had with employers, real estate agents, and other organizations that need a way to recruit people to the area, and a resource for those who have just landed.
The magazine is packed full of information about the industries in the area, local services, where to shop, where to hike, how to get involved in the community and so much more. If you would like a stack for your office, please call the Chamber office at 503.842.7525 or stop by the office at 208 Main Avenue.

Tillamook PUD Community Support Grant Applications Open

Tillamook PUD is once again offering a Community Support Grant program to local non-profit organizations for their community projects in 2020.

Organizations interested in applying must complete and submit an application by February 27, 2020. Grant applications and procedures are available at the Tillamook PUD main office, or online at

Applications are evaluated and selected by the PUD Board of Directors in mid-March. During evaluation, the Board considers each project and its potential for economic development, community outreach and financial need.

Individual grant awards will not exceed $10,000 and will not be awarded to the same entity more than twice in a five-year period. Additionally, projects must be completed by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Some examples of past projects that have received Community Support Grant funding include lighting and electrical upgrades at various civic organizations, purchasing updated energy efficient appliances for community facilities, and supporting improvement projects at local organizations utilized by the community.

Visit Tillamook Coast awards over $100,000 in Grant Funding to Local Organizations

Each year, the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (Visit Tillamook Coast) provides $100,000 in grant funding for tourism-related projects. This year, the organization received 23 applications totaling nearly $180,000. The applications were carefully reviewed, scored and ranked by the board of directors of Tillamook Coast Visitors Association. Thirteen of the applicants received full or partial funding, for a total of $100,299.

Recipients include Food Roots, North County Recreation District, Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership Explore Nature Series, Tillamook History Alliance, Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, Garibaldi Maritime Museum, Friends of Netarts Bay (WEBS), Lower Nehalem Community Trust, Kiawanda Community Center, Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation, Art Accelerated and Three Arch Inn.

“Grant submissions included a wide variety of projects, and with so many submissions — more than ever for a single grant round — much discussion took place in the decisions to award funding,” said Nan Devlin, executive director of Tillamook Coast Visitors Association. “We would liked to have given every applicant funding to do their projects; however, we are encouraging organizations to re-apply when the 2021 grant round opens later this year.”

Since 2015, Tillamook Coast Visitors Association has awarded more than $500,000 in funding to county businesses and organizations

2020 Community Award Winners

What a night! Thank you to everyone who joined us for the annual Community Awards Banquet. It is always such a rewarding evening to see everyone and celebrate our award winners.

So without further adieu, help us congratulate our winners:
Salty Raven for Small Business of the Year
Zwald Transport, Inc. for Business of the Year
Garibaldi Portside Bistro for Development Project of the Year
Ultimook Running Camp for Program of the Year
and Ron Smith for Citizen of the Year

Thank you to everyone who attended, who made a nomination, who donated an auction item or prepared a food dish. We call this the Community Awards Banquet because it takes the entire community to make it possible.

Chamber Member Recognition

Throughout the month of December we were able to recognize a few of our Chamber members who are really excelling at making our community a better place to live and work. In case you missed our Facebook posts, help us thank Sheltered Nook on Tillamook Bay for their remarkable customer service and unique cabins; The Schooner Restaurant & Lounge for installing a wind turbine, and also raised more than $25,000 for the Oregon Food Bank Tillamook County Services during their annual Thanksgiving dinner; and Les Schwab Tire Center for their successful Holiday Toy Drive, which also raised $1,050 to fully fund the Adventist Health Tillamook’s Reach Out and Read Program for 2020.

Our business community is awesome!

And the Nominees Are…

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a person, business, project or program for the community awards. It is always so exciting to honor and recognize those who are making a difference in our community at the annual Community Awards Banquet.
In case you missed our video announcement on Facebook last week, here is the list of nominees, in alphabetical order:
Business of the Year
• Les Schwab Tire Center
• Tillamook Coliseum Theater
• Tillamook Early Learning
• Zwald Transport, Inc.
Small Business of the Year
• Salty Raven
• SaraSotas
• Shear Bliss
• Tillamook Headlight Herald
• Tillamook Meat
Development Project of the Year
• Garibaldi Portside Bistro
• Lot 35 Homes
• Tillamook PUD Operations Center
Program of the Year
• Art Accelerated
• Food Roots Farmtable
• Ramps & Rails
• Tillamook Coast Derby Dames
• Ultimook Running Club
Citizen on the Year
• Cami Aufdermauer
• Erin Skaar
• Nan Devlin
• Ron Smith
Congratulations to all the nominees! If you’d like to attend the banquet, sure to reserve your tickets by calling the Chamber at 503-842-7525.

Oregon Mess Hall Grand Opening: Jan. 3

You’ve probably seen the lights on inside the former Blue Moon Cafe. The newest tenant on the Second Street Plaza is the Oregon Mess Hall. They are serving up coffee, internet, and a safe place to hang out. Fifty percent of all proceeds are donated to Veteran programs. On January 3rd they will be hosting a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony.

Annual Chamber Banquet

What: A Night in the Swiss Alps

When: Jan. 18, 2020, 5 p.m.

Where: Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Tickets: Get yours at the Tillamook Chamber HQ, located at 208 Main Ave in downtown Tillamook.

TOY DRIVE: Now through Dec. 16

For the month of December the Young Pros of Tillamook are collecting toys that will be delivered to Les Schwab Tire Center for their annual toy collection event. All donated toys are distributed to families in need at Tillamook Regional Medical Center. You are welcome to bring your new, unwrapped toys or cash donations to the Chamber HQ through Dec. 15, and join the Young Pros on Dec. 16 at 12 p.m. to deliver the toys to Les Schwab. Also – Les Schwab will be matching ALL cash donations, so it’s a great way to give back this holiday season.

Advertise in the 2020 Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide

The 2020 Tillamook Coast Visitor Guide will hit shelves all over the state of Oregon next Spring. A total of 60,000 copies are printed and distributed at all Oregon Welcome Centers, including PDX, Pioneer Square, and the Tillamook Creamery – as well as more than 50 local stands and dozens of local businesses. The guide is also available online.
For an ad rate sheet, click here. There is a special discount for Chamber members.
If you’re interested in placing an ad, reach out to Justin by email:

Small Business Saturday Nov. 30th

The Thanksgiving holiday is officially here, and that means amidst travel plans and cooking dinner you are probably thinking about your Christmas and holiday shopping. While Friday is, of course, Black Friday, Saturday is Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to supporting the local, small businesses that make our community vibrant and unique.
To celebrate, we have compiled a list of festive events and specials happening all over downtown on Saturday:
  • Complimentary hot cocoa bar at the Tillamook Chamber & $5 off sale
  • Pop up Market at Chamber office featuring Donuts 24:7
  • Wreath Fundraiser for TELC at Chamber office
  • Ornament Making and Tiered Sales at Re:Current
  • Gingerbread House Building Competition at Yo Time Frozen Yogurt
  • Photos with the Nutcracker at Oregon Coast Dance
  • Brunch with the Grinch and Photos with Santa at Pacific Restaurant
  • Letters to Santa at the Dutch Mill Diner
  • Art Card Workshop at the Art Accelerated Gallery
  • Mystery Goodie Bags for the first 20 shoppers at Lot 35 Homes + The Shoppe
  • Bucket Sale at Kimmels Hardware
  • 15-20% off Sale at Salty Raven
  • 20% off Sale at Sunflower Flats
  • 20% Off Sale at Kristi Lombard Pottery
  • Movie Gift Card Special at Tillamook Coliseum Theater
We will also have postcards and maps available at the Chamber office to help guide you through each sale and activity. What’s more – we will have UNLIMITED entries to the Downtown Sweepstakes all day on Small Business Saturday. So everywhere you shop you can be entered to win our weekly drawing as well as the grand prize of $1,000 Downtown Dollars sponsored by US Bank.

City of Tillamook Christmas Lighting & Decorating Contest

The City of Tillamook is once again hosting their annual decorating contest for both businesses and residents living within Tillamook City Limits. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16 by 4 p.m., and application forms are available at city hall. Judging will take place between Dec. 18 – 19 so please leave your lights on from 4:30-8 p.m. those days. Winners will be announced on Friday, Dec. 20 via the City’s Facebook page and website.

And, the community is invited to the 17th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festivities on Dec. 7th on the Second Street Plaza. The fun will start at 3:30 p.m. with yummy snacks and treats, cookie decorating, a coloring contest, Christmas entertainment and photos with Santa. The tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m. The Holiday Light Parade will immediately follow the tree lighting ceremony.

Downtown Holiday Lights Available

The holidays are upon us, and we know you’re feeling festive over there 😉 That’s why we are continuing our downtown holiday lights program this year to encourage our downtown businesses to deck out their businesses and storefronts.
We hope as many businesses as possible will light up our downtown area for the upcoming holiday celebrations such as the City’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Holiday Light Parade, Small Business Saturday, the New Years Eve Celebration, and more.
We have just over 50 strands of white lights 25 feet long. Check out as many strands as you need for your business, while supplies last. Please go see Tammy at the front desk for the check out form and she will get you your lights! We simply ask that you return the lights by Jan. 10, 2020.

New Salary Threshold for Overtime Rule Finalized

brought to you by Cascade Employers Association 

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new salary threshold that increases the minimum annual salary for exempt positions from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $35,568 ($684 per week). According to the DOL, this threshold is estimated to make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A similar change was supposed to take effect in 2016, but the rule was enjoined at the last minute before the effective date.

As we saw with the 2016 rule, employers can include up to 10% of an employee’s salary from non-discretionary bonuses, incentives and commissions in meeting the salary threshold. These payments must be paid at least annually. There will be no changes made to the FLSA’s “duties test.” This rule will take effect January 1, 2020.

Employers should start reviewing their compensation structures for the impact this will have. Employers may need to increase employee salaries, move some employees from exempt to nonexempt and consider any overtime they may now accrue, look at incentive options, restructure work to eliminate or minimize overtime, or a combination of these actions.

Employers should also watch out for wage compression which can occur if employers increase employee pay and salary range minimums, similar to what happened when Oregon changed its minimum wage law.

If your organization needs to evaluate its salary structure for the new overtime rules, Cascade is here to help. We offer extensive compensation services to ensure your organization is competitive and compliant.

$100,000 in tourism marketing and promotions grants now available for Tillamook County non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses

Tillamook Coast Visitors Association (dba Visit Tillamook Coast), the destination marketing organization for Tillamook County, announced today the availability of $100,000 in tourism marketing and promotions grant funding for 2020 calendar year.

Application forms can be downloaded at The deadline for submission is December 2, 2019. Those organizations and businesses awarded grant funding will be notified in mid-January, 2020.

Non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, as well as for-profit businesses involved in tourism activities, are eligible for the grants. Up to $10,000 can be awarded for a tourism marketing and promotion project or event. Applicants focusing on shoulder season activities (late September through late May) are given priority in scoring of their application.

Non-profits and not-for-profits are awarded 50% after approval of the project, and receive the remaining 50% after satisfactory completion of the project and fulfilling grant reporting requirements.

For-profits must first get approval of the project, then are eligible for 50% reimbursement after satisfactory completion of the project and fulfilling grant reporting requirements.

The grant applications are first reviewed for completeness and eligibility by the tourism executive director and tourism grants administrator. If eligibility is questionable, legal counsel is consulted. Eligible applications are then reviewed and scored according to the grant criteria (found in the grant application), and then ranked and approved by the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association 11-member board.

This is the fifth year in a row that $100,000 in grant funding has been made available to community organizations and businesses involved in tourism. Visit Tillamook Coast has awarded a total of $420,000 to date in grants. Projects range from digital marketing campaigns, rack cards, websites and videos to walking maps, event marketing, tradeshow needs, media campaigns and print advertising.

For more information, contact grants administrator Amy Blackburn at 503 842-2672 or

The People’s Coast Summit Returns Oct. 7-8

The People’s Coast Summit is returning to the Old Mill Marina in Garibaldi on Oct. 7-8.

Hosted by the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, this annual summit is an end-of-season industry gathering where participants can gather to decompress from the busy season, share experiences with colleagues and make new contacts.

Guest speakers provide opportunities for big picture thinking about our industry, and workshops offer nuts and bolts skills which business owners can return home and apply immediately.

Register here.



YPT First Annual Banquet Oct. 19

The Young Professionals of Tillamook is pleased to announce their first Annual Banquet. This year’s banquet will be hosted at Garibaldi PortSide Bistro’s brand new location from 6 – 9 p.m.  and includes a fun evening of networking, food, drinks, music and a silent auction.

This is a ticketed event and space is limited. On-going details and sneak peeks will be posted on the Facebook event page.

Find tickets here.

Health Plan Options for Chamber Members

Chamber members have a unique opportunity to partner with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to access a new association health plan option in Tillamook County. This is a new avenue of accessing health care which we haven’t had in Tillamook and is only available through your Chamber membership.
We know health insurance is not one size fits all, and with the plans offered by PacificSource (six in total) you can customize what plans you’re able to offer to your employees. You can give your employees the opportunity to choose a plan that best suits their needs, with competitive rates that might be less than what you’re paying now. Or, if you’ve been unable to offer employee health benefits, it might now be an affordable option for your business.
All of the health plans through PacificSource cover essential health benefits, no-cost preventive care, calendar-year benefits and all member out-of-pocket costs for covered services apply toward the annual out-of-pocket limit. PacificSource is a great network both in Tillamook and throughout the state of Oregon.
For more information, reach out to Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to learn more and see if it is a good fit for your business.

Join the Chamber Board of Directors

Chamber members are invited to apply for a vacant position on the Chamber Board of Directors. Terms are for three years. To apply, fill out an application and return it to the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Ave. in Tillamook or email a copy to

The application can be downloaded here: Board Application_Chamber

Oregon Main Street Conference Coming to Tillamook Oct. 2-4

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We are excited and honored to tell you that the annual Oregon Main Street conference is landing in Tillamook this year, and we at the Chamber are the hosts. 

Tillamook has been part of the Oregon Main Street Program for many years and it wasn’t until early 2015 that it became a part of the Chamber. The Tillamook Main Street Program is part of a nation-wide program that works with communities to develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character, and heritage.

They chose Tillamook this year because the vibrancy of downtown is quickly being realized by both residents and visitors enjoying their time and patronizing local businesses, and Tillamook has recently underwent a tremendous amount of revitalization with new streetscapes, food-trucks, breweries, restaurants, and parks in a short amount of time.

This year’s conference will focus on techniques participants can use to forge deeper connections in their community and be inspired to take their Main Street efforts to the next level by connecting to resources, connecting to their place, and connecting to partners to help them get work done in their downtown.The events kick-off with Keynote Speaker, author Melody Warnick, discussing place attachment and how to lead longtime residents and newcomers alike to commit to a more passionate relationship with their community.

The conference will welcome 150-200 people from outside the area to our downtown for three days of learning, engaging and of course patronizing our local restaurants, hotels and businesses. We are arranging three walking tours that participants can join in on focusing on the heavy lifting we’ve seen in the last few years to revitalize downtown. Yes, that includes the highway project. While I’m sure many of us would rather leave those memories far behind us, other communities are facing similar challenges and see Tillamook as an integral learning opportunity to understand how and why we kept communication at the forefront of the conversation, advocated for businesses and worked as a liaison with ODOT. 

The walking tours will also focus on the Tillamook Urban Revitalization Association and the work they’ve been able to accomplish within the downtown district to eliminate blight and stimulate economic growth. 

Above all, we are excited to show off our downtown area and will be utilizing several spots downtown during the course of the conference, including the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Pacific Restaurant, Flavors on First, and the Tillamook County Library. We’ve been able to make this happen thanks to several local sponsors, including US Bank, Pelican Brewing Co., Visit Tillamook Coast, the Tillamook Creamery, Werner Beef & Brew, Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Jacobsen Salt Co., TURA, Zwald Transport and the Tillamook County Library and Tillamook Coliseum Theater. 

Be sure to visit the Oregon Main Street Conference website here for information on the schedule of events and on sessions. And if you would like to attend, you can register here.

Back to School Sale!

For a limited time, all youth sweatshirts at our Visitor Center are only $10! Come grab one while supplies last and make sure your children go back to school in style. We have a variety of colors and sizes for youth still available, and are open from 9-5 Monday – Friday.

Let’s Talk Downtown

Join the Chamber for a series of informational meetings regarding downtown
As summer starts to wind down we are gearing up for several downtown events and opportunities for business owners to get involved in and stay connected. On the horizon is:
  • The Oregon Main Street Conference ( Oct. 2nd – 4th)
  • Downtown Sweepstakes (October – December)
  • Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30th)
  • Other downtown events
We are hosting several informational meetings for business owners to come learn more about these opportunities, meet our Programs & Events Manager, Britta (if you haven’t already) and discuss your involvement in one or all of these events.
Join us here at the Chamber HQ on one of these dates and times:
Aug. 26 at 4 p.m.
Aug. 27 at 12 p.m.
Aug. 28 at 9 a.m.
Email Britta for more details. We hope to see you there!