Travel to Iceland Next Summer with the Tillamook Chamber

Travel to Iceland Next Summer with the Tillamook Chamber
By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Next August the Tillamook Chamber is excited to host a 6-day trip to Iceland to explore the rugged scenery full of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and mountains painted with striking color patterns. If you’ve heard Iceland is “other worldly” then now is your chance to see it for yourself!

During our trip we will enjoy four nights in hand-picked hotels, and four sightseeing tours with expert, local tour guides. We will spend our first full day in historic Reykjavik, often called “the greenest city on Earth” and visit its Old Town Center, Parliament House, and modern City Hall among other stops.

Then, after getting a feel for city life we will head out to the Golden Circle, a ring of some of Iceland’s most magnificent natural wonders – including one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. During our second day exploring the natural beauty of the area we will also be treated to lunch at Fridheimar Farm, where fresh produce is grown in a greenhouse heated by geothermal energy.

If that wasn’t enough, the third day we will embark on an excursion to the South Coast to enjoy views of lush farmland, striking waterfalls, beaches, glaciers, and picturesque villages. We will have the opportunity to stand behind the impressive Seljalandsfoss waterfall, view the majestic Eyjafjallajökull volcano, marvel at the beauty of the Sólheimajökull glacier, and walk on the black sands of the South Coast.

There is a lot to cover in only six days, but we have had several requests from community members for a shorter trip and Iceland was the perfect-sized destination to accommodate those requests. We also aimed for late summer so that parents and school staff who are normally so busy have an opportunity to join us for the first time. Not to mention the weather in August is supposed to be the best all year round!

If you’re ready to go, you can receive $100 off your trip when you book in the next 30 days. You can book online at www.grouptoursite.com/tours/icelandchamber or by calling 1-800-438-7672 and using our tour reference number: 70131970.

 Or, if you still need to talk it over come see me at the Chamber HQ and we can go over the details together. We will also be hosting an informational meeting at the Chamber on December 20th at 5:30 pm for interested travelers.

Community Foundation On The Move

Community Foundation On The Move
By Brooke Johnston
Development Director

As we head into the holiday season something I am extremely thankful for is to see a long-time dream of the Chamber become a reality. The Chamber had kicked around the idea of a Community Foundation for many years and I am so pleased to see it finally come to fruition.

Our Foundation board and staff team have been working hard to create a strategic plan that incorporates the feedback we received from several community input sessions held over the summer. While we are still fleshing out the programs, we know there are three main areas of focus for the next year: Being a community catalyst; leadership and convening, and bridging opportunities.

As a community catalyst, the Foundation will create cross-sector investments in order to build opportunities for innovation of programs and services in Tillamook. This could mean being able to take donations for people in times of crisis, or hosting long-term projects such as downtown beautification, revitalization, and place making. The possibilities, while not entirely endless, are much broader than what we can focus on as a Chamber because we can bring together the business community, nonprofit organizations, and individuals for projects that fall outside the scope of the Chamber’s mission. A good example of this is the Foundation recently agreed to be the fiscal agent for the Tillamook Junior High School’s trip to Washington DC because they didn’t have a way to process donations. Those are the kinds of connections – both big and small – that we are excited to create and be able to make a difference in the lives of our community members.

The Foundation will also focus on building relationships across the business and nonprofit and individuals in Tillamook so we can strategize and streamline efforts for anyone wanting to do a project or start a program.

Our third area of focus is on bridging opportunities. We have been doing a lot of work in this area recently with the Young Pros and will continue to build up the young workforce in Tillamook and prepare them to take on leadership roles and improve their professional lives. Another action item for this focus is to work on ways to make Tillamook more welcoming to people who are new to the area and offer networking opportunities.

I am excited to see where this goes as over the next 60 days, we will be applying for over $220,000 in grant funds from outside of our community to build this foundation to support the community. Anytime our community can get further ahead by pairing local investment with outside sources, we consider that a win.

If the community is your passion, please consider a year end tax-deducible donation to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation. Donations can be sent to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation at 208 Main Avenue, Tillamook, OR 97141. If you would like to know more about the foundation, give a call at 503-842-7525 or email brooke@tillamookchamber.org.

You Won’t Want to Miss Small Business Saturday (And that’s Gnome Joke)

You Won’t Want to Miss Small Business Saturday
(And that’s Gnome Joke)

By Justin Aufdermauer

This year Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26 – the Saturday after Thanksgiving. While we know those Black Friday deals can be a tempting way to jump start your holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday was created to remind you how important it is to spend some of that holiday budget locally.

Did you know that for every dollar you spend locally nearly 70 cents is reinvested back into the community? That means when you come out and support local businesses you are also supporting our kids, our seniors, and making Tillamook a more vibrant place to live, work and play. That feels good right?

Because we want to reward you for participating in Small Business Saturday, we are once again offering unlimited entries into our Shop Small Sweepstakes on Nov. 26 only. The Sweepstakes has been running since October and will continue through the end of the year as our way to encourage people to think local all season long. Every day of the Sweepstakes you can enter to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of $1,000 just by turning in your receipts from locally owned businesses.

In addition to unlimited Sweepstakes entries, the Chamber HQ will also be hosting a free hot cocoa bar between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. sponsored by Dutch Brothers. Pop in and grab yourself a warm, delicious drink before you head out and shop. We will also have free goodie bags for the first 60 kids who come see us!

If you participated last year during Small Business Saturday, you may recall several businesses were handing out cookie cutters with purchase. This year, we are partnering with 12 of our member businesses in downtown Tillamook to pass out holiday gnome ornaments. We will have a list of the participating businesses at the Chamber, and the first 20 paying customers will get a free gnome. Each business has a different gnome and if you shop at all 12 you will have a full set!

The best part is that with each gnome you receive you can enter to win a large Christmas basket. Just bring your gnome (or gnomes) back to the Chamber (we will give you until 4 p.m. on Monday) and be entered into the raffle for the Christmas basket. We will draw for a winner on Tuesday November 29th.

We look forward to seeing everyone who comes out to shop that day, and hope that together we can show our small business community how much we care about them and value what they do.

You have a business idea? We have Co.Starters®

co.starters logo

You have a business idea? We have Co.Starters®
By Justin Aufdermauer

There are a lot of sayings that regularly make me cringe, but not many more than “Someone needs to start a [fill in the blank] in town” or “We don’t need [this], we need [that].” Listen, this isn’t Sim City and capable entrepreneurs are a unique piece of the population. We need more entrepreneurs who have solid plans, access to capital, and the grit to tackle the risks of entrepreneurship.

Most often as a membership organization our efforts are focused on supporting existing businesses. However, last week we took a step toward begining to build entrepreneurs by hosting a Co.Starters Boot Camp. This was a two-day workshop chock full of curriculum to help aspiring entrepreneurs fine-tune their plan and determine the best way to move forward. This Bootcamp was only the third one hosted nationwide and is somewhat of a precursor for their full, 10-session Co.Starters Core program. At Boot Camp, six local aspiring entrepreneurs had what may be the most hand on and collaborative workshop I have witnessed. Attendees left inspired, and with a path to navigate many of the questions for their business ideas that remain unanswered; I look forward to seeing their progress through the built-in follow up over the next ninety days.

Co.Starters,® a national program brought to Oregon by Reinventing Rural and the Foundry Initiative, takes you from business idea to accessing  capital. The full 10-session course is a step-by-step process for testing your idea, then developing a business and financial plan. Once the program is completed, participants can qualify for a crowd-sourced, interest-free KIVA loan. What your plan raises on KIVA can be matched 3X by a community fund from Umpqua Bank – also interest free.

We are excited to work with Reinventing Rural, The Foundry Initiative, and Tillamook Coast Visitors Association to take additional steps towards building entrepreneurs by bringing Co.Starters Core to Tillamook in mid-January.

There is no fee to participate in this first cohort, however space is extremely limited and may be competitive. Those with interest can begin the selection process at https://reinventingrural.com/costarters/core

Nominations Are Open for the Annual Community Awards

Nominations Are Open for the Annual Community Awards
by Justin Aufdermauer

While others prepare for the holidays by planning their meals, or by putting up decorations, the Chamber team prepares by opening nominations for our Community Awards. Now that we are ready, ‘tis the season indeed!

Every year around this time, we open our online nomination form to recognize our community’s 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 tillamookchamber.org/nominate. 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. These nominations honor the who and what that make Tillamook a place worth living, by contributing to its longevity and growth, and are all greatly appreciated by the community.

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 people involved in those businesses, projects, and programs how much you appreciate them. This is a great way to return the favor to anyone or any business that made you smile this last year. 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 choose to remain anonymous as a 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, we can all come together to celebrate our community as one!

Join us for the Downtown Trick or Treat

Downtown Trick or Treat, on Halloween, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Join us for the Downtown Trick or Treat
by Justin Aufdermauer

Goblins and ghouls, princesses and witches, parents and friends, are you ready for the annual Downtown Trick or Treat? There’s something special about bags full of candy, businesses decorating their window displays, and a community that celebrates together. That’s exactly what the Downtown Trick or Treat is for.

Last year, the Chamber successfully held its annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat with some minor modifications for state COVID regulations at the time. It was a highlight for the year, and we enjoyed seeing all the creative costumes the kiddos wore. This year, we’ll be in full swing with the downtown district’s participation as well as other key stops like Tillamook Bay Community College and City Hall.

Here’s how it will work: You’ll know which businesses are open for the event by checking their window for our flyer. Participating businesses will also set up a table or other means of handing out candy in front of their building. As you walk by, you can stop at each storefront to trick-or-treating and show off your costumes.

If your claws or ghostly feet don’t feel up for walking, or if you want to make sure that you make the most of your Halloween stops, the Tillamook County Transportation District will have its Halloween Trolley running from 3-6 p.m. They’ll be picking up at Tillamook PUD, the Pioneer Museum, and the YMCA. So, if those kiddos (or you) get tired, feel free to hop on board!

And don’t forget about the Monster Mash Bash at the Second Street Plaza. Courtesy of the Tillamook Revitalization Association, the Mash Bash will run from 3 – 8 p.m. and will feature a costume contest for both kiddos and parents, pumpkin carving, bowling, local vendors, and more! Stop while you trick or treat downtown, or pop in after.

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

Trick-or-treating starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. rain, shine, or anything in between. Please note that not every business downtown will be participating, so just remember to look for our flyers in businesses’ windows and candy stations outside.

Of course, the Chamber will be participating as well! So don’t forget to stop by the Chamber HQ to see Brooke and grab some candy. Bring your monsters, princesses, goblins, and witches down to our annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat from 3 – 5 p.m. on October 31 for an evening full of fright and fun.

See you there… If you dare!

The Third Edition of Tillamook Living is Here

tillamook living cover with brown cow on the front

The Third Edition of Tillamook Living is Here
by Justin Aufdermauer

The third edition of the Tillamook Living Lifestyle and Relocation Magazine has arrived at the Chamber! Featuring new articles, pictures, and highlights of local businesses. There is a great amount of potential in local publications, and Tillamook Living is no exception.

As you may already know, the Chamber started publishing Tillamook Living two years ago. 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.

Last year the magazine went through a major redesign, and this year we focused on writing new articles with local community members and gathering new photos to showcase how great our lifestyle in the Dairylands is. Covering all the questions or concerns a local or newcomer might have, from medical and emergency services to summer entertainment and holiday festivities, Tillamook Living is the perfect resource for local needs. The final product is a seriously impressive resource that the entire Chamber team can be proud of.

The goal of Tillamook Living is to showcase how our community lives, celebrates, and all that we offer here. Our farming industry, our love for hiking, biking, camping, and even our obsession with cheese. Tillamook is a unique place for many reasons, but mostly because we’ve managed to adapt and grow with a changing world while preserving important traditions.

One of the Chamber team’s favorite parts of the magazine is how genuine it is. All 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 will also be available at local businesses and realtor offices for potential residents to take home and enjoy.

If you would like to receive a bundle of magazines to distribute through your business or just to your family and friends, please call the Chamber at 503-842-7525 or email info@tillamookchamber.org.

 

A Peek at the Upcoming Seasonal Excitement

Tillamook Downtown Harvest Festival and Market, October 15, 2 to 6 p.m. at the Second Street Plaza

A Peek at the Upcoming Seasonal Excitement
by Justin Aufdermauer

It felt like summer flew by this year! We enjoyed the Tillamook County Fair, the Farmers Market, the 2022 Cork & Brew Tour, and many other activities and events. We might miss the sunshine and river days, but the colder months bring some of the best seasonal events to Tillamook.

This year, we introduce Tillamook’s first Downtown Harvest Festival and Market! Local vendors will be lined up at the Second Street Plaza on October 15 from 2-6 p.m. With activities for kids, great local food, and holiday shopping, what’s not to like? Bring the whole family downtown and enjoy an evening of fun with the community.

But it doesn’t stop there, running from October 28-29, there’s the CO.STARTERS Bootcamp, a two-day course from Reinventing Rural, a statewide effort funded through Rural Development Initiatives and Business Oregon. At this Bootcamp, individuals will learn the skills needed to get their business idea off the ground or fine-tuned, discuss ideas with peers, and learn how to bring a business to life.

And of course, it wouldn’t really be fall without Tillamook’s Halloween events! Out in full force this year, there’s plenty to do with friends and family for Halloween. The Chamber Team is distributing flyers for the annual Downtown Trick or Treat this week. Come downtown to see costumes and grab candy on Monday, October 31 from 3-5 p.m. Look for the flyer in businesses windows, that’s how you’ll know they are participating!

Plus, the YMCA’s Trunk or Treat and the Tillamook Revitalization Association’s Monster Mash Bash events are both on Halloween this year too. And don’t forget the Trick or Treat Trolley from the Tillamook County Transportation District! Look for the decorated Trolley to catch a ride to the next stop. The Trunk or Treat will run from 4-6 p.m. at the YMCA, the Monster Mash Bash from 3-7 p.m. at the Second Street Plaza downtown with a costume contest, and the Trick or Treat Trolley will be stopping to drop off or pick up at the Pioneer Museum, the YMCA, and PUD from 3-6 p.m.

Moving forward into the seasons, the Shop Small Sweepstakes will continue to run until December 30, so don’t forget to shop locally and enter for your chance to win in the Chamber’s weekly drawings. Each entry will be put back into the drawing for our grand prize, a $1,000 local shopping spree! Drop your receipt off at the Chamber HQ downtown or send a photo of it with your name to 971-410-7458.

Get ready for a big holiday season with events and activities for everyone to enjoy. From Tillamook’s first Harvest Festival and Market to the last Shop Small Sweepstakes drawing, this season will be packed with fun.

Tillamook Young Pros Leadership Team

Tillamook Young Pros Leadership Team
by Brooke Johnston

The Tillamook Young Professionals will be welcoming a leadership team! We are excited to have Britta Lawrence, Bryton Dorland, Haley Emerson, McKeon Moser, and Jesse Kane heading our Young Pros program. To better connect our Young Pros members, multiple perspectives and ideas in leadership are necessary. Our leadership team will focus on creating and planning our events, gaining sponsors, and volunteering. Whether we are hosting a networking or community service event, our leadership team will help steer Tillamook Young Pros toward a successful future.

The members of Young Pros represent the future workforce in Tillamook and connecting them with each other is one of our main goals and is essential for our economic growth. With the help of our new leadership team, events will be more common and diverse, creating more opportunities for our Young Pros members to connect and share ideas.

Looking to the future, our leadership team will play a large role in establishing a variety of events to engage our Young Pros members. Family-friendly events are essential, but so are personal and professional development and community engagement activities. Having our members in the forefront of the community through social engagement or professional development with local businesses will open various opportunities for multiple interests, forging the way to a new career path or a business idea becoming realized for these young professionals.

For the rest of the year, Young Pros will be hosting monthly networking events for young professionals to build stronger relationships with one another. And with the help of our leadership team, organizing a few as family-friendly will be an easy feat. Not to mention all the fun games and conversations that our members will have while exploring ideas and connections. Being a member of Young Pros is also about supporting one another, and our leadership team will be focused on creating environments that all our members can access and take full advantage of professionally.

As our Young Pros members grow, so will our leadership team. With multiple people involved in the hands-on process of developing the Young Pros program, we can turn Young Pros into a premiere opportunistic program within the Tillamook community.

To become a member of Tillamook Young Pros visit youngprostillamook.com/join, or contact Brooke at brooke@tillamookchamber.org.

It’s Shop Small Sweepstakes Season

by Mia Gibson
Communications Manager

Changing leaves and brisk air have greeted us all in the morning these past few days. And as Halloween decorations begin to edge into my mind, I am reminded that the Shop Small Sweepstakes will be starting soon!

Now in its sixth year, the Sweepstakes is one of the Chamber’s ways of encouraging everyone to shop locally over the holiday shopping season to help our local economy thrive. 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 local spree.

It’s been a busy year, so whether you forgot, or this is the first time you are hearing, here’s a recap of 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 weekly drawings for gift cards and a final $1,000 grand prize. You can enter two ways: drop your receipt off at the Chamber HQ at 208 Main Avenue in downtown Tillamook or send a photo of your receipt and name to 971-410-7458. You can enter one receipt per day, each day of the Sweepstakes.

Every week, the Chamber will draw one winner from that week’s entries, and the winner will receive a gift card to a local business. All entries from each week will be entered into a pool for the grand prize drawing for $1,000 in Sweepstakes Bucks.

All Sweepstakes winners will appear on our Facebook page, we recommend following the Chamber, so you don’t miss any updates! We also encourage shoppers to join the Chamber’s Shop Tillamook Facebook group. Many 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 six 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 starts on Friday, Oct. 1. If you have any questions about the Sweepstakes, feel free to contact the Chamber at 503-842-7525.

Season Finale Saturday the 24th at the Tillamook Farmers Market

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

Well, just like that, summer is coming to a close, and with it the Tillamook Farmers Market season. This Saturday, Sept. 24, is our season finale. You can join us from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street. Tillamirimba will be playing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Seafood Stock Up is happening on the south end of the Market that day as well.

What’s the Seafood Stock Up? It’s your chance to stock up your freezer with locally-caught seafood you can enjoy all year long. Just place your order through Food Roots at www.foodrootsnw.org and then pick it up at the Tillamook Farmers Market from 9 -2 on Sept. 24. If this is your first time ordering through their online marketplace you will have to create an account to place your order.

Then, while you’re at the Market picking up your seafood you might as well grab some fresh vegetables perfect for canning and getting your pantry ready for winter. We have so much colorful, delicious produce still from Josi Farms, Pitch n Plow Farms, ZM Family Farm, Brickyard Farms, Fawcett Creek Farm, McMurphey’s Microgreens, and Miami Foley Farm. Don’t forget to stock up on smoked cheeses from SeaSmoked Foods, and peanut brittle from Sweet Treats by George (it makes great holiday gifts!).

Speaking of holidays, we have all kinds of unique gift ideas as the holidays approach. Find hand-made wind chimes, fragrant soaps, hand-sewn aprons and blankets, bottles of gourmet olive oil, candles, wine, jewelry, healing creams made with essential oils, and more. There is something for everyone! I encourage you to think about your holiday shopping a little early and support these small businesses and artisans while you can.

A huge shout out to the Tillamook Creamery and TLC, a Division of Fibre Federal Credit Union for being our premier sponsors this year. If you’ve brought your kids and enjoyed the $2 Kids Bucks, or painted rocks at the craft table, you can thank these wonderful sponsors for making it all happen.

And of course, thank you to all my vendors who show up rain or shine to make our market one of the best on the coast. Thank you to Bewley Creek Woodworking for always going the extra mile; PNW Life for sharing your amazing art with us; Faraway Mushroom Madness for adding some whimsey to our vendor lineup; Bamford Bakery for the BEST brownies ever; Phil at Pacific Restaurant for joyfully carrying my speakers back and forth; and everyone in between. You are all my favorite.

What a treat it’s been to get to see everyone and welcome you every Saturday to the market. I will miss seeing all my regulars (I’m looking at you, Jessie) and hope to see you again next year. It is truly one of my greatest pleasures to get to manage this vibrant, home-town market. Come say hi (and goodbye) this Saturday for our season finale!

Tillamook Toolkit

Box filled with local goodies. Jerky, caramels, and coffee can be seen.

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

A few years ago, the Chamber started Tillamook Toolkit. A simple yet important element of our community that shows how inclusive we are and what it’s like to work with those invested in Tillamook’s future. The toolkits are a great way for employers to embrace and appreciate the valuable staff they hire, especially when those employees move to Tillamook from outside our community.

Each toolkit includes an assortment of small fun gifts perfect for new employees to find their footing on the job and in our community. As a bonus, each item in the box comes from one of our Chamber members, so we can promote some of the amazing resources that are available in our community. It’s a smorgasbord of what makes Tillamook a great place to live, work, and play! Taking advantage of this program at the Chamber is a great investment in your employees and your business.

Make no mistake, this is much more than an edible arrangement or a box of chocolates. Without giving too much away to potential recipients, the toolkits have products from Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Jacobsen Salt Co., and Werner Beef and Brew among others. Let’s say that the boxes are packed to showcase the benefits of living in a caring community.

The Chamber sends these toolkits out for members, for free of course, to let your new hire know we are here for them as they jump into their new venture. We want our members’ staff teams to know that they can contact us for any questions, advice, or networking opportunities we need. Don’t hesitate to reach out because we are here for you.

The toolkit is available for new business owners, managers, leaders, and supervisors. The packages are shipped from the Chamber HQ downtown at the request of a member employer. With our economy growing, keeping track of each new hire or promotion in town is hard. Help us help you by contacting us directly when you know someone who should receive a toolkit.

To order a Tillamook Toolkit, simply email info@tillamookchamber.org with the name, position, and mailing address of the person you’d like to receive it. If the phone is easier, call our office at 503.842.7525.

If you want to show your employees their worth, and support local businesses and the community, then the Tillamook Toolkit is the way to go.

 

Association Health Insurance from the Chamber

Generations of farmers holding the family tradition.

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

One of the biggest savings benefits that a membership with the Tillamook Chamber offers to employers is access to an association health insurance program. Many years ago, the Bend Chamber of Commerce established an association health plan through the Oregon legislature, and we are excited to partner with them and Corey Bush at Hudson Insurance to bring that health insurance program to Tillamook. But sometimes this feels like our best-kept secret, so we’d like to remind you that it’s available and we are here to help.

Here’s how it works: Any member in good standing at the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce can also become an associate member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce. This associate membership allows local businesses the opportunity to access the Bend Chamber’s association health plan.

The great news is that you don’t have to jump through any hoops with an out-of-town contact or agent. You can simply contact Corey Bush. As the local agent, he can walk you through the process and let you know if it’s the most competitive policy for your business.

There are six different options from PacificSource, so you and your employees can get the health benefits that best fit 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.

One great upside to these plans are the competitive rates. You may 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. It can be difficult to find plans that cover what you and your employees need without breaking the bank.

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, and calendar-year benefits. Plus, 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, and the Tillamook Chamber team wants you to take full advantage of the benefits and programs that work best for you.

One small reminder: 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 $250 a year, I’d say access to a health plan like this – and a slew of other membership benefits – is well worth it.

Open enrollment for federal programs starts in November, so it’s a good time to get started and see if these plans are a good fit for you and your employees. This would give you time to work through the details and ask any questions you need before insurance companies get busy later in the fall.

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 www.tillamookchamber.org.

 

Advocacy is Key

Chamber Board President Lisa Greiner

by Lisa Greiner
Chamber Board President

There is a saying in the Chamber industry that “if you’ve seen one chamber, you’ve seen one chamber.” However, since the first Chamber of Commerce was formed in France in 1599 there is one thing they all have in common – advocacy.

This week’s Chamber Chatter comes from me as the Board President letting you know that the Chamber Board is proud to have recently approved our 2022 Collaborative Advocacy Engagement Strategy. This strategy puts a structure in place that provides local governments, businesses, and the community with clear focus areas where they can expect to see the Chamber’s engagement.

The Chamber has established the five priority focus areas to determine how and when we engage in public policy and candidate races:

  • Workforce Development

One of the biggest challenges facing local businesses as we emerge from the pandemic is workforce development and securing a pipeline for the next generation of employees. Many of our industries are faced with an aging workforce, limited access to students entering the workforce, and a reduction of opportunities for the future workforce to become aware of the opportunities in our community.

  • Regulation & Taxation

The Chamber supports a fair and equitable tax system that stimulates growth, innovation and job creation while minimizing compliance costs and administrative burdens on businesses. The Chamber also supports sound regulatory systems that allow for businesses to operate free of undo hardships. Land use regulations should support economic development and regional vitality. Good stewardship of public funds is essential to our local economy operating efficiently.

  • Housing

Tillamook County is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing units. Our community’s housing shortage is multifaceted and has been exacerbated by the number of people moving to Oregon, higher construction costs, inadequate infrastructure, and land-use regulations restricting the creation of housing units. The Chamber is committed to working with local government and community partners to create missing middle workforce housing in our community.

  • Transportation

The Chamber supports investment in an efficient, sustainable, and well-maintained transportation system, which is vital to the health of our region’s economy and environment. We will monitor and advocate for transportation services that enhance community livability and support regional economic development including, efficient public transit, multi-modal transportation, and responsible transportation system planning.

  • Economic Development

The Chamber supports state and local government investments into programs and projects that spur on economic development within the region. This includes the protection of funding sources such as lodging taxes, lottery dollars, and urban renewals being applied to economic development within Tillamook County.

It does not escape me that you may still be asking “why is our local Chamber involved in politics?” The answer is simple – our membership. The Chamber membership is made up of diverse local businesses, non-profits, and agencies. In several years’ worth of membership surveys, advocacy shows as high importance to them. On the most recent Chamber membership survey, the following percentage rated these areas as high importance:

84% – The Chamber INFORMING AND EDUCATING members about issues, opportunities, and problems affecting the business community

75% – The Chamber REPRESENTING the interests of businesses with the government on issues that affect the business community.

78% – The Chamber being a champion for business friendly, or opposing negatively impacting, PUBLIC POLICIES.

54% – The Chamber supporting business friendly CANDIDATES for public office (recruit, endorse, etc.).

In the same survey, we received positive feedback when asked “How does the Chamber do in these areas?” We know we cannot represent the interest of each and every member of the Chamber, however through this Board-approved strategy, the Chamber is making an intentional effort to provide a transparent and clear focus on why we make the decisions we do regarding public policy and candidate engagement. If you are interested in our full strategy, you can find it at tillamookchamber.org/collaborative-advocacy

Updating GoTillamook.com

Bright orange sign with a white cow on it that reads "City of Tillamook"

by Mia Gibson
Communications Manager

Tillamook County had a great weekend at the fair! The Chamber Team was slinging sweatshirts, the Pig n’ Ford was packed, and the derby was exciting as always. While back at the office, I’ve been working on updating GoTillamook.com. The Chamber launched this website in 2019 for visitors as a place to explore the Dairylands, showcase our culture, and let people know what we have to offer as a community.

Making significant updates to this website means that local businesses, parks, campgrounds, excursions, and more will be at the forefront of GoTillamook.com. Different from the Venture Coastward Guides, GoTillamook.com focuses more on Tillamook and its surrounding areas like Rockaway Beach, Netarts, and Oceanside rather than the entire county. It’s important that Tillamook itself has this exposure. Promoting locals, attractions, and activities is essential!

Keeping up with the “big guys” has never been difficult for us because Tillamook has just as much to offer as other coast towns but updating GoTillamook.com provides a lot of opportunities for new or updated listings. Listings on GoTillamook.com range from lodging to restaurants, shopping to city parks, and more. Places you shop, businesses your neighbors own, and all the places that make Tillamook County special are highlighted on GoTillamook.com

Updating GoTillamook.com and maintaining it keeps all our listings fresh while they’re stored in an even larger database. That’s right, the listings you see on GoTillamook.com are also listed on  ThePeoplesCoast.com and TravelOregon.com. Using the Oregon Tourism Information System, Tillamook’s listings are integrated into those large websites. This creates even more exposure for our local businesses, promoting them to people who might still be planning their trip from afar!

Along with GoTillamook.com comes the Explore Tillamook Facebook and Instagram accounts. Although these accounts have been put on the back burner, I’m working on getting them more active to highlight the lifestyle of the Dairylands. If you’re looking for breathtaking pictures, interesting facts, or just some inspiration, check out what’s going on with Explore Tillamook’s social media accounts.

Maintaining these aspects of communication allows Tillamook to remain a destination to visit and reside on the Oregon Coast. The tourism industry in Tillamook helps our economy thrive, and if local businesses can be promoted to visitors, it sounds like a win-win for our community.

Check out GoTillamook.com and the Explore Tillamook social media accounts to see what’s new, and keep your eyes peeled for even more to come!

New Apparel at the Tillamook County Fair

Tillamook Fair Apparel

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Grab your sunscreen, bring your day bag, and get ready for a great weekend—the Tillamook County Fair is here next week! Our county looks forward to the fair every year, the Chamber included, and we’ve been working hard to create some great apparel to represent Tillamook.

This year we have something for everyone that showcases just how great Tillamook County is. From something in the sea to something that eats green, this year’s apparel will—once again—promote our lifestyle and love for Tillamook.

Before the Chamber launched its apparel line nine years ago, many residents and visitors at the fair could be seen wearing Seaside, Newport, or Rockaway Beach branded jackets and shirts. Now, there are Tillamook sweatshirts and t-shirts all over our county fair and even after. In the spirit of the Chamber’s mantra, all the clothing is printed at our local member business, PSI Screen Printing & Embroidery Services, Signs & Vinyl Graphics.

Sporting Tillamook merchandise gives us a chance to promote our community and its greatness. You can find yours at our booth in the main pavilion, adjacent to the delicious Tillamook Ice Cream booth. They almost sell as fast as the ice cream so don’t miss out!

When I see all the Tillamook apparel during the fair and after, it reminds me of why I love this community. You are all passionate about our way of life, supporting local businesses, and creating a sense of unity in our community. Wearing your Tillamook apparel shows that you know why the Dairylands is the best place to be.

We are so excited to continue bringing Tillamook apparel to our community. Please continue promoting Tillamook with a great new addition to your closet. Plus, it’s a steal at $30 for adult sizes and $25 for kids. Enjoy the fair and stay cozy for the nighttime entertainment with a Tillamook sweatshirt!

So come grab a cheese blimp, watch the horse races, and catch us at the Tillamook County Fair from August 10-13 in the main pavilion. We hope to see you there!

Mid-Year Farmers Market Update

Tillamoko Farmers Market Logo

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

The Tillamook Farmers Market has been in full swing all summer. We’re almost at the halfway point, so if you haven’t been to visit yet, get down there this Saturday. You won’t want to miss out on all the amazing produce and handcrafted products our community has to offer

We have live music every market day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among others, we’ve enjoyed Buffalo Kitty featuring Scott Casey and Eric Sappington so far. There are many more amazing local musicians to come. On August 6th, up-and-coming Jesse Meade will be filling the market with the sounds of soul, and on September 3rd the surfer-duo of Lincoln County, ZuhG, will be back!

Join your friends and community members with fun games like connect-four and cornhole, or let your kids express their creative selves at the kids activity table. Don’t forget to bring the family dog, all are welcome at the Farmers Market. Please stop by and join the fun.

There is a large variety of vendors this season; some returning favorites and brand new ones! The Hummus Stop was a hit last year, and they’re back every week along with Josi Farms and their vibrant, locally grown produce.

This year we were also able to double the SNAP/EBT match! Now, Farmers Market customers who are SNAP/EBT eligible can receive a match of up to $20 for extra fruits and vegetables. Bring your SNAP/EBT card to the Farmers Market HQ and we’ll charge it in exchange for SNAP dollars that can be spent on eligible Farmers Market products. Double Up Food Bucks is made possible by the Farmers Market Fund.

Speaking of the Farmers Market HQ, we are excited to unveil a new look for the Tillamook Farmers Market that represents the community much better. Check out the Farmers Market HQ Trailer and its new skin this Saturday! A special thank you to the North Coast Food Trail and the Tillamook Coast Visitor Association for making this possible.

With all the amazing things the Tillamook Farmers Market has seen so far, we can’t wait to see you for the rest of the season! So come stop by, bring friends and family, shop to support local, but stay for a great time.

The Farmers Market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through September at the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street.

A New Venture Coastward Adventure Guide Is Here

Venture Coastward

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We are excited to announce that the 2022 Venture Coastward Adventure Guide has arrived in all its glory! A huge thank you to the Tillamook Coast Visitor Association. The design, content, and advertising sales of the guide are entrusted to us through our partnership with them. Their desire to keep the content of the guide localized is a blessing to this community.

Along with the new guide comes updated information, contact numbers, and new breathtaking pictures to give visitors a taste of what to expect. With just over 100 pages, the new Venture Coastward guide features sections on local shopping, crabbing, restaurants, family adventures, and more. A complete guide to the perfect visit, hike, or life on the Tillamook Coast.

This year there is an accessibility section because everyone should be able to enjoy our beaches! Beach wheelchairs, ADA-accessible boat launches, and fishing excursions are things that everyone should enjoy while on our coast. The new guide covers many locations that are accessible to the whole family.

Along with accessibility, there are more eateries listed than ever before. There are also two additional fish markets, a new winery, and an updated kayaking section. Another thank you to all who wanted to be included in the guide this year. We couldn’t do it without your additions and updates.

Thank you, to all who helped us build the 2022 Venture Coastward Adventure Guide. The Chamber team is grateful to be supported by the community and looked to by the Tillamook Coast Visitor Association for creating this amazing guide. Your businesses, organizations, Tillamook’s beaches, and rivers are what make our County great. The 2022 Venture Coastward Adventure Guide highlights the best of Tillamook’s Coast and County—you.

Copies of the new guide will be distributed to local businesses within the month. If you’d like to grab a copy early, stop by the Chamber HQ downtown, we’d love to see you!

Brooke Is Back On The Team!

We are very happy to formally welcome back Brooke Johnston to the Tillamook Chamber team! Many of you may recognize Brooke as she interned at the Chamber last summer to assist with the Tillamook Farmers Market and got the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation on its feet.

This time around, Brooke will be much more than an intern. She will be our Development Director, facilitating the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation and its Young Pros program. “Young Pros aims to bring younger community members together, network with each other, and learn about business opportunities in Tillamook County. The Community Foundation will focus on coordinating different leaders, fundraising, and finding the capacity for projects that enhance our community.”

We are very excited to have Brooke at the head of these programs. Her education, skills, and passion are exactly what the Chamber needed to get things off the ground. When asked about how her education will play into her new role at the Chamber, Brooke said, “This is exactly what I went to school for. Yes, because I enjoyed it, but also because I wanted to help Tillamook grow. I grew up here and have only seen us flourish, now I get to be part of that.”

Brooke was born and raised in Tillamook and recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s in Planning, Public Policy, and Management. Her interest in non-profit work comes from her desire to “positively impact the community”. Brooke told us, “I love Tillamook, and having the chance to make changes for the better not only makes me feel useful, but it makes me proud of our community.”

While Brooke settles in here, she’s also getting used to her new life with her husband Sam Johnston. The two were married last summer and have been enjoying time home with their families. Brooke is also hopeful that their wish for a corgi puppy will soon be granted as they work on the adoption process.

Brooke’s dedication and hard work will see that the Community Foundation and Young Pros programs find their place and fill gaps that our community is missing.

Feel free to come by the Chamber and introduce yourself to Brooke if you have the time. She’ll be in the office Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays at the Farmers Market.

From There to Here, Appreciating Where We Are Now

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

While enjoying the past few weeks and soaking up the sun, I was reminded of how grateful I am to spend time with family and friends. Not so long ago, gatherings, backyard BBQs and dining in were put on hold, and each of us in the county felt the impacts. The COVID-19 virus may not disappear but returning to a semblance of normal is refreshing.

Our community has been able to enjoy the June Dairy Parade, Cloverdale’s Clover Day Celebration, Rockaway Beach’s Fourth of July Parade, the Tillamook County Rodeo, the annual Cork & Brew Tour, and firework shows across the county.

Around the corner is Garibaldi Days, the Tillamook County Fair, additional Farmers Market weekends, and more. It’s important to remember how our community came together during the hard times so that we appreciate the good times even more.

Tillamook County’s residents supported one another beautifully through the pandemic. Restaurants like the Blue Heron offered take-n-bake options, while others like The Fern offered delivery services when available. The Chamber started the Tillamook Coast Takeout + Delivery page on Facebook for all things food, which is still active and full of information from local restaurants. Local businesses also came together, offering contactless delivery or pick-up like Sunflower Flats.

The unity that Tillamook County exemplified is why we are such a great community. Both residents and visitors alike fall in love with our county. We have built local businesses up, groomed beaches, parks, and roads—we have some of the best views in the PNW, but you can’t beat the warm feeling that comes from a supportive community.

Tillamook County is a community that cares for one another beyond the surface and thrives socially and economically. That’s what businesses and individuals support when they are part of our community. With the amazing events planned around the county this summer, there is plenty to enjoy and support.

As the weather warms, it’s hard not to look back and be grateful for our community’s perseverance. Visitors and locals can enjoy Tillamook County, and our semblance of normal, all summer because we all pulled together. So, while you light the grill this weekend, stroll the Farmers Market, or plan for visitors during the fair, remember what we all pulled through together to appreciate where we are now.

Mia Gibson Joins Tillamook Chamber Team

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am pleased to welcome Mia Gibson to the Tillamook Chamber team as our new Communications Manager. Mia is originally from Pennsylvania but grew up in Tillamook, so some of you may already recognize her.

You may also know her from The Schooner in Netarts, where she worked for a few years serving while getting to know the community. Now, as Communications Manager, she plans to be more involved with our community by helping the Chamber connect with local businesses and engage our community members.

Mia spent her childhood in Tillamook playing Little League Softball, lounging by the Kilchis River, and camping with her family. “I fell in love with Tillamook as soon as my parents and I took our first outdoor trip. I remember playing on the beach, walking through the forest, and swimming in the river so often as a kid—it’s no wonder I’m happy here,” she said.

Mia graduated from Tillamook Bay Community College in 2019 with two associate degrees. This August, she will graduate from Eastern Oregon University with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in English/Writing and minoring in Communication Studies. We are just as excited to have her fresh perspective and skills as she is to “break into [her] career field through the Chamber.”

Concerning her role at the Chamber, Mia said, “I’m excited to be involved with the Chamber and their mission to create a thriving community while supporting local business, and to help showcase why Tillamook is a great destination and residence.”

Mia brings her extroverted personality and social skills to the Chamber team, both valuable skills that contribute to the success of what we do.

Please stop by the Chamber and introduce yourself to Mia if you have time! When she isn’t in the office or studying, she likes playing video games, bowling, and playing with her and her boyfriend’s dogs.

Big Tasks, Lengthy Solutions Part 3: Downtown Revitalization

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

For the last few weeks, I’ve been watching from the window a transformation across the street from the Chamber.

Crews from North Coast Lawn and All Repair and Remodel has started a renovation project on a downtown storefront that will end in an updated façade and bright, welcoming spot for a local retailer. And that’s just one of many projects underway right now in downtown Tillamook!

Watching the progress of all these building updates has me thinking about the importance renovations but the challenges some of our businesses might face when they decide to do them. So I thought I’d use this week to roll out the third column in my Big Tasks, Lengthy Solutions series, which focuses on long-term and high-investment projects that are important for the community but aren’t solvable overnight.

(Remember, I’ve also talked about housing and local growth in the Big Tasks Lengthy Solutions series. If you’re interested, you can find those columns at tillamookchamber.org/blog).

Downtown renovations are probably one of the most noticeable topics to cover in this series, because you can really see the difference they make when they happen. A new coat of paint, sign for facade is eye catching and hard to ignore. But downtown renovations are about more than making things look pretty — though that’s definitely a plus.

According to the Oregon Main Street Program, a program focused on revitalizing downtown districts throughout the state, downtown renovation projects play a huge part in the local economy and quality of life. Downtowns are historically the cultural, educational, commercial, recreational and governmental center of a community. Downtown Tillamook started as the heart of our community, and it continues to be the face we project to visitors, investors and each other. You can’t visit Tillamook without driving right through downtown.

Think of downtown kind of like Tillamook’s personality and reputation. If our downtown district is doing well and looking good, the rest of our community probably is, too. And that’s something we all can be proud of, and something that benefits the local economy and quality of life.

How exactly does it do that? I’ll answer that question with a question. Would you prefer to shop at a store with a beautiful exterior and fresh coat of paint or a store that looked dark, dingy and not cared for? The answer is easy: You’ll favor the bright and beautiful shop! And if all of our shops look bright and beautiful, you’ll be more likely to shop locally more often, keeping your money in our local economy and generating more local sales overall.

The same goes for a prospective business or company looking to move in. Would you rather bring a new service to a community that’s vibrant and beautiful, or one that is a little blah? Obviously, you want to go somewhere that people are happy, supporting local businesses and excited to have you! That’s not just anecdotal, either. OMS found that in cities where downtown revitalization projects were happing, new businesses were more likely to move in, providing more services and amenities for the people that lived there. That’s a big quality of life boost.

Downtown revitalization also proves good for the environment and public investment. According to OMS, 30% of solid waste in landfills comes from demolishing old buildings. And it costs a lot to purchase materials to build a new structure afterward. Rehabilitating and reusing old buildings — those historic storefronts that get a facelift when we redo a façade or repaint the exterior — is good for the environment, because it makes significantly less waste. It also saves money: Large investments were made to build those shops to start with, so it’s economically savvy to take care of those buildings for the long-term.

Still, it goes without saying that building renovation projects cost money, even if it’s cheaper than starting anew. Businesses have to invest in materials and labor to make them happen. They also have to take the time to do the renovations, which might mean closing temporarily.

Yes, the improvements will benefit their business and enhance the quality of life for everyone that lives here as outlined above. But before they can make those improvements, a business needs to find funding.

Fortunately, there are funding opportunities reserved just for projects like this. The Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency, for example, reviews local projects downtown (and in other areas included in the urban renewal district) and provides grant funding to help both private and public property owners complete those projects. There are requirements a project must meet to quality for TURA funding, including improving and retaining existing businesses, promoting private development to increase the city’s economic base, and providing housing.  More information about TURA is available online at tillamookor.gov/urban-renewal.

TURA has assisted private property owners with façade improvements including awning replacement, painting, and window replacement. They also played a role in expanding the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, improving sidewalks, installing playground equipment and constructing a public parking lot. The Chamber works with businesses on TURA grant applications to make it easier for them to access those funds and make real, on-the-ground improvements.

We hope that our assistance helps to remove barriers or questions local businesses might have about funding vital downtown renovation projects. We also hope it leads to more downtown revitalization projects, so this importance district in our community can continue to grow and improve.

Tourism isn’t all about ads

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As we celebrate the upcoming summer solstice and the first official day of summer, I’m reminded that we are right on the cusp of the tourism season on the Oregon Coast. This is an important time of year for our local economy, as many of our businesses benefit from visitors who stay and shop here as part of their vacations.

I know tourism is often seen as a thorn in our sides, but that’s not the case at all. I want to take a moment to clear the air and talk a little bit about the work we do at the Chamber to make tourism work well to benefit our local community.

A common misconception is that all tourism promotion entails is advertising here and there, and efforts to bring more people to our area, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So much of what local tourism agencies like the Chamber do is manage tourism growth, provide services to create a better experience and impart values on our visitors that make them better, more caring guests.

One way the Chamber does that is by providing a visitor information center. Located in downtown Tillamook in the same space as our regular Chamber office, the visitor center helps field questions from visitors and direct them to other resources or experiences here locally. The visitor center is filled with brochures, maps and rack cards — many of which feature local businesses and Chamber members.

The Chamber even plays a role in putting together some of those documents. For example, we design and publish the Tillamook Coast Venture Coastward visitor guide. This publication is a one-stop shop for information about Tillamook County, and it is distributed throughout the state of Oregon and beyond. In fact, we fill more than 15,000 leads to states all over the country every year.

One of my favorite things about the Venture Coastward guide is that is really drives home the idea that visitors should become “temporary locals” and take care of this place in the same way we do. We want visitors who care about our cultural heritage, decide to shop local and follow outdoor recreation etiquette like packing out what they pack in. If they have these values, their visit is less likely to be intrusive. They’ll feel like they fit with our local culture because they do!

That messaging is consistent in the Chamber’s tourism work. You may remember that we recently launched the Explore Tillamook Facebook and Instagram pages. Both pages highlight the authentic lifestyle of the Dairylands with beautiful photography and engaging posts. And they are specifically tailored to Tillamook’s farming and fishing personality, so our visitors know that we aren’t just any old coastal community. We have an identity all our own that revolves around hardworking and kind-hearted people who love each other and their home — and we want our visitors to act accordingly.

Community events also influence the tourism industry in our area. For example, the upcoming June Dairy Parade on Saturday, June 25, draws thousands of people to Tillamook. Yes, many of those are local families. But many others are friends and family of residents who choose to visit Tillamook that weekend because they want to participate in a beloved community tradition — that many of them grew up with! Others still are visitors who are stopping by and want to learn more about our dairy roots or simply watch what I believe is the best parade on the Oregon Coast! That’s something we can be proud to show off to our visitors.

We also welcomed visitors to the Cork & Brew Tour on June 17 and to the Tillamook Farmers Market, which opened on June 11 and operates through September. Both of these events emphasize local, whether that’s local brews from Pelican Brewery or Werner Brewing Company, or local produce grown by local farmers. It shows off the best that Tillamook has to offer. And it demonstrates that the reasons we love to live, work and play here are the same reasons our visitors want to stop by.

In our continuing effort to help give our visitors a better experience, we also are updating GoTillamook.com, which provides a comprehensive, visual look at all the attractions in the City of Tillamook and outlying areas. This website is an on-the-ground tool that not only shows how much there is to do in Tillamook, but also guides users directly to those attractions with an interactive map.

Every time we dig into our tourism tools, whether the visitor guide, event planning or the website, I’m humbled by all the things to do in central Tillamook County. There’s kayaking, clamming, crabbing, food trails, a quilt trail, artisan retailers, disc golf courses, hiking, museums, scenic routes, live theater performances, art exhibitions and so much more. We direct our visitors to all of those activities, keeping in mind that our locals love to do those things, too. We balance those interests, so all of the things that make Tillamook a great place to live or visit can remain for decades to come.

TillamookJobs.com: A new resource for employers, job seekers

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Move over Indeed, there’s a new job site in town, tailored specifically for the needs of our local employers and job seekers!

The Chamber recently launched TillamookJobs.com, a one-stop-shop for employers and job seekers alike to collectively meet their workforce needs. Employers post their jobs on the site to advertise widely and freely, while job seekers search through the site to find a position that fits them.

Here’s how it works: Employers can create a free account to put their postings up. Each post includes space for the job title, company or business name, the company tagline, pay information, closing date and whether the job is full-time or part-time. An employer can choose to pay for a premium post, which includes space for a company logo and moves the posting to the top of the page for greater visibility. (Premium posts will be free to our Chamber members, as part of their membership benefits.)

Job seekers can create a free account to search through and apply for job. Keyword search, location filters and category tags make it easy to narrow their search. If they choose to apply for a job, they can upload their materials, which will be sent directly to the employer for review.

The best part is that the site, as its name suggests, is targeted to Tillamook County jobs. That means job seekers don’t have to filter through jobs from other areas if they know they want to live, work and play in Tillamook County. And employers know that their prospective employees know, love and want to be in Tillamook County.

The idea for the site stemmed from conversations I’ve had with several community members on both sides of the workforce equation. It’s no secret that employers have had a hard time hiring lately. I’ve also seen multiple posts on Facebook from people asking about job openings. TillamookJobs.com was built to connect those job seekers with employers who have jobs that need filled! It’s a win-win solution.

The Chamber will take on the work of promoting the site, so that our employers get lots of traction with their job postings and our job seekers can easily find the site. My vision is that TillamookJobs.com will become a go-to resource. If someone says, “I’m looking for a job in Tillamook,” I want the first response to be, “Go to TillamookJobs.com!”

I welcome any feedback on the site, especially in its first few months. If there’s a category you think we should add or a feature that would be helpful for you, email me at justin@tillamookchamber.org, and I’ll see if we can make a change to improve the site. We want this site to really fit the needs of local employers and job seekers, so we are open to your ideas!

2022 Cork & Brew Tour Beverage Information

2022 Cork & Brew Stops + Beverages

Launch Party

Beer: Pelican Brewing Company, Kiwanda Cream

Beer: Pelican Brewing Company, Paddleback Pale Ale

Wine: Henry Estate Winery, Pinot Gris

Rob Trost Real Estate LLC

Beer: 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Cloud Mentality IPA

Wine: De Garde Cellars, Rouge No. 1 2018 Vintage

Sunflower Flats

Beer: Fort George, Fanzine IPA

Wine: Blue Heron, Sparkling Chardonnay

Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace

Beer: Hop Valley Brewing Co., Stash Panda IPA

Wine: Ava Grace Vineyards, Rose

Tillamook Chamber of Commerce

Beer: Werner Brewing Co.

Wine: Stoller Winery, Pinot Noir & Oregon Bubbles

Homelife Furniture

Beer: Breakside Brewery, Unbearable Lightness Pilsner

Wine: Canoe Ridge Vineyard, Expedition Red Blend

Halo & Co. Salon

Beer: Boneyard, RPM IPA

Wine: Primarius Winery, Pinot Gris

ReCurrent

Beer: Fort George, Beach Eagle Mexican Style Lager

Wine: Evoke Winery, Bubbly Rose 

Riverside Floral

Beer: Deschutes Brewery, King Crispy Pilsner

Wine: Willamette Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir

West Elliott Boutique

Beer: Buoy Beer Company, Pacific Pale Ale

Mixed Drink: Trail Toddy & Co. 

Last call for June Dairy Parade entries

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

In just about a month, Cheddar Days Are Here Again!

That’s the theme for the 65th annual June Dairy Parade, which is set for Saturday, June 25, and sure to be a blast! I’m writing today to remind you of a few deadlines happening before the parade that you should be aware of, so you can help make this our best parade yet.

The first is May 31, the deadline for nominating a Grand Marshal for the parade, or the individual who helps lead the lineup. In honor of June Dairy Month, the June Dairy Parade Grand Marshal is always a member of the dairy industry. Typically, they are also involved in the community as a leader and volunteer.

The Grand Marshal is selected from a pool of nominations made by you, the Tillamook community. So we encourage you to visit junedairyparade.com and submit your nomination by May 31. This is the first year we’ve had a Grand Marshal since 2019, so if you have any questions about the process, feel free to give us a call at 503-842-7525. We’re here to help!

The next deadline is June 6 for parade entries. If you want to enter a float, drive your spiffy antique car in the lineup or march along as an entertainer, dancer or band, you’ll need to complete your application by that date. You can find the form online at junedairyparade.com. It’s relatively simple and takes about five minutes to complete.

While you’re at junedairyparade.com, feel free to download a copy of the children’s coloring contest coloring sheet. Kids ages 3 to 12 are eligible to participate — and there are prizes for the best artists! (A small panel of judges from the community review the entries without names attached to determine the winners.) The deadline to enter the coloring contest is June 6, as well. Winners will be announced before the parade on June 10, and we’ll display the artwork in the Chamber windows for all to see during the parade!

That’s it, folks! Just two deadline dates to remember. May 31 for Grand Marshal nominations and June 6 for parade and children’s coloring contest entries. Oh, and of course don’t forget June 25, the date of the June Dairy Parade itself. We can’t wait to celebrate “Cheddar Days” with this awesome dairy farming community!

Young Pros Tillamook off to a great start

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Connecting, growing and engaging: That’s what the Young Pros Tillamook network is all about.

The network has now been active for four months here in Tillamook, and I wanted to share a little bit of information about how things are going. Spoiler alert: Things are off to a great start!

We launched Young Pros Tillamook in February and welcomed nearly 50 people to the launch party. The idea was to bring a group of likeminded young professionals together to grow, connect and engage with each other and the broader Tillamook community. They’d grow with professional and personal development workshops; connect with networking and social events; and engage through community service and volunteerism. All three pieces combined create a dynamic and meaningful experience for our young pros.

After our launch party, we met again in March to “Find Our Y” at a combination networking and growth event. The Young Pros broke off into small groups of five and asked one another questions off of “Ken Cards,” fun yet insightful sets of conversation starters that skirt the small talk and lead to deeper conversation and connections. The Ken Card questions covered everything from mundane memories that made a big impact, to whether someone would be the lion tamer, acrobat or clown in a circus. The idea was that by asking, answering and talking about these questions, each person would get to know more about each other — and reflect inward on the things that drive them.

In April, we partnered with Bryton Dorland and Brett Hurliman, two amazing local public speakers with tons of experience, to host the “Speak Up!” workshop sponsored by Tillamook Rotary Club. The Young Pros got out of their comfort zone to give five-minute-long impromptu speeches in front of each other. Then, the workshop hosts gave them feedback and tips to improve. The attendees all walked away with new confidence about speaking in front of people.

Then in May, we invited the Young Pros to their very first engage event: Downtown Tillamook Cleanup. The group lent a hand as the Chamber and other community members spruced up the sidewalks and signs in preparation for summer. It was so amazing to watch our Young Pros give back to the community where they live, work and play. They demonstrated how much they care for Tillamook and left our city sparkling!

With Cork & Brew and June Dairy Parade scheduled for June, the Young Pros event lineup will take a month off, so our members can enjoy these community events. We’ll regroup in July for more workshops, social events and volunteer days.

If you have an idea for a Young Pros event, please reach out to youngpros@tillamookchamber.org. We’d love to partner with you to learn from your expertise, volunteer with your organization or simply host a networking event at your business.

And if you are a young professional or know of a young professional who is interested in joining the Young Pros Tillamook network, we encourage you to visit youngprostillamook.com. There, you’ll find more information and the form to sign up.

P.S. Membership for 2022 is already covered, thanks to a generous donation from the Tillamook County Creamery Association. That means you can get access to training, networking and service events, as well as the Young Pros app (which comes pre-loaded with awesome deals from community partners), all for free! It’s a great way to test the waters and see if this group is a good fit for you.

Tillamook Chamber endorses TBCC bond

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

There’s roughly a week left to cast your ballot in the May Primary Election, and I wanted to use this time to endorse one of the local measures that the Tillamook Chamber Executive Board believes will have a positive impact for the community. (Yes, I know some of you may have already sent in your ballots. But for those of you who are still mulling over which bubbles to fill in, we hope this helps!)

The Tillamook Chamber of Commerce supports Tillamook Bay Community College’s $14.4 million bond measure to raise money to build a new healthcare education building. The Chamber’s Executive Board reviewed the bond measure and found several reasons to endorse it. It’s great for workforce development, it meets community needs for meeting spaces and it doesn’t increase the current TBCC bond tax rate. It also aligns well with the City of Tillamook’s timeline for updating the sewer system to support more construction. I’ll cover all of that more in depth later in this piece, but for now, I’ll start with another huge plus.

The bond will help the college capture $8 million matching grant from the Oregon state legislature. That means the bond will go further than it normally would, because there is extra funding available. But that matching grant only comes our way if the college passes its bond and can front the other half of the project bill. The Chamber sees it as imperative that we leverage these matching grant resources while we have the opportunity.

Workforce is a significant issue for all sectors, and while this is a complex issue, the TBCC bond will play a huge role in supporting and developing our local workforce, especially when it comes to healthcare professionals. The money raised through the bond will be used to build a new healthcare education building. With this, the college can add a nursing program, add more healthcare occupational training programs and provide a space to expand and add new degrees and certificates. As it stands, TBCC is the only community college in Oregon that does not have a dedicated healthcare education program. Successfully passing this bond would change that and bring us in line with the rest of the state.

A 2022 report by the Oregon Employment Department shows that the healthcare and social assistance industry in Northwest Oregon, which includes Tillamook, had the second most number of vacancies in 2021. But nursing assistants, mental health counselors and personal care aids were in the top 20 most difficult to fill positions. That tells me that we have openings — that we need doctors and nurses and hospital support staff — but we aren’t able to fill them. A training program right in our backyard, of residents that already live here, will create a larger pool to fill those necessary jobs. I think it speaks for itself to know that the bond not only has the Chamber’s support, but also the support of Adventist Health Tillamook — one of our largest local employers

Another plus of the bond? The new healthcare building will open up another large community space that could be used for meetings, gatherings and events by all kinds of groups. TBCC is a great partner when it comes to renting out their classrooms and building spaces for an affordable rate. This new building will be no different. In fact, the need for a new meeting space is something the community told the college it wanted in 2019 with a study on the education interests of Tillamook County. TBCC listened to those responses and found a way to meet those needs.

Finally, the bond measure won’t change the amount you’re paying toward taxes for TBCC-related projects. The last time TBCC referred a bond measure to voters was 2006. That bond helped build the main college building on Third Street and upgrade and construct college facilities at the high schools in the county. It passed with an estimated tax rate of 19 cents per $1,000 assessed value, or about $67 annually on a $350,000 home, for a 20-year duration. That bond debt will be paid off in 2027. And as it turns out, the actual tax rates have been less over the period of the 2006 bond.

If the proposed measure passes, the tax rate would remain an estimated rate of 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for a 20-year duration. That includes the years the two bonds overlap.  That means that Tillamook has a rare opportunity to extend the college’s building capacity for two more decades at the very same rate we’ve paid since 2006. TBCC isn’t asking for a rate hike — just our continued support. That’s pretty amazing.

And now for what might be considered the elephant in the room for some. If you’ve been reading the Chamber Chatters or listening in to City Council meetings, you may know that the city’s sewer system for everything east of Miller Avenue is critically near capacity. So you might ask, “How can a full sewer system support another, large building at the college? Is this TBCC project really a good idea?”

That’s a fair question, the Chamber has been in conversations with both the college and the City of Tillamook about just this. While the sewer capacity concerns should remain top priority, the timeline to correct the sewer lines coincides well with the college’s construction timeline. We have every reason to believe the sewer infrastructure concerns will be resolved by the time the college builds and opens their healthcare building. Often times when public projects like these align it elevates the priority of both and our community will benefit from the project synergy.

This project will benefit the local workforce, keep our local healthcare talent in our community and take advantage of an $8 million match from the state that we can’t afford to miss out on. For these reasons, the Chamber supports the TBCC bond measure. Join us in our support by saying Yes to TBCC on this May’s ballot.

Cork & Brew is back on June 17!

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

I come to the Chamber Chatter column this week bearing great news: The Cork & Brew Tour is officially back!

This well-loved community event is set for 5 – 8 p.m. on June 17. It will take Cork & Brew “tourists” on the ultimate tour of businesses, drinks and appetizers with self-guided journey through Downtown Tillamook, where you’ll stop into different businesses for a taste of a regional beer or wine, some finger foods and great conversation! It all kicks off with a Cork & Brew Launch Party at Flavors on First Street, the food truck court by Kimmel True Value hardware. Festivities there will include live music, games, activities and a free drink!

You must purchase a ticket in advance to attend Cork & Brew; tickets aren’t available at the door, and there’s a limit of 300 spots that tend to fill up fast. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased online at www.corkandbrewtour.com.

Please note that this year we expect tickets to be in higher demand that usual, because this is the first Cork & Brew Tour we’ve held since 2019. In fact, this is the only event we had to completely cancel for pandemic-related reasons. For the last two years, the summertime in Tillamook hasn’t felt quite right without it.

We are especially excited to bring it back this for what we hope is the best tour yet! And we think the community is, too. We’ve already sold about two dozen tickets since sales opened last week.

For the tour this year, we’re working with almost a dozen different businesses to serve as our stops, and we’re revamping the Cork & Brew passport to be simpler and more user friendly. We also purchased new glasses that are shatterproof, with a special thumb grip to make holding them easy and comfortable.

Those updates aside, all of the things you love about Cork & Brew remain. We’ll still offer a raffle prize, which you can enter by getting a stamp from each location. There will still be a great variety of beers and wines from this region to try, including some local brews from businesses right here in Tillamook. And it will still be a blast to see friends, family and new faces while you explore each stop!

We’ll release more information about Cork & Brew as June 17 approaches, so be sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates. And because repetition never hurts, remember that tickets are available at corkandbrewtour.com now through when they sell out, and you must purchase your tickets in advance!

So what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars, visit corkandbrewtour.com to get your tickets and practice your tasting etiquette with a pint tonight! Cheers!

Lend a hand May 7 for the Downtown Tillamook Cleanup

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Despite the strange weather patterns of late, it’s still the time of year to begin spring cleaning in preparation for sunnier days ahead. Here at the Chamber, we hope to kick off the traditions of springtime tidying with our annual Downtown Tillamook Cleanup, sponsored by US Bank!

Scheduled for 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 7, the Downtown Cleanup will bring volunteers together to weed sidewalks, clean signs, blow leaves and pick up garbage downtown to keep our community attractive and appealing for locals and visitors alike. After a long winter — and an unusual April snow —we’ll make the city shine.

We’ll focus on the five blocks along Main Street and Pacific, splitting up into small groups to cover the whole area. We encourage you to bring your family or friends along as a little work party. Or show up solo and meet new friends as you work together!

North Coast Lawn graciously lends us all the equipment we need to do our work, so no need to bring any tools. And the Chamber supplies work gloves in multiple sizes, including kids’ sizes. Afterward, you can head to Dutch Mill for a free “thank you” meal to show our appreciation for your help!

This is one of my personal favorite events of the year, because it feels great to give back to the community. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about scraping away the moss that’s grown between pavers over the winter. It’s such a simple act that makes all the difference — and you can immediately see how much better the sidewalks look because of it.

And this year, I’m especially excited to include extra hands on our volunteer crew! We’ve invited the Young Pros Tillamook network to the Downtown Cleanup, and several members have already scheduled the event into their calendars. We hope this event will be one of many “Engage” events, where the Young Pros can give back to the community through service and fundraising.

For folks who aren’t part of the Young Pros network, this will be a great opportunity to meet some of the talented young professionals who live here in Tillamook — if you haven’t already met them through their many community involvements. As it turns out, many of our Young Pros are already active volunteers!

We have a link on our website for volunteers to sign up for Downtown Cleanup, or you can email me at mallory@tillamookchamber.org. This year we will work for 8 a.m. to noon. If you can’t make it for the full shift, no worries! Join us when you can to lend a hand however long you’re able. When it comes to spring cleaning, every little bit counts!

Welcoming John Jackson to the Chamber Board

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am pleased to introduce this week John Jackson, the Chamber Board’s second new member.

John joined the Chamber Board this month this to get more involved with the Tillamook community. He’s lived here in Tillamook for just about a year, serving as the general manager of the Pelican Tap Room.

“My wife and I met in Oregon 13 years ago at Crater Lake, and we’d always talked about moving to the Oregon Coast,” he said.

Those dreams came true when John was offered and accepted the job at Pelican. He said he originally planned to move to another Pelican location. However, he fell in love with Tillamook and asked his boss if he could stay here, instead.

“I’ve been wildly impressed with not just the warm and gracious welcome from businesses here, but also how they communicate and come together to help each other,” John said. “My wife and I both grew up in small farm towns, so Tillamook felt like home really quickly.”

The local teachers also caught his attention, and he said he and his wife wanted to keep their kids in Tillamook, too.

John brings 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including working on cruise lines and in restaurants. He’s helped build a successful team at the Pelican Tap Room, an accomplishment of which he is proud.

His board position started as a request to volunteer with the Chamber, he said. You may recognize him as one of our award presenters from the Chamber’s Annual Community Awards Banquet; he graciously volunteered to get up on stage and speak in front of a crowd — and that didn’t scare him off!

“I had approached Justin because as a general manager for Pelican, they want us to be community involved. So I asked Justin if there were any more community volunteer positions at the Chamber,” John said. “There just happened to be a board position open, and I decided to apply.”

John wants to lend his fundraising knowledge and hospitality experience to the Chamber Board. He said he looks forward to working with other board members to “learn as much as I can about being on a board” and help build a strong community where businesses can thrive.

“I’m really impressed with the work that the Chamber does in the community. I’ve lived in other cities where the Chamber is kind of rag tag, but in Tillamook it’s very professional and well put together,” John said.

John also volunteers with the Tillamook School District and recently joined the local Oddfellows group. He also is a three-time life saver.

“I’ve helped saved someone’s life three times. Twice It was with the Heimlich Maneuver, and one was preventing someone from drowning while snorkeling in Hawaii,” he said.

I am excited to work with John, and I think his knowledge from nearly three decades in the hospitality industry will prove extremely insightful for the Chamber Board.

If you catch John out in the community or while grabbing beers at the Pelican Tap Room, be sure to say hi and congratulate him on his new position.

Welcoming Sarah Dentel to the Chamber Board

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This month Sarah Dentel joined the Chamber Board of Directors as one of two new board members, and I’m excited to welcome her to the position. (I’ll be back next week to welcome our other new board member, so stay tuned).

Sarah is a local real estate agent with Rob Trost Real Estate. She also volunteers as a co-director of Tillamook Outdoor School, a local nonprofit organization, and is a member of the Tillamook Rotary Club.

She grew up in Tillamook and has lived here most of her life. She spent “a few great years” in college and starting her professional life in Eugene and Portland before moving back home about 10 years ago to raise her family.

“When I thought about where I wanted to raise my kids, I knew Tillamook was it. The community and the people here are phenomenal. This is a place with a tremendous giving spirit,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what the question is, if someone needs help, the answer is always, ‘yes,’ and the community finds a way to help.”

Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in family and human services from the University of Oregon, and she spent much of her career working with local families. After she became a real estate agent, she discovered that the job allowed her to continue working with families, as well as connect with people during some of the most exciting moments of their life.

“As the lady who often sells people their first homes, I’m in the middle of a person’s best day. I’m able to guide them and be a space for people when their cup runs over with emotions. I help them work through it,” she said. “At the end of the day, my focus in life is connections and community. I love hearing people’s stories and finding out how I can help support them or take care of them.”

The Chamber connection-focused mission fits well with Sarah’s mindset, and she said she’s excited to develop stronger connections with the local business community. After two tumultuous years for restaurants and retailers, Sarah wants to uplift the businesses that make Tillamook a great place to live.

“Lately I have really focused on being intentional about how my time is spent, and joining the Chamber board is a wonderful way for me to intentionally check in with people to see how things are going and really love on them to support them,” she said. “This is another way I can be a cheerleader for people.”

She also looks forward to being part of the Young Pros Tillamook network, a new professional group the Chamber launched in February. The group brings together likeminded young professionals to connect, grow and engage with the community.

“I think from a community standpoint, Young Pros Tillamook will be huge for retention. I know so many young professionals who have left the area because they couldn’t find a connection with other people or a way to engage with the community. Now, there’s a group that does just that,” she said.

I expect Sarah’s positive energy and enthusiasm for really, truly connecting will be an outstanding addition to the Chamber Board. I’m excited to have on our board!

I hope when you see Sarah out in the community, you’ll take a moment to congratulate her on the new board position and connect with her on a deeper level. No, seriously, skip the small talk and ask about her love of coffee or her uncanny ability to sing a mean, off-key rendition of “Bohemian Rapsody.” She’ll thank you — and you’ll come away knowing a really amazing person!

Now Hiring: Communications Manager

The Tillamook Chamber is currently accepting applications for a part-time, up-to 30 hours per week Communications Manager position.  The Communications Manager is responsible for planning, creating and implementing the primary communications (both internal and external) of the Chamber.

View the full job description here: Communications Manager Job Description

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to justin@tillamookchamber.org.

Cheddar Days are Here Again this June Dairy Parade

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Every year about this time, the calls start coming in. “Is the June Dairy Parade happening this year?” And every year the answer is the same as it’s been for the last six and a half decades: Yes, on the fourth Saturday in June!

This year June Dairy Parade lands on Saturday, June 25. We are celebrating the 65th year of this beloved community tradition with the theme, “Cheddar Days are Here Again.”

After two years of switching between an “inside out” parade, then a last-minute “regular” parade, we are happy to confidently say that this year’s event will follow a traditional process. Our spectators will grab a seat along the parade route as floats, dancers, horses and other parade staples head north up Main Avenue, around the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 6, down Pacific Avenue then east on Third Street.

If you would like to be in the parade, please submit your parade entry application by June 6 at junedairyparade.com. It’s a simple form that takes less than 5 minutes to complete. We want to grow the number of entries and participants this year to make the parade the biggest and best it can be. So envision what better days look like for you, make it cheesy, and design your float!

We’re also bringing back the tradition of selecting a Grand Marshal for the parade. (We’d put that process on pause the last two years as we tweaked the event to fit pandemic regulations).

As a reminder, here’s how the Grand Marshal selection process works: Community members nominate someone from the dairy industry they think would be a good fit, then a small committee reviews the nominations and selects one for Grand Marshal.

We do require that the Grand Marshal comes from the dairy industry because, well, it’s the June Dairy Parade, and we are celebrating June Dairy Month. But other than that, there are no specific requirements for the position. The selection committee also gives weight to past community involvement as a leader and volunteer.

To nominate a Grand Marshal, visit tillamookchamber.org/june-dairy-grand-marshal and submit the form. You can also find a link to the form at junedairyparade.com. Nominations are due by May 31, so we have time to contact the Grand Marshal and get the parade on their summer calendar.

Speaking of, have you blocked out the parade date on your calendar yet? Whether you’re building a float or simply watching as they go by, we hope you’ll join us on June 25. It’s going to be a great year to celebrate the dairy industry — and everything else that makes Tillamook County a special place to live, work and play — together as one community. After all, Cheddar Days are Here Again!

Chamber News: Beachcombers NW celebrates 15 years of membership

Vacation rental listing service directly connects travelers, rental owners

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

A frequent visitor to the Oceanside area, Cindi Brooks remembers walking the beach with her husband two decades ago wondering about how to find information about the vacation rentals overlooking the shore.

In days well before AirBNB, it could be a challenge to find a place to stay during their regular visits to the coast, Brooks said. Sure, VRBO was in its early years and offered some listings, but the company was not widely known, nor did it have a great presence in Brooks’ favorite getaway spot.

“My husband and I would get frustrated by the process. Oceanside was our favorite place to vacation, but it was really hard to find a rental — especially one that was pet friendly. Then I had an idea, and I put this website together,” said Brooks, who launched the Beachcombers NW listing service in 2001.

Cindi Brooks’ husband, Craig, poses with the couple’s two dogs on the beach in Oceanside. Their favorite vacation spot inspired Cindi to start Beachcombers NW almost 20 years ago.

The small business started as an exclusive listing site for rentals in Oceanside and Netarts. It has since grown to include rentals across the Oregon and Washington coast and, this month, celebrates its 15th year as a member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber was extremely helpful in connecting me with vacation rental owners and managers. I had brochures made up and put them in the Chamber. That’s mostly how I got my start,” Brooks said.

Beachcombers NW works directly with vacation rental owners and managers to put information about their locations online. Then, interested renters can book through the site and be put in touch with the owners or managers directly.

She likened the site to VRBO or AirBNB, but with one major difference: Beachcombers NW is not a third-party booking site. Renters work directly with the owner or manager of the location when booking, not with a Beachcombers representative.

“Sites like AirBNB or VRBO are a third-party booking site. They get in the middle of booking and often charge a booking fee for the traveler and a processing fee for the owner or manager of a location,” Brooks said. “We are more transparent and operate basically as a guide or information source. We put the owner or manager’s information right out there, so renters can contact them directly. And we don’t charge booking or processing fees.”

A changing industry
Brooks didn’t necessarily set out to eliminate the booking middleman when she started the site nearly two decades ago. In fact, at the time VRBO — then known at Vacation Rental By Owner — operated much like its smaller contemporary.

However, as more people began traveling and the demand for vacation rentals increased, many sites switched over to be third-party bookers.

Brooks resolved to keep Beachcombers NW the same because she saw the benefit for both travelers and owners and managers.

Aster Cabin is one of Beachcombers NW’s 15 listings from the Oceanside area. This one-story original cabin with three cozy bedrooms and a wood burning fireplace is within walking distance of the beach.

Travelers could contact an owner or manager directly to ask about the area or pin down the smaller details of their trip.  They don’t have to worry that their questions could get routed to a customer service representative who may not be based locally.

“It’s frustrating when you’re planning a trip and your booking agent doesn’t know all the details of the area or of the rental,” Brooks said. “With my website, a traveler can build a relationship directly with the owners or managers. And if they like an owner or manager, they tend to come back and book with that rental again.

Similarly, owners and managers appreciate the opportunity to talk directly to vacationers and “kind of screen them,” Brooks said. Other sites don’t allow that kind of personal contact.

Beachcombers NW also offers features for owners and managers that most sites don’t, such as the “Last Minute Bookings” page.

“If someone cancels, an owner or manager can post on that page, and it can help them fill up that space, so the home doesn’t stay empty at their expense,” Brooks said. “A lot of my owners have thanked me for that service.”

Invested locally
Although Beachcombers has grown to include more than 600 listings, Brooks still has a soft spot for the rentals around Oceanside. Most of Beachcombers NW’s earliest listings came from Tillamook County, and many of those original owners and managers still use the site today, including Happy Camp Hideaway and Ocean Sands and Surf (both of whom are also Tillamook Chamber members).

Castle Cove is one of the Beachcombers NW listings located in Oceanside. This three-bedroom, pet-friendly vacation home features beautiful ocean vides, a large private yard and a game room.

“My husband actually proposed to me in Oceanside, so it has a special place in my heart. We haven’t visited in a while because of COVID, but otherwise we try to get out there at least once a year,” said Brooks, who lives in Welches, Oregon. “I do have family that lives in Tillamook, and I really care about the community there.”

She credits the Chamber for helping foster her connection with local business owners and for keeping her business’ name in the public eye.

“It’s great to have extra exposure through the Chamber, whether that’s in the online membership directory or leaving brochures at the main office for visitors,” she said. “The Chamber helped get us started, and it helped get us out there over all these years.”

Chamber News: Jeric By The Sea now booking coastal farmhouse suite

Five-star reviews deem it ‘perfect spot for a weekend’

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Jeremy Due and Rick Moder want to offer you and your family members a home away from home.

After nearly six months of renovations, the duo opened a new lodging option on February 18 with their Tillamook business Jeric By The Sea. The studio apartment offers visitors a coastal farmhouse retreat that’s just off the beaten path but not too far from everything that makes a stay in Tillamook great.

“Being here, you feel separate from everything. It’s calm, quiet and cozy,” Due said. “But you’re also a 5-minute drive from a lot of the local attractions, like the Tillamook Creamery or downtown Tillamook.”

Rick Moder, left, and Jeremy Due, right, opened a new lodging option in Tillamook with Jeric by the Sea coastal farmhouse suite.

Moder and Due envision the suite as an affordable place to rent for family and friends of Tillamook residents who might not have the space to put them up in their own homes.

“I’m excited to see Jeric by the Sea open for business,” said Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer. “The location and the price point make it a great place for locals to recommend to their visiting family and friends when they don’t have room to host.”

Top-tier luxuries
The studio includes a full-size bathroom, a fridge and microwave, a full-size futon and California king sized bed. It sleeps up to three guests, with ample space for all visitors to relax after a long day of Tillamook adventures. It is open for bookings online at AirBNB or through jericbythesea.com.

Moder said he and Due were intentional about offering top-tier luxuries for visitors. The towels, for example, are plush Turkish cotton.

“We’ve gotten reviews where people have said these are the softest towels they’ve ever used. It’s those little touches we made to make the space special. We were very meticulous about what we included,” Moder said. “Even the TV is quality, with Wi-Fi capabilities. We joke that we wish we had something that great in our own home.”

The suite is tucked back near a quiet slough right off Highway 101 on the same property where Moder and Due live. Although it’s technically part of their house, the rental space feels private. While renovating the space, Due and Moder purposefully added separate entryways or fencing to distinguish the studio from their home.

They hope visitors have comfort, luxury and privacy reflect in the reviews the suite has received so far. Of the six written reviews on AirBNB, all six are 5-star.

“(It’s the) perfect spot for a weekend!” one reviewer wrote. “Very nice finishes, safe, centrally located, and a comfy bed. Nice extras like fluffy towels, hairdryer/straight iron, coffee and filtered water.”

A dream come true
Moder’s and Due’s plans for Jeric By The Sea date back far before moved to Tillamook and began updating the private suite attached to their new home. Moder, who spent much of his career in real estate, said he’s always wanted to open some kind of lodging option during his retirement.

Jeric by the Sea’s coastal farmhouse suite sleep ups to three and includes a full-sized bathroom with luxury Turkish cotton towels.

“Originally, we dreamed of owning a campground,” Moder said. “The home we purchased in Tillamook had this perfect opportunity built right in, and we thought, ‘Let’s add a bathroom and do an AirBNB instead.’ ”

Their property also proved large enough to accommodate an RV site with full hookups, which allows Moder to experience a small-scale version of his campground dreams. The space can be rented through AirBNB; the renter must provide their own RV or camper.

The Tillamook Chamber of Commerce helped Moder and Due get their new business off the ground, Moder said. Jeric By The Sea signed up for a Chamber membership shortly after its formation.

“The Chamber was a great help, especially throughout the permitting process,” Moder said. “Justin Aufdermauer (Chamber executive director) walked us through the process clearly and expeditiously.”

The Chamber also helped with early marketing efforts. Moder often accepted the open invitation to attend the Chamber’s Mornings on Main Street meeting, a once a month, casual networking program for people in Tillamook. During the meetings, he shared updates about the renovations and generated excitement for the new space.

At the meetings, Moder received recommendations for local contractors to hire for the remodel. He and Due hired Bay City-based Tim Hall Builders for the project.

“I still have real estate friends in the Portland area, and they were amazed with how quickly we turned this project around,” Moder said. “Tim was great to work with, and he had other local connections that ensured we got all our work done quickly and professionally.”

Jeric By The Sea’s coastal farmhouse suites comes complete with a full-sized fridge, microwave and pantry space.

Jeric By The Sea intends to continue working with local businesses, including by referring guests to local restaurants and retailers. Menus for Recess food truck and other local eateries hang on the fridge, and their Chamber membership plaque is proudly displayed at the bottom of the stairs.

“We both grew up in small towns, so moving to Tillamook was our way of getting out of the big city and back to our roots. We also love the Oregon Coast and agricultural community of Tillamook,” Due said. “We are hoping to attract people who love the Oregon Coast, too. Or family and friends of locals. We want our visitors to be the type who respect nature and the farming lifestyle.”

Lots of Chamber events, projects on the horizon

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

You know those times when you’re busy, busy, busy prepping for a million projects but don’t have any physical items or events to show for it quite yet? That’s where the Chamber is right now.

We’ve got our noses to the ground and are full speed ahead on planning for several projects and events, even though it seems like we’ve been relatively quiet lately. Here’s quick overview of some of the things we’re working on — and that you can expect to hear more about soon.

Downtown Tillamook Cleanup
Scheduled for 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. May 7, this annual “spring cleaning” event brings volunteers together to beautify downtown Tillamook ahead of a busy summer of events. We’ll post a sign up link on our Facebook page and website soon.

Cork & Brew Tour
Back for the first time since 2019, the Cork & Brew Tour offers. We’re still in the early planning stages for the event, but I can tell you this: It’s officially set for Friday, June 17. Keep your calendar clear for that day if you’d like to attend.

June Dairy Parade
We love this annual tradition, which always takes place on the fourth Saturday in June (this year, June 25). We’re celebrating June Dairy Month and all the things that make Tillamook great with the parade theme, “Cheddar Days are Here Again.” Get to thinking about your float ideas now, and stay tuned for the roll out of our parade entry information and grand marshal nomination form.

Tillamook Farmers Market
You heard from Sayde, our Farmers Market Manager, last week about everything she’s got slated for the Tillamook Farmers Market this year. We can’t wait to catch some amazing live music and pick up local fruits and veggies! Behind the scenes, our staff is working on a brand update for the market, where we’ll polish up some of our marketing materials. We don’t expect any major changes, but we are excited for a fresh, updated look for our well-loved market. This is one part of a larger branding effort that I’ll get into more later in this column.

Young Pros Tillamook
Our network of young professionals meets for its second event on March 30, where the members will learn more about each other and themselves with a fun yet insightful guided conversation. The Chamber team also is hard at work planning events for April, May and June. I look forward to watching this group grow and develop.

Venture Coastward Adventure Guide
The official visitor guide for the Tillamook Coast, the Venture Coastward Adventure Guide is a beautiful magazine the Chamber produces in partnership with Visit Tillamook Coast. We sent out a notice last week about advertising in the guide, and we’ll be updating information to for accuracy in 2022. The new guide should be printed come June, so keep your eyes peeled!

Chamber Branding Update
As I mentioned earlier, the Chamber is working on a branding update. This isn’t a total overhaul of our brand. In fact, we really love the reputation we’ve built in the community as a reliable, professional, personable and engaging organization that’s here to build a strong community where businesses can thrive, and we think our branding helps reiterate that. The branding update will help us maintain that reputation by polishing up our marketing materials. It’s a little bit esoteric because so much of it relies on “look” and “feel,” but it’s been a lot of fun to talk about how we can use colors, fonts and design to reflect the values and goals of the Chamber.

Website Updates
We’re auditing the websites we manage, including TillamookChamber.org and GoTillamook.com, to update pictures and ensure all the information provided on the sites is accurate for visitors. This process includes uploading our latest Chamber membership guide to our Chamber website, as well as reviewing and updating the business information that appears on the visitor-focused GoTillamook site.

Social Media Pages
If you follow us on social media, you know we post regularly about Chamber events and news, as well as share posts from our members. Recently, we launched a section social media venture in the Explore Tillamook Oregon Facebook and Instagram pages. You might remember reading about it in the Chatter. We are working to keep both the Chamber page and the new Explore Tillamook Oregon page active and engaging.

Downtown Improvements
The Chamber is supporting several projects in downtown Tillamook to update facades, renovate buildings and generally keep our downtown district a great place to do business. We’ve provided assistance on Tillamook Urban Renewal Assistance grants for some members. And we’re even updating our own rear façade! Watch for more information about that project (and a shiny new sign!) in the coming weeks.

Jobs Posting Website
It’s no secret that hiring is hard right now. In an effort to support our local businesses who are looking for employees — and to make it easier for potential employees to find work — we are developing a website for local job postings. Think of it like Indeed, but for Tillamook specifically. The website is still in the early planning stages, and I’ll continue to share updates as it rolls out and officially goes live.

Shared Workspace Upgrades
The Chamber offers a shared workspace for community members or visitors who need a location to work remotely or meet with their small groups. And the shared workspace is about to get a major upgrade. We plan to renovate the space into a private, enclosed meeting room with up-to-date digital tools to allow for any kind of meeting you might need. Once the project is done, the room will be available not just during Chamber business hours, like it is now, but also before and after hours, and on weekends. I’m especially excited about this project, because it fills a need in the community. There’s a lot of folks who rely on our shared workspace, and I look forward to be able to offer it for a greater range of hours to fit their needs.

So yes, the Chamber is busy right now, and there’s a lot of great activities and projects and upgrades coming down the pike.  I look forward to sharing more about each of these items in depth as they finish up. If all goes as planned, you’ll be reading about them in the Chamber Chatter soon.

Until then, feel free to reach to email me at justin@tillamookchamber.org if you have questions about these projects or any of the other work the Chamber does in our community. I’m always happy to share and receive new ideas for ways we can improve.

Chamber News: The business of ‘stuff’: Port Storage celebrates 20 years as a Chamber member

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

As the manager for Port Storage, Linda Adler deals with the business of “stuff.”

Whether its stuff people are storing between homes as they plan a move, stuff that regular visitors want nearby during their annual coastal vacations, or stuff that a business needs extra space to stow safely. She’s helped store all that and more at the 350-unit facility in Tillamook.

“We store all kinds of things for people,” Adler said. “90% of the time, I don’t know what’s behind the door of a particular unit.”

Port Storage, a 350-unit storage facility in Tillamook, celebrates 20 years as a member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce this month.

The storage company celebrates 20 years as a Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Member this month, and Adler says that membership helps Port Storage run smoothly with the community in mind.

“We’re proud to be part of the Chamber,” Adler said. “It gives us a great tie to the community.”

Port Storage is managed by a larger, Vancouver, Washington-based company called Cedar Tree Management. The company manages about 30 storage facilities in Oregon and Washington.

Adler, who lives in Tillamook County, said she’s able to better serve the local community because she lives and works in the same place as many of her renters. Her bosses have commended her ability to quickly fill vacancies and respond to client questions, she said.

“I understand the community, and that helps me to my job better because the majority of our renters are local people,” Adler said. “I have a physical office, so I’m available and I’m easily reachable. That’s not always the case for storage facilities.”

The physical, onsite office allows Adler to offer additional products to her clients and to the community. Port Storage is one of few local businesses to offer extensive packing supplies, including boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, mattress covers, rope and mirror/glass moving kits.

“We do sell packing supplies, but a lot of people don’t know that yet,” Adler said. “When someone does find out, I can’t tell you how often their response is, ‘You sell moving boxes? That’s great!’ ”

Port Storage Manager Linda Adler poses in the on-site office space, which also acts as a retail location for packing supplies.

Adler approaches her job with professionalism and understanding. She’s willing to talk clients through the online payment system and rental process, and she’s transparent about payment deadlines. In the rare case that a unit could go up for auction, she tries to work with the original renter to close out the account and remove their stuff before that happens, or to re-up a contract to rent that unit or something more affordable.

She also keeps the community in mind with everything she does at Port Storage. For example, the parent company occasionally offers its managers money to donate to the nonprofit of their choice, and Adler always picks a local organization.

“We’ve been able to donate generously to local organizations since I started,” she said. “I think it’s great we can give back to the community in that way.”

Springs days — and the Tillamook Farmers Market — are nearly here!

by Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager

If you are hearing from me in this capacity, it must be spring time. We’ve made it through another wet winter on the coast and longer, brighter days are rapidly approaching.

The Tillamook Farmers Market is also rapidly approaching. The Market will open for its 22nd year on June 11 at 9 a.m. in front of the Tillamook County Courthouse.

Some things I am excited about this season:

The Double Up Food Bucks program has increased its dollar-for-dollar match to $20. That means that SNAP customers who spend $20 at the Tillamook Farmers Market will receive an additional $20 to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetable starts, nuts, mushrooms, and herbs. If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, then shopping at the Tillamook Farmers Market is it. Nowhere else will you get an additional $20 when you spend $20 in SNAP (except almost every other farmers market in the state). Just bring your EBT card to the Tillamook Farmers Market Trailer parked in front of the courthouse, and we will charge your card in exchange for SNAP tokens and give you your match.

Live music. Yes, we are bringing back all our favorites this year – from Buffalo Kitty featuring Scott Casey to Eric Sappington and Lauren Sheehan – but we are also bringing in some new musicians that I am incredibly excited about. Brother/sister duo Run and Tell That will be performing with their acoustic guitar and soaring vocals on opening day. On July 23, Sarah Vitort of Fox and Bones will be performing solo, and on Aug. 6 up-and-coming Jesse Meade will be filling the market with his soulful sounds. We even have surfer-duo out of Lincoln City, ZuhG, returning on Sept. 3. I highly encourage you to come down and check it out and support these incredible musicians.

Community Table. We postponed our community table the last two years due to the pandemic but are excited to bring it back for 2022. That means if you are affiliated with a nonprofit and would like a chance to reach more people about your mission, you can request a space at the Tillamook Farmers Market. We provide the space for free (and the tent and table), so all you have to do is show up. We allow one nonprofit each Saturday, and spaces fill up quickly. To get on the list, email me at sayde@tillamookchamber.org.

Other things you can look forward to this year include free plant starts for youth, a community-wide seed swap, a photo contest, and interactive activities for kids to get them learning about vegetables, growing their own food, and exercising their creative side.

We are still collecting vendor applications for the 2022 season, and the priority deadline is April 15. If you’d like to join us, you can apply online at tillamookfarmersmarket.com. We accept applications all season long on a rolling basis, but it’s always a good idea to apply early to guarantee you get a space.

The applications have already been flowing in, and I am excited to see many of our favorites returning and several new additions joining the line-up. It’s going to be a phenomenal season, and I can’t wait to see everyone this summer.

Explore Tillamook Oregon with our new social media pages!

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

I invite you to come along on a digital journey of our home as with the Chamber’s newest social media venture.

Launched at the start of this month, the Explore Tillamook Oregon Facebook and Instagram pages highlight the authentic lifestyle of the Dairylands with beautiful photography and engaging posts. The pages are run by our resident (and extremely talented) photographer and Social Media Manager Courtney Beeler, who gives us a look into all the events, activities, attractions and beauty that Tillamook offers. You can follow along and enjoy the posts simply by giving the pages a like and follow on either (or both!) social media platforms. Just search “Explore Tillamook Oregon” or @tillamookdairylands and look for the profile pictures of the Dairylands cow logo.

We created the Explore Tillamook Oregon pages because we noticed that there were not any existing pages that shared Tillamook’s story. Sure, there are plenty of social media accounts covering the north Oregon coast, and many of them mention Tillamook often. But they’re also filled with picturesque viewpoints overlooking the ocean and avid beach goers, and that doesn’t fully represent the personality of Tillamook. Where’s the pastures and coastal mountains? And what about the farmers and fishers and neighbors who stop to say hi at the grocery store?

You know as well as I do that our community isn’t the typical Oregon beach town. We have an identify all our own that revolves around hardworking and kind-hearted people who love each other and their home

We know we are fortunate to live in a place full of natural beaty and resources. Our land supports our farms and dairies; allows for some of the world’s best fishing, crabbing and clamming; and provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, whether that’s hiking a forest trail, strolling along the beach or paddling down the river.

And we know that the land deserves to be taken care of, so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of living in Tillamook for generations to come. We want our kids and grandkids to have the same opportunities to live, work and play in this amazing place.

That’s a story worth telling, but one that isn’t fully represented by the existing social media pages — which is exactly why we started the Explore Tillamook Oregon account. We will use the Instagram and Facebook pages to highlight the people and personalities that cover all local industries, so our visitors get a complete understanding of what this place means to us — and why they need to treat it with respect while they are here.  In short, we want to use our story to inspire our visitors to have the same values of environmental stewardship and neighborly kindness as we have.

We also hope that the accounts help locals fall in love with Tillamook all over again and in different ways than before. Maybe our posts will help you find a hiking trail you didn’t know about, introduce you to a new weekend event, or give you a new perspective on the beauty of our springtime flowers poking their heads out in early March. Or maybe they’ll simply make you smile.

If we get you to grin and feel proud of your home, then we’ve done our job.

Stay up to date with all of the posts by following Explore Tillamook Oregon or @tillamookdairylands on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Big Tasks, Lengthy Solutions: Local Growth

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I’m back with the Chamber Chatter’s second installment of our “Big Tasks, Lengthy Solutions” series.

Because it’s been a while since part one — hey, lengthy solutions take time to figure out! — I want to start with a quick reminder about what this series is all about. The quick, one-sentence rundown goes like this: The Chamber and our partners are working on a number of long-term projects that are important to our community but aren’t solvable overnight. This includes topics like housing, homelessness, bioswales, downtown renovations and local growth. Today, I’m diving into that last item on the list.

In the last decade as Chamber executive director, I have heard so many great ideas surface in for how we can improve the quality of life here by growing our local economy, our community and our local amenities.  Some of these ideas have even gotten a small foothold, with official meetings or early events. But often they don’t last long because there was no investment in human capital, such as a staffed position to sustain and move the idea forward.

I wrote recently about our new Young Pros Tillamook group, and I think it serves as a good example here, too. We’ve tried to start this program in the past with a volunteer leadership team. After a handful of great events and lots of excitement from young professionals here, the group eventually fizzled out because the volunteer leaders just didn’t have a personal or professional capacity to keep things going.

It’s no fault of theirs. Life happens. Some of the volunteers moved, and some of them took on other, equally important projects in the community. But as leadership or life situations changed, there was no clear person to take over and carry on the group. This time around, we’re dedicating a paid staff person to oversee Young Pros (along with our new Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation), so that there is organizational continuity.

The big takeaway from Young Pros and other big ideas like it is that we can’t fuel big ideas and local growth through volunteerism alone. I love that our community shows up and supports each other. But we can’t keep tapping into the same pool of volunteers, asking them to take on more and more projects and spread themselves thin, then expect those programs to be sustainable in the long run.

Instead, we need to build in staffed leadership positions to plan and manage our big ideas. And we need to find the capacity in our organizations to take on and fund those new staff members.

That’s easier said than done. It’s a lengthy solution, after all. It’s no secret that hiring has become increasingly difficult in the last couple of years; it’s hard to find a business or nonprofit that isn’t hiring these days. Before we can create new positions, we need to be able to fill existing spots, right?

There might be another solution we can consider. What if we can create synergy and efficiency between nonprofits, governments and businesses to create new capacity? The Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation is in the beginning stages of starting a program called the Stable Table to do just that. We are very close to hiring a facilitator focused on bringing together organizations from across the county. Through conversation and collaboration, we might be able to identify ways an organization can shift some of its tasks or roles to a partner already doing that work, so it can take on a new position, program or project. The Stable Table also will bring together some of the county’s greatest minds and leaders, who are sure to find out-of-the-box solutions for hiring or creating new leadership roles.

My hope is that some of those leaders from organizations, governments and businesses are reading this column with enthusiasm for what we can accomplish together. If you are, don’t lose that fire; we will need it in the next couple months.

And if you would like to know more about this vision, don’t hesitate to contact me at justin@tillamookchamber.org.

Enjoy a night out during Sip + Shop

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

In the wise words of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford, sometimes you just need to treat yoself.

A phrase popularized by the fictional characters on “Parks and Recreation” for their once-a-year self-care extravaganza, treat yoself reminds us all to indulge in luxurious items every now and then. But why limit it to once a year when you could celebrate once a month? Here at the Chamber, we encourage you to treat yoself every second Friday during Sip + Shop in Downtown Tillamook. (Mark your calendar now for our next one, on Friday, March 11).

Several local retailers stay open late for the free and fun event, offering complimentary taster pours of adult beverages, so you can sip while you shop. (The name makes a lot of sense now, doesn’t it?) Some of the businesses offer sales and special deals, making it even easier to treat yoself to that beautiful shirt or snazzy home décor piece you’ve been eyeing. We typically have half a dozen participating shops that cover a wide variety of retail items!

Start at the Chamber office to get your reusable Sip + Shop glass and first pour. We typically offer a rotating selection of regional wines, switching off between reds and whites each month. And we usually host a small raffle for anyone who brings their Sip + Shop glass back from a previous month, to help promote reuse of the glasses!

While you sip, you can check out our Tillamook apparel, or just kick back on the comfy couch up front. We also provide a list of the participating businesses and plot your route for the evening!

There is no cost or registration associated with the event, so you can simply drop in after work.  Personally, I love that Sip + Shop offers a chance to shop during hours that fit well in my work schedule — especially at the stores that tend to close before I can scurry away from a day at the office. The drinks are an added treat.

So join us this month for Sip + Shop from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 11 and treat yoself to good sips, great shopping and a fantastic night out on the town!

Italy and Greece trip with the Chamber is a-go

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I have some exciting news to share that feels like a long time coming: The Chamber’s Italy and Greece tour is officially a-go! We’ll take off for the two beautiful countries this May.

We originally planned to take the trip in May 2021, but the pandemic temporarily disrupted those plans. We knew this is a bucket-list trip for so many, and one I’ve personally looked forward to for a long time. So we kept at the planning process to make it come together, if even a year later than scheduled.

Now, things are open in Italy and Greece, and we’re ready to make this a great trip for the community members who are joining us. We’ll spend 18 days of exploring two beautiful countries. Together, we will discover historic churches and winding canals; 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.

GoAhead, the tour group we’re working with to plan the trip, has done a great job sharing the test requirements for travel, as well as ensuring that COVID won’t rain on our parade. The company has a very impressive “COVID Care Promise” that gives you full confidence that you’ll be taken care of, at no cost to you, in the unfortunate event that you get COVID during the trip and need to quarantine. GoAhead and its partners promise to provide or arrange lodging and meals, translation services, assistance connecting with local healthcare, communication between you and your family back home and more!

All this COVID talk aside, I think it’s important to remember that Italy and Greece are open and welcoming visitors. This is going to be a great trip, filled with gondola rides, picture-perfect piazzas and bucket list-worthy site-seeing.

And I have good news: There is still time left to sign up. We’ve got three spots left on the tour, and you’ve got until March 12 to claim one of those seats for your own. You can sign up online at tillamookchamber.org/italy-greece-travel.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at justin@tillamookchamber.org or 503-842-7525.

Chamber News: A good old-fashioned hometown fair

This article originally appeared in the 2022 Tillamook Living Magazine. It has been republished here to honor the Tillamook County Fairgrounds’ 40th anniversary as a member of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce. 

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

When it comes to county fairs, Tillamook hits above its weight class.

The Tillamook County Fair draws in roughly 70,000 visitors every year, and judges for the exhibits say the departments are some of the largest they have judged, said Tillamook County Fair Manager Camy VonSeggern.

Tillamook’s is one of four fairs in Oregon with live pari-mutuel horse racing and is the only fair in the country to host Pig ‘n’ Ford races. During the four-day event, not a single square inch of the 63-acre fairgrounds goes unused.

“One of the comments I hear from fellow fair managers is that our daytime activities are really plentiful,” VonSeggern said. “There is just so much to do, whether it’s entertainment on the main stage, the barns full of animals, vendors outside, the carnival or our exhibits.”

But the most special part of the Tillamook County Fair is how its old-fashioned, hometown feel remains intact, VonSeggern said. Despite all the grandeur and excitement of the activities, the fair hasn’t turned into a big exposition center for the sake of profit-turning.

“We are keeping our traditions. We are still the hometown fair where you come to show off to the rest of the county what it is you do or grow or raise,” VonSeggern said. “There’s a sense of pride in carrying on those traditions.”

Local volunteers readily donate their time, money and services to maintain the fairgrounds and support fair staff. Generation after generation of local families attend, often coordinating family reunions with the fair, so relatives can return “home” to Tillamook to celebrate.

“The Tillamook County Fair is not just a place for exhibits and activities. It’s a place where community members gather to tell stories and make memories together,” VonSeggern said. “That’s one of the things that probably makes me proudest about our fair.”

Young Pros Tillamook launches February 25

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

For most people, February brings to mind chocolates, bouquets and other thoughts of Valentine’s Day. But this year for me, my excitement is shared with another February event: the launch of Young Pros Tillamook.

Young Pros Tillamook is a network of likeminded young professionals who work together to grow, connect and engage with each other and the broader Tillamook Community. Through events and programming, the group offers a way to meet and foster relationships with other young professionals; develop your personal and professional skills; and make a positive impact on the community through volunteer work and service projects. It is targeted at people aged 21 – 40, but it can also include people looking to re-enter the workforce or people who are making a career change.

We are officially kicking off the Young Pros network and programming on February 25 with a launch party at the Chamber office. Anyone who is interested in learning more about Young Pros is invited to attend. There will be drinks, appetizers and a lot of really great people.

My vision for the Young Pros is to create a sense of community for emerging leaders and young professionals here, so they feel like they can invest in Tillamook for the long-term. This is especially important for people who are moving to the community from other places. Those of us who have lived in Tillamook all our lives know this is a good place to raise a family, find friends and build a career. But that isn’t always the case, and it’s not always clear for someone who is new here, either.

There are tons of town with tons of jobs all over the country they could choose to move to instead, so why should anyone choose to live in Tillamook? We want the Young Pros to be part of that answer. There’s a network of likeminded young professionals here who want to make a positive difference in their community. And if you join that network, you’ll find it easy to meet new friends and feel supported. All of that encourages talented young professionals to stay in our community, because they will come to know and champion how wonderful it is to live, work and play in Tillamook.

If all this talk of a young professionals group gives you a sense of déjà vu, that’s because this isn’t our first time launching a young professionals network. Our plan for starting a group like this date back to 2014, when a small group of young professionals first floated the idea by the Chamber. We loved the vision, but at the time, we didn’t have the capacity to take on a brand-new program like this.

About five years later, in 2019, another small group came to us with the idea of starting a young professionals group. This time, the Chamber was positioned well to help support the program, and we helped spread the word and coordinate events as interest in the program quickly grew.

The 2019 young professionals group started strong but eventually faded due to one big challenge: The leadership team for the program were volunteers who operated autonomously from the Chamber. That gave the team a lot of freedom to mold the group how they saw fit, but it also made it difficult to support consistent programming for as many as 75 members while they focused on their own jobs, community involvements and families. With no organizational tie to ensure there was at least one person dedicated to overseeing the programming when life got busy for the leadership team, the group eventually fizzled out.

Now we’re back with another attempt at creating a young professionals network. And naturally, we expect the community to ask us, “What makes this time different?”

That’s an honest question with a few answers. First, we’ve had time to look back at the first two tries and honestly evaluate what went well and what didn’t. We know that there needs to be some organizational ties, so there’s a consistent leader who can focus on planning events and managing the network full-time, and not as a volunteer side gig. Our goal is to hire a program manager that will oversee Young Pros as one of their projects.

Second, we have cross-community support to get this program going. It’s not just a small group of young professionals who want to see this group launched. It’s also large employers and community partners. For example, the Tillamook County Creamery Association is sponsoring the program this year, so all our young pros can have a free membership to test it out. Our support also comes from the brand-new Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation. The Young Pros program will operate under the Foundation, which just raised $16,000 at the Community Awards Banquet to launch programs just like this one.

The vision and the drive for a young professionals group is still present, but now we’ve got a solid plan, organizational capacity and widespread support to make that vision a long-lasting, fun and viable reality.

If you’re interested in learning more about Young Pros Tillamook or how to join, we hope you’ll join us for the launch party at 5:30 p.m. February 25 at the Chamber office. You can also find more information at youngprostillamook.com.

Chamber News: Barbur Law reveals renovated Tillamook office

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

Scott Barbur began offering his estate planning services in Tillamook in 2020 with few expectations for what the move would mean for his private law practice. Now, almost 18 months later, he’s starting the “next chapter,” for Barbur Law with the celebration of a newly renovated office space for his firm’s second office — among many other significant milestones.

A public ribbon cutting ceremony to reveal the updated Barbur Law Tillamook office is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 8 at the office at 1000 N. Main Ave., Ste. 7. Community members are invited to attend.

“I want the community to know we are here in Tillamook,” he said. “This ribbon cutting is for the renovated office space, but it also celebrates our establishment down here, Laura Laskey coming on as partner and my 10-year anniversary as a private law practice.”

Attorneys Scott Barbur, left, and Laura Laskey, right, stand in front of the Barbur Law Tillamook office at 1000 N. Main Ave., Ste. 7. The estate planning practice came to Tillamook in 2020 and is now firmly established with a fully renovated law office. / Contributed by Barbur Law

Originally based in Milwaukie, Oregon, Barbur Law expanded to Tillamook in 2020, practicing under the office of Christian K Hooley. Around November that year, the business officially switched over to its own private practice that operates under the Barbur Law name.

That switch was made possible by the qualified staff Barbur found and hired from Tillamook, including attorney Laura Laskey and receptionist Corinne Kelly, Barbur said.

“We built out the original office with the intent of basically being a small satellite office of the main practice in Milwaukie, but then we realized there was a need for services like this in Tillamook. Fortunately, we were able to find Corinne and Laura quickly, which allowed us to establish the Tillamook office as its own practice,” Barbur said.

The practice specializes in estate planning and real property law, including wills, trusts, estate administration, probate, contracts and business startups, among other “transactional law,” much like the Hooley practice they first stepped in for.

“We are very happy to carry on Chris’ legacy as best we can,” Barbur said. “We do pretty much the same things he did, in pretty much the same personal and approachable manner he did. We aren’t an extremely formal suit-and-tie kind of practice.”

Keeping services personable for clients is key for Barbur and his staff. So much of the work they do revolves around highly personal decision-making relating to property, wealth and other assets, he said.

Following a renovation of the Barbur Law office in Tillamook that more than doubled the space, clients will be greeted in the pictured lobby space, which is furnished with pieces from local businesses, Barbur said. / Contributed by Barbur Law

Connecting with the community also helps Barbur tailor his services to best meet the community’s needs. He plans to expand the Tillamook practice of offer additional help with land use, commercial leases and commercial development, because several people have sought help in those areas.

“I’d love to be able to have a hand in the development that goes on locally. My goal is to really help business owners do commercial leases and commercial purchases,” he said. “Right now you pretty much have to go to Portland to get those kinds of services, so it would be nice to offer a local place for people to be able to go to.”

For several months, Barbur and Laskey shared an office space in a suite at the commercial complex that includes The Fern restaurant. As they took on more clients and began to settle into the Tillamook community, it quickly became apparent that they needed more space.

“And then our neighbors moved out,” Barbur said. “The whole thing was a fortuitous series of events. We were able to get a great staff hired quickly, a space opened up right as we needed it, and we were able to find a good builder through our connections with the community and the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce.”

Barbur Law, a Chamber member, primarily contracted with local companies to complete the renovation. Barbur said he even purchased most of its furniture from other Chamber members — many of whom he met while attending the Chamber’s Mornings on Main Street networking event.

“We’ve been able to use a lot of local companies to really fill everything out. Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace and Roby’s Furniture had great pieces to furnish the office, and PSI Inc. made our signs, so we are finally visible from Highway 101,” Barbur said. “It’s really nice to be able to use local, small businesses. I really appreciate the Chamber for making those connections for us.”

The renovation of the Barbur Law office in Tillamook doubled the office’s square footage, adding an office for the practice’s second attorney and a conference room, pictured here. / Contributed by Barbur Law

The final renovation doubles the total square footage and adds a separate office for Laskey.

“It’s night and day. It looks like and actual law office now,” Barbur said.

Barbur said the pieces have finally “fallen into place” to firmly establish his practice in Tillamook.

“We are here. We are in the community. We have our names on the door now,” Barbur said. “We have two competent attorneys, and we have competent support staff. We are established now, and we can serve you.”

Now introducing the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

During the Tillamook Chamber Community Awards Banquet at the end of January, I had the pleasure of introducing the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation, a new organization that I’m extremely excited to bring to Tillamook County. Now I want to recap what I shared at the banquet for those of you who couldn’t make it — or anyone who simply wants to learn more.

The purpose of the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation is to build and coordinate leadership, fundraising and capacity for projects that enhance the vitality of communities in Tillamook. The 501(c)3 nonprofit strives to change lives by building strong communities throughout Tillamook County. At its heart, the Foundation is a community catalyst, convener and champion.

Let me explain each of those ideas a little bit more directly.

The Foundation acts as a catalyst for bringing to life great ideas that can enhance our community through its Community Investment Initiative. This Foundation program will provide financial and social capital investments to empower community members to make their plans a reality. The initial focus will be items such as beautification efforts and public art; community crisis response; and enhanced playgrounds, sport areas and pet amenities in public spaces. The long-term goal for this is to build an endowment to provide ongoing financial and social capital investments to empower community members to make their plans a reality.

The Foundation serves as a convener by bringing together local nonprofits, governments and businesses to build synergy and capacity in our communities. Many of our local agencies and businesses are working toward the same vision, but often they’re working independently of each other. We know are stronger when we act as a single community, so the Foundation’s Stable Table will unify all of those efforts. This program will include quarterly roundtables of community partners, equitable partnerships among organizations and assistance for program implementation.

The Foundation becomes a champion for Tillamook County young adults. We want to empower future community and civic leaders by championing meaningful relationships, personal growth and community engagement. The Young Pros Tillamook network aids us in this effort by establishing a group for likeminded young professionals to connect, grow and engage together and with their community (more on that program soon). The Foundation also looks to establish coaching and mentorship programs for young leaders.

You might notice that a lot of the work the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation focuses on is similar to the existing work of the Chamber. Both organizations focus on building strong community. But there are two big differences that I think are worth highlighting.

The first is that the Foundation is a community organization that covers Tillamook County, while the Chamber is a business and nonprofit membership organization. That means the Foundation has a larger reach. You don’t have to be a member of the Tillamook Chamber to benefit from the programs offered through the Foundation (though we of course hope you’ll consider membership into the Chamber, because there are lots of other great benefits there, too). Where the Chamber builds strong community so businesses can thrive, the Foundation builds strong communities to change lives throughout the county.

The second difference is that the Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, whereas the Chamber is a 501(c)6. Both of these tax codes indicate nonprofit status, but the Foundation’s status is classified as a public charity and specifically makes donations to the Foundation tax deductible.

A huge part of the Foundation’s upstart is thanks to generous donations from the Mario and Alma Pastega Family Foundation and the Tillamook County Creamery Association. Both organizations provided match money, which helped us double the first $8,000 worth of donations from the community. Their generosity and support gave the Foundation a strong financial basis from which to grow.

All of the Foundation’s work boils down to one focused goal: We strive to change the lives of those we reach for the better. Are you ready to change lives with us?

If you’re interested in learning more about the Foundation or how to make a donation to the program, I encourage you to contact me at justin@tillamookchamber.org or call the Chamber office at 503-842-7525.

Chamber News: Tillamook Chamber celebrated community, new programs at 2022 banquet

by Mallory Gruben
Communications Manager

The Tillamook Chamber of Commerce on Saturday raised nearly $75,000 for community programming, introduced the new Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation and honored the 2022 Community Award recipients at “A Night in Greece,” the 80th Annual Tillamook Chamber Community Awards Banquet and Auction.

The event brought 350 community members together in-person for the Chamber’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The Tillamook Chamber of Commerce staff transformed the Tillaskate building into a Grecian paradise for ‘A Night in Greece,’ the 2022 Tillamook Chamber Community Awards Banquet and Auction. / Photo by Mallory Gruben

“The money raised through the banquet and auction allow us to continue to support the community throughout the year with programming like the June Dairy Parade, Mornings on Main Street, Sip + Shop and so much more,” said Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer. “A large portion of the funds raised at the banquet will also serve as the financial basis for the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation, a new 501(c)3 that will build and coordinate leadership, fundraising and capacity for projects and programs that enhance the vitality of communities in Tillamook County.”

The Foundation will act as a “convener, catalyst and champion,” by bringing together local agencies, funding projects and programs and improving the quality of life in Tillamook County for everyone. One of the first Foundation initiatives is Young Pros Tillamook, a young professionals program set to launch in February.

“Young Pros Tillamook will provide a network of likeminded young professionals who can work together to grow personally and professionally while they connect and engage with each other and the broader community,” Aufdermauer said. “We expect this group to help develop and keep talented, up-and-coming leaders in our local workforce.”

Dressed in theme as a Grecian soldier, Brett Hurliman, auctioneer extraordinaire, scans the banquet hall for bids during the 2022 Chamber Community Awards Banquet and Auction. The fundraiser is the Tillamook Chamber’s largest of the year. / Photo by Natalie Travis – Natalie Kait Images

The highlight of the banquet, though, is always the announcement of the Community Award recipients. The Chamber distributed awards in five categories: Development Project of the Year, Program of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

The Community Awards Committee, a panel of past award recipients and community members, selected this year’s recipients from a pool of nominations made by county residents in late 2021. More information about each award and its recipient is listed below.

“There were so many amazing people, businesses, projects and programs on our list of nominations, and picking just one recipient in each category was no easy task,” said Rieger, Chamber Board vice president. “In the end, the Awards Committee relied heavily on the four criteria of the award to make its final decision. All of the recipients this year demonstrated an outstanding commitment to community, with a broad reach of benefit for so many different people in Tillamook County.”

The Awards weighs four main criteria in selecting the final recipient. Those criteria include how the nominees enhanced the quality of life in Tillamook County in 2021; who was served by the nominee’s accomplishments and how broad the demographic reach of those people is; how the nominee shows a continued commitment to the community; and what the long-term benefits of the nominee’s work are.

“The Community Awards give us a chance to reflect on the year and celebrate the amazing work being done in our community that makes Tillamook County a great place to live, work and play,” Aufdermauer said.

Development Project of the Year

Tillamook Grocery Outlet owner-operators Stephan (center left) and Tamara (center right) accept the Development Project of the Year award. Their low-cost but quality grocery store opened in June 2021 after many years of work. / Photo by Natalie Travis – Natalie Kait Images

Intended to honor a new construction, building or outdoor area renovation or other capital improvements made in 2022, Development Project of the Year was awarded to Tillamook Grocery Outlet. The long-awaited grocery store opened its doors in June 2021, completing a years-long project to bring a quality yet low-cost grocery option to Tillamook County.

“Owner-Operators Stephen and Tamara Tuttle fought hard and for many years to be here in Tillamook, proving their commitment to this community,” said Chamber Board President Lisa Greiner as she presented the award.

Greiner added that that Tillamook Grocery Outlet serves a huge demographic of people, from locals and tourists, and from low-wage earners to high-wage earners. That broad reach of people benefited helped this project stand out to the Awards Committee, she said.

Program of the Year

An award to recognize organizations, projects, events and other work that does not fall into a traditional business category, Program of the Year recognizes one program that enhances the quality of life in Tillamook County. Selecting Tillamook County Public Health as this year’s recipient was a “no brainer,” said Justin McMahan while presenting the award.

“It’s hard not to recognize our nurses and public health workers for their efforts during the second year of the pandemic,” McMahan said. “While it’s their job to keep us healthy, they didn’t sign up for that job knowing anything that the last year would throw at them. And yet, they’ve stepped up to meet the challenge.”

Representatives from Tillamook County Health were unable to attend the banquet, but the agency did submit a note thanking the community for its nomination.

“It has, without a doubt, been one of the most challenging years that this program has ever experienced. This team of people have been working tirelessly to provide all their standard and customary services, while also providing the unprecedented local response to the global pandemic. … There is a great appreciation for the recognition that comes with being nominated,” the note said.

Small Business of the Year

The all-female team of West Elliott Boutique poses with their Small Business of the Year Award. Run by three generations of the family, the Downtown Tillamook retail store received the award to recognize its energy, enthusiasm and elegant storefront. (Pictured from left to right: Natalie Travis, Chamber Board Secretary Natalie Rieger, Kim Martin Travis, Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer, Candace Martin and Hailey Travis. / Photo by Lisa Greiner

Small Business of the Year honors a Tillamook County business with 10 or fewer employees. West Elliott Boutique earned the title this year for its energy, enthusiasm and elegant storefront. In its review of nominees, the Awards Committee noted that the business “hit its stride” in 2021, growing its inventory and community involvement.

“Their renovated shop brightens a spot that previously sat empty at the entrance to the Downtown district, and they jump at every opportunity to be involved in the community,” said Natalie Rieger while presenting the award. “They even encourage their friends and family to come downtown, increasing foot traffic for all of the other downtown retailers.”

Business of the Year

The Werner Family Brands teams earned the title of Business of the Year at the 2022 Tillamook Chamber Community Awards Banquet. The company, which includes Werner Jerky, Werner Beef & Brew and Werner Brewing, was honored for its ongoing commitment to Tillamook and continued business growth in 2021. / Photo by Natalie Travis – Natalie Kait Images

Aimed at local businesses with more than 10 employees, Business of the Year went to Werner Family Brands, which has won past Community Awards for its individual businesses but never as a whole entity. The company includes Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks, Werner Brewing and Werner Beef & Brew.

“Werner Family Brands is a business that keeps showing up in our nominations in some way or another — and for good reason. This business pours itself into the community in so many ways,” said John Jackson while presenting the award. “It seems to pop up everywhere, from supporting youth athletic events to donating nonprofit fundraisers.”

The business also demonstrated a continued commitment to community in 2021 by expanding facilities, adding new products, hiring new staff and increasing wages and benefits for employees.

Citizen of the Year

Terry Phillips joins Chamber Executive Director Justin Aufdermauer on stage to accept the Citizen of the Year award. Phillips is a local business owner who regularly invests into housing and commercial real estate projects, including the current renovation of the National Building on Second and Main. / Photo by Natalie Travis – Natalie Kait Images

One of the longest running Community Awards, Citizen of the Year honors one individual who made a significant impact in Tillamook County in 2021. This year Terry Phillips received the award for his willingness to employ residents who may have had a rocky past but deserve a second chance, as well as his continued investment in housing projects and commercial building renovations.

“Terry takes on a personal financial risk to invest in standard, two-bedroom homes to ease the workforce housing shortage — even when he could build larger homes with more lucrative payouts for himself,” Aufdermauer said. “He’s continued to invest in the Tillamook County community throughout 2021 with his recent purchase and ongoing renovation of the National Building on Second and Main. His work has touched many lives, and we are proud to recognize Terry as Citizen of the Year.”

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 event.gives/tillamookchamber22. (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 tillamookchamber.org.

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 event.gives/tillamookchamber22. 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 tillamookchamber.org.

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 tillamookchamber.org.

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 tillamookchamber.org.

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 is a peer support program aimed at providing 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 NarCan, provided information about safer use strategies and overdose prevention and conducted rapid community-based screening and supporting linkage to care for people with opioid risk use. Their work directly reduces the risk of death and serious illness as a result of substance use 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!

This article was updated on January 26 to clarify the mission and operations of the Prime + program.

‘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 justin@tillamookchamber.org 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 tillamookchamber.org/nominate 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 tillamookchamber.org/nominate 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 tillamookchamber.org/nominate. 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 justin@tillamookchamber.org, 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 info@tillamookchamber.org.

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 covid19relief.sba.gov. 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 justin@tillamookchamber.org.

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 justin@tillamookchamber.org 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.

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

 Scope:

 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 mallory@tillamookchamber.org

*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

Box filled with local goodies. Jerky, caramels, and coffee can be seen.

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 info@tillamookchamber.org 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 www.tillamookchamber.org.

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 TillamookLiving.com, 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 TillamookLiving.com.

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 JuneDairyParade.com 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 sayde@tillamookchamber.org 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 junedairyparade.com. And keep your eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and additional information.