As we approach the first anniversary of opening the Greenbank Store and Grille, the Cedar family wishes to thank the community for supporting us. Brian and Nancy spent last winter renovating, restoring and repairing the kitchen, bar, walk-in coolers, produce cooler, freezer and putting the store shelving back in place. Never did we realize when we took over the business that so much needed to be done. During the renovation, we kept the front door open and many of the good folks of Greenbank wandered in to ask about what we were doing. We bought a restaurant and really did not intend to become shopkeepers. But because so many of you asked us to bring back the store, we decided to expand our vision. As we were considering the impact of running a convenience store in the Heart of Whidbey Island as well as the little restaurant we purchased, we asked ourselves “How difficult can it be?” … Well, we soon found out!
Running both the store and a restaurant has been overwhelming, expensive, full of obstacles and setbacks for our family. After almost a year we are finally getting our bearings, making better decisions, trimming our budget and always doing the best we can to respond to the community. Please know that we deeply appreciate the frequent compliments we receive. So many of you have commented that the store looks great. We carry both traditional and organic products. Also, we are very pleased to offer Whidbey Island products from 3 Generations, Bell’s Farm, Chocolate Flower Farm, Fay Farm, Five-Acre Farm, Holmes Harbor Beef Jerky, Honeymoon Bay Coffee, Karin’s Scandinavian Mustard, Lavender Wind Farm, Lesedi Farm, Lopez Larry Sauces, Mr. Mobley’s Sauces, Mukilteo Coffee, Screamin’ Banshee Bread, Skagit’s Best Salsa, Skymeadow Farms, Sweet Mona’s Chocolates, Whidbey Island Fudge Company, Whidbey Island Ice Cream, Whidbey Rice Catering, WildeBerry Sauces, and Willowood Farm. We are committed to supporting our local vendors. These products are outstanding. Our thanks to all of the talented people who make them. If you have not tried these products, we encourage you to do so soon. That is what being in this community is all about.
Many of the friendly faces you encounter at the Greenbank Store and Grille have been with us from the beginning and this post would not be complete without thanking them. We are especially grateful to Colleen Hammer who was instrumental in the early days of our endeavors. She put us in contact with just the right people at just the right time. It was touch-and-go for our February 29, 2012 opening but we did it.
Jules, Annie, Heidi, Angie and Roger keep the store tidy and well-stocked. Jules also bakes all of those fresh pastries from our deli. We are so pleased that we are able to provide delicious treats for you every morning. Speaking of the deli, Brian prepares a healthy soup that is served daily in the deli and upstairs when the Grille is open. The Seafood Chowder has quite the following now. For most of 2012, our daughter, Robin, worked the afternoon and evening shift at the store. She is the one who keeps the store running smoothly and has grown into her role with surprising ease. There is one more very special person who works for us. Julietta, our young adult daughter with autism, often greets our customers with an enthusiastic “Greetings and Salutations … Welcome to the Greenbank Store and Grille … What would you like today?” She rarely waits for an answer but we appreciate her efforts. Her delightful drawings are also featured on greeting cards especially made for the Greenbank Store and Grille.
Upstairs in the Grille, John and Brian work very closely in our tiny kitchen and serve up some delicious dishes for your enjoyment. If you have been upstairs to eat, no doubt you know who Marriah is … often she is the only server on the floor and gets the job done with aplomb. Brandy and Heidi round out the serving team with a generous hand from our bartender, Kurt. During the summer months we hired two college students, Carrie and Christina. We needed their help as the restaurant was discovered by more locals and visitors to our wonderful island. If only business could be so strong during the long, dark days of winter, our family would jump for joy. Well, when it comes right down to it, we can jump for joy right now! Thank you all for being part of our family’s adventure on beautiful Whidbey Island.