Meet Our Vendors
Each month we highlight a different vendor partner!
Lake Erie Grocery
How many places can you go to buy night crawlers and fine wine? Or how many places have an authentic birch canoe built by Native Americans, hanging from their ceiling? And how many places do the owners live in a home connected to the back of the establishment?
Our Island Secret for May is the Lake Erie Grocery at the corner of Hart Lake and Rosario Road here on Fidalgo Island. Owners Don and Gerry Caulfield bought the store forty-two years ago. After visiting friends in Mount Vernon, the Caulfields asked them to keep an eye out for work they could do in the area in order to escape congested Southern California for a more laid back lifestyle. Their friends noticed a small for-sale sign in the window of the Lake Erie Store and called the Caulfields on a Wednesday. Don and Gerry flew to Washington on the following Friday, and flew home on Sunday after making their decision to buy the local business. Living with Lake Erie in their backyard and Mount Erie across the road was a welcome change from the freeway they lived next to in California. They raised five children in their home behind the store and never regretted for a moment their decision to move to Fidalgo Island. Gerry says, "The best thing about owning the store is all the people who come in and tell their delightful stories." A few years ago when they sold gas after closing, customers could just help themselves and shove the money under the door. The sign is still there: "If we're not here, just shove your money under the door."
Gerry and Don love their life on the lake. So stop by for a bottle of wine, fishing bait, or a cup of coffee and friendly chat with the Caulfields.
You can even purchase some of our books at the Lake Erie Grocery.
Watermark Book Company
Friday, June 1 marks a transition for the venerable bookstore, founded in 1989 by Patti Pattee and her late husband Norman Sturdevant. After searching for the right buyer for nearly a year, Patti has handed over the keys to new owners, Brandy and Ben Bowen. "The Bowens will bring fresh energy, ideas, and events to Watermark, and I am confident that it will flourish in their hands."
Cave Art Press visited with Brandy and Ben, whose enthusiasm is evident in their eagerness to get the ball rolling. "We looking forward to our new endeavor and getting to know our long-time customers," Brandy says. Their grand opening as new owners is June 1 from 6:00 - 9:00. Several local authors will be there to sign their books and help Brandy and Ben celebrate. Join Réanne Hemingway-Douglass, Don Douglass, Lisa Wright, Kathleen Kaska, Jane Billinghurst, Joe Vitovec, and Judith Kirscht, local authors who will be present to sign their books and celebrate the event.
Thank you, Patti, for all you've done to make our community special. We will miss you!
Last year Meg and Brad Olson were visiting Coupeville from their home in Blaine. The Olsons were interested in purchasing a hospitality-type business in the area. Owning and operating an inn on Whidbey Island seemed ideal until they walked into The Kingfisher Bookstore and met owners Karl and Ruth King and learned that the bookstore was for sale. Plans changed, and in December 2017, the Olsons bought the bookstore and the entire building. They celebrated their grand opening in mid-August of 2018.
"We want to match everyone who walks in the door with a book they will love. We specialize in books by Pacific Northwest writers and about the human and natural history of this incredible part of the world," Meg says. "We love introducing visitors to our area by offering them books by local authors on local subjects."
The Olsons are still settling in. So far, they've changed the layout of the store allowing for easier browsing and clearing the view in the front windows. Meg's plan in the near future is to host author readings and events.
Drop in for a visit on the historic waterfront. On a nice day, you'll find the door open. Meg and Brad love to talk books, as well as their passion for cooking and the outdoors.
The Kingfisher Bookstore is located at 16 Front St. on the Coupeville waterfront. Currently the hours are from 11:00 am to 6 pm Wednesday through Sunday, but soon the bookstore will be open seven days a week. You can also find them on Facebook.
16 Front St
Coupeville, Washington 98239