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Port Gamble General Store eyeing March 13 opening
PORT GAMBLE — There’s a point in some business owners’ lives when crazy takes a back seat and business savvy takes over. Kim Campbell has hit that point.
Long-time North Kitsap residents and firm believers in the American dream, Campbell and her business partner (and fiancé) Erik Kleiva are currently elbow- and knee-deep in overhauling the Port Gamble General Store. Their sights are set on opening the doors March 13.
The store shuttered in December after the previous operators, Ethel and Eduardo Molina, gave up the lease after three years. Shana Smith, manager for Olympic Property Group — the company that owns and operates the Port Gamble township — approached Campbell about bringing the store back to life.
“First, I had to talk to my fiancé to see if I was crazy,” she said. He confirmed her insanity and quickly hopped aboard the project himself.
Both Campbell and Kleiva, who live in Hansville, have previous business experience which they’re drawing on to make the general store a successful venture. Hers is a familiar face in Kingston, as she owned the Wildflour Café there before opening the Rugosa Rose store in Port Gamble. He owns the Radio Guy store in Poulsbo, which specializes in home theater equipment.
While the General Store will carry a variety of souvenirs and convenience items, it also offers up an array of tastebud tempters. At the front of the store will be a sweet shop — loaded with candy, an ice cream bar and an espresso stand. In the back, the café will serve up diner fare galore seven days a week.
The café will serve local, organic food whenever possible, said Sara Alden, café manager and baker for the General Store. They’ll be using multiple vendors to meet that goal. In addition, the food will all be freshly prepared and made from scratch.
“It will be a ‘Yes’ kitchen, so if somebody wants something done a special way, we’ll do it,” she said.
At this diner counter, it will pay to be a local, as there is one super-secret menu item that, if requested, will be served up with a side order of glee: the Lonnie Burger.
The Lonnie Burger — named for 1996 North Kitsap graduate Lonnie Hyde, who has had a hand in the store’s two-month remodel — is a burger lover’s burger. It will have a meat patty, bacon, cheese, egg, sausage, lettuce, tomato and whatever else catches Hyde’s fancy. It will be served on the breakfast menu from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 to 3 p.m on the weekends.
“The building itself brings people through the door,” Campbell said. “Everything is fresh, with a feeling of nostalgia.”
Port Gamble General Store
32400 Rainier Ave. NE, Port Gamble
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day