After nearly a year, Lemolo Market still shuttered

The Lemolo Market, a treasured community store in southern Poulsbo, has been closed for nearly a year after previous tenants couldn
The Lemolo Market, a treasured community store in southern Poulsbo, has been closed for nearly a year after previous tenants couldn't keep up with the rent.
— image credit: File photo

POULSBO — A favorite community market in Poulsbo is still closed after its previous owners shuttered the store nearly a year ago.

Every day Dawn Kerkhoff drives past what was the Lemolo Market. The store closed at the end of November 2009, and is missed by many, she said.

"It is sad that it's not there," Kerkhoff said. "It's like there is kind of a hole."

Several people have shown interest in renting the building, at 16670 Lemolo Shore Drive, but no one has come up with money, said owner Donald Kim. One interested renter made plans to gut and refurnish the building, but never followed through.

"I think it's the economy. The economy is so bad, nobody likes to spend money to open a new store," Kim said.

Neighbors tell him they miss shopping at the market and urge him to reopen it, but Kim is 75 and isn't interested in taking on any big projects, he said.

Lease for the 3,000-square-foot building used to be $1,650 per month, but Kim lowered it to $1,000 to entice renters. Kim has owned the store for more than 20 years, and ran it himself until 2004, when Ty and Deb Campbell took up the lease.

Neighbors say the pair gave the store a unique, inviting charm before vacating in late 2009. Rent was too high, the Campbells told the Herald at the time.

"People always stopped and got a cup of coffee or a brownie. Deb made great brownies," said Kerkhoff. "There was a lot of character in that store too. They really put a lot of themselves into it."

The Campbells established a sense of community at the store, selling fresh produce, penny candy and Coca Cola in glass bottles. Kids could open lines of credit, and neighbors’ birthdays were posted on an outdoor sandwich board.

There has been a store at the location since 1951.

Kim contends another market might have difficulty staying in business.

"I think there's too much competition from grocery stores," he said.

But there are other options.

"Everyone wants to have a cafe," he said.

For information, call (360) 718-6425.

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