Business Spotlight: Waterfront Nature Market Extends Tradition and Connects Communities – Gig Harbor Now

business community news

“I came down the mountain, saw the harbor, and was sold by the idea,” Kandice Claybaker said of her decision to move off-road and buy a waterfront natural market in January 2020.

from St. St. Petersburg, Florida, Klebeck is captivated by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She experienced this beauty while visiting her brother, who went to school in Oregon.

Kandice Claybaker acquired the Waterfront Natural Market on Harbourview Drive in 2020, focusing on regionally manufactured sustainable products. Julie Warwick Ammann

After years in the construction industry, Claybaker crossed the coast and moved more than 3,000 miles to try out her first venture in a small town.

While developing his career in Florida, Klebeck has rooted himself in the community work of the Klebeck Dastov Foundation. This nonprofit provides transition assistance to veterans during difficult times.

“Serving the community is fun,” Klebeck said. The foundation helps provide backpacks with essentials like toiletries and food to homeless veterans.

More than just buying a business

Claybaker bought the market from Bruce Winfrey, who founded the store in 1975. One of the selling points, she believes, is her commitment to keeping the storefront as a local market.

Klebeck knew instinctively that she wasn’t just buying a business. She is adopting a community with the goal of increasing the presence of more locally sourced products.

Products on display at the Gig Harbor Waterfront Natural Market. Julie Warwick Ammann

Waterfront Natural Markets continues its tradition of selling supplements and natural foods. But Klebeck redesigned the interior to provide expanded space to showcase the area’s products. Handpicked by Claybaker, each local project has its own community story.

On the shelf

Among the items sold at the Seaside Natural Market:

  • Nut butter and scones mix (included in Make Your Breakfast Package) supports training for women in Portland, Oregon, to overcome adversity.
  • Unpaper Towels are reusable paper towels made by Marley Monsters in Eugene, Oregon for sustainable living.
  • smallHerpa Chai is a small batch brewed tea from Boulder, Colorado. It was inspired by a son’s love for his mother’s tea, growing up as a child in a small 10,000-foot-tall village in the Himalayas.
  • Edmonds’ Umchew Bars is one of many products supporting the gluten- and dairy-free community. Biff’s Blue Ribbon BBQ is made locally in Puyallup, while Barlean’s organic oils are produced in the town of Ferndale in Whatcom County.
  • A belief in prayer and giving back to the community is the message behind Little Prayer Tea Sugar, a family-owned business in Normandy Park, King County.

Unpaper Towels are reusable paper towels made by Marley Monsters in Eugene, Oregon. Julie Warwick Ammann

Northwest Focus

This little market covers all the senses. My Fav Sweater Eau de Toilette from San Juan Islands is a fragrance created by a mother for her daughter. The fragrance promises “to transport you into a quintessentially warm, tea+book+fireplace super-cold-weather setting.”

No Man’s Land is a jewelry collection handcrafted in the Pacific Northwest using responsibly sourced North American hardwoods and natural mineral pigments combined with vintage paper.

Kandice Claybaker helps client Paula Henzel select products at the Waterfront Natural Market in Gig Harbour. Henzel said she loves walking into the store and finding the staff helpful. Julie Warwick Ammann

Restructuring the retail space has also allowed Claybaker to open up space for local artists and events. Veteran artwork is currently on display in the Artists Corner, with rotating artist exhibitions planned. Upcoming events include pop-up shops with partner suppliers, and participation in local events like Sip and Stroll on October 10. 8, and girls night in November.

part of the community

For Claybaker, a member of The Gig Harbour Downtown Alliance, connecting with neighbouring business owners is also important. Waterfront Natural Market also maintains strong relationships with neighboring communities such as Port Orchard, locally produced duck and egg, as well as raw milk from Blackjack Valley Farms and wheat berries from Palouse in eastern Washington.

“We love feedback,” Klebeck said, adding that as a first-time entrepreneur, she has learned to listen to the community.

When Kandice Claybaker acquired Waterfront Natural Market in 2020, she decided to open up a showcase for regionally sourced sustainable products. Julie Warwick Ammann

“We have a lot of special requests,” Claybaker said, “and that’s a lot of what we do.”

Quality supplements are an important part of Waterfront Natural Market’s business, and special orders for all products are welcome. Customers receive personal shopping assistance to help understand individual needs, whether it’s dietary restrictions, snack advice, or even the perfect PNW gift idea.

Small town welfare

Leaving the city to live in a small town also brought some unexpected gains for Klebeck. Calling the store goes beyond typical product questions or requests.

“Some people will call and chat, say hi, and see how we’re doing,” Klebeck said.

The sidewalks on Harbourview Drive have large windows so staff can see typical dog walkers, but in some cases something very unusual – like a pig on a leash – can be seen.

It’s just a day for a small business owner in Gig Harbour.

Seaside Natural Market


e-mail: [email protected]

Telephone: (253) 851-8120

Hour: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm

address: 3122 Harbourview Drive, Gig Harbor

Kandice Claybaker behind the counter at the Waterfront Natural Market on Harbourview Drive. Julie Warwick Ammann

Source link