Locals Julie Chung and Heather Dean had the opportunity in early summer 2021 to take over a storefront in downtown Snoqualmie bringing the Snoqualmie Ice Cream brand to the area.
As the pair got to know the neighborhood, they felt they could do more to help promote the beautiful valley we all love and enhance the sense of community we all enjoy by living here.
Julie and Doug Chung moved their family to Washington in 2007, and all three of their children are students at Snoqualmie Valley schools. Dean and her husband, Clint, have called Snoqualmie Pass home since 2004. Their son grew up in the valley, starting at Mt. Si Montessori when he was three and is now a graduating senior at Mt. Si High School.
When the opportunity presented itself to open a souvenir and apparel shop in the heart of historic downtown Snoqualmie Dean and Chung couldn’t pass it up. Says Dean, “We wanted to create a place where everyone who walks through our doors feels like family; a place to be in community with others whether you are local or visiting us from the other side of the world.”
As good fortune would have it, the business partners met Cheri Buell around the same time and quickly realized what a great fit she would be for the partnership and invited her to join them. Buell is a longtime Washington local who went to high school in Issaquah and has lived in the valley her entire adult life along with her husband Tim, their family and extended family.
The trio opened the doors of Snoqualmie Trading Co just in time for the community tree lighting on December 4, 2021.
In 2022, the ladies established themselves in business while looking for the right mix of products from the valley’s local artisan community. Just as they were about to prepare for the Christmas season, a new opportunity came to bring a second location to the area.
Says Buell, “with a lot of late nights and help from many of our friends and family, we brought North Bend Trading Co to life just in time for the Holly Days Tree Lighting on December 3, 2022.”
I had been to the Snoqualmie Location before but decided to look and see what the North Bend store was all about. Be sure to look for it at 111 E. North Bend Way; the store is so new the sign has yet to be installed in the heart of downtown.
Both stores’ primary offerings are apparel and hats with designs representing the local area. Almost all the apparel designs are created for the stores by local graphic artists. I was greeted warmly by employees Ellen and Angela, who were a wealth of information about all the local artists represented in the store.
In addition, they carry a variety of art styles from several local artists, souvenir items, locally made candles and bath & body products, toys, books and candy. The Snoqualmie location has an extensive line of Nelson Treehouse apparel, books and souvenirs.
These merchandise decisions are informed by the owner’s desire to present a unique offering that is truly representative of the valley. They want customers to take home a quality item that they will be proud to wear or display in their homes.
I had seen several of the artists before on social media pages or at the farmers market, but it was nice to be able to browse everything in one place. North Bend artist Beth Vanden Heuvel and her company, Drawn to the PNW, already adorn some of the walls in my home, and Living Snoqualmie has done an article on Valley resident Gail Folkins book “Light in the Trees.”
Both shops feature many other local vendors-such as Ramsey Gear, Carnation Candle Co, Blue Streak Chocolate, Carnation Soap Co- local artists& designers like Barb Quirie, Claudia Richey, Gregg Shriber,
Jack Schnepf and Josh Tuininga and authors Brian Dickinson and Janice King.
In the meantime, they invite ladies of the valley to stop by and join the trio for coffee any Friday morning from 9-11 am at Snoqualmie Ice Cream in downtown Snoqualmie. It’s a weekly ‘come as you are’ time to grab a coffee, visit with old friends, or make new ones. “Cheri, Heather, and I love making new friends,” exclaimed Julie.
After browsing and chatting with Ellen and Angela for a while, I chose a blue Bigfoot North Bend shirt by Gregg Shriber’s company, Shirts by Shriber. I left the store confident I’d be back when I need a new book to read, a gift to send to someone representing my city or a new piece of artwork to hang in a special place in my home.
Welcome to the neighborhood North Bend Trading Co; we’re glad to have you!