The More You Know—Edmonds Edition
Downtown Edmonds has become known in recent years as a lauded food, dining, and beverage destination, for a vibrant creative scene, and for retailers offering a spectrum of must-have products. However, there is an entire behind-the-scenes collection of businesses providing services you never knew existed right here in downtown Edmonds. Let’s discover a few of these hidden gems…
Have you ever had a special wine that you were saving for a special occasion yet when you opened it up, the taste was just “off”? Unless you have a specialized (read: $$$) highly controlled storage area, chances are your special beverage succumbed to a few “enemies”.
What are the “enemies” of wine? According to the wine (and beer) storage experts at Fortaleza they include inconsistent temperature, light, vibration, and changes to humidity. And since more people collect wines than can build specialized storage areas because of space or budget constraints, Fortaleza opened to provide wine and beer storage lockers to keep your collection at its prime.
The rented lockers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate all types of collections. They are maintained at a constant 55 degrees, eliminate light and vibration, and maintain ideal humidity levels for wine/beer storage of 60-70%. All of this slows down the aging process. And lockers are ideal whether you are storing bottles for the short-term or the long-term.
When asked why they opened a wine storage business in Edmonds, owner Sheryl Frisk told us, “We located the business in Edmonds because of demographics. As households downsize, they still need a place to store their wine. Prior to opening Fortaleza, the closest wine storage facility was in Seattle. We meet a need for residents of Edmonds and the surrounding communities. Honestly, who doesn’t love Edmonds!”
When people think about agencies that produce cutting edge design and marketing, they likely think that happens in modern offices in huge high rises in big, bustling cities. Well, that kind of high level creative work happens right here in downtown Edmonds – albeit in a very chic and modern office space.
Ten Gun Design, with the tagline “Take ideas further” has called Edmonds home since 2009, though they also have a team based in Redmond, too. They are a full-service creative agency providing the whole spectrum of creative services from strategy, execution, and overall project management.
“We decided to move our office to Edmonds after we outgrew our first office in Queen Anne and struggled to find a suitable larger space in the same area. Eventually, our account talked us into taking a look at space in Edmonds. It had a great view, parking, was larger and much cheaper than anything we were seeing in the Seattle area. We took that space and never looked back,” said co-founder Mark VonGunten. “Our employees enjoy all the amenities of our seaside downtown, like the variety of restaurants and cafes in walking distance to the office,” he adds.
Ten Gun has an impressive portfolio of work and their client list includes Xbox, Funko, Amazon Basic, Halo, and PACCAR among others. Take a look at their reel to get a taste of their accomplishments.
The team at Ten Gun Design also takes time to do work in the community. They have volunteered with Washington Kids in Transition over the years and created their new logo as a pro bono project. And their creativity doesn’t stop at the office, rumor has it that a few of the team are part of a local punk band.
The Hotel Group is a nationally-known hotel management and investment company with properties and projects across the country. And they make their headquarters atop the Old Milltown building in downtown Edmonds.
In their 35 years in business, they have managed over 125 properties. Currently, they oversee 3000+ rooms at 14 properties with brand names like Hilton and Holiday Inn. They also help partners develop new hotel properties (opening over 50 hotels in 25 states) and they themselves invest in finding distressed properties to then develop, own, and operate.
With a business with projects and investments that span the country, including Hawaii, we asked “why choose Edmonds as your headquarters?”
CFO Randy Meyer answered, “The Hotel Group has been a part of the Edmonds downtown community since 1984. We have seen a lot of growth but Edmonds continues to maintain a family-friendly, small-town atmosphere. It is incredibly walkable and has a great assortment of restaurants and shops. Our office location provides a great benefit to our employees being located in Edmonds as they can avoid the significant commute to downtown.”
South by Sea isn’t your run of the mill promo company selling polos and pens with a logo on them. A large bulk of their business includes sororities and fraternities across the nation, which means their offerings appeal to the Instagram generation. A quick browse through their design shop shows they have their finger on the pulse of what counts as cool.
In addition to servicing the college crowd, South by Sea works with businesses, too. You can create custom apparel and a huge variety of promotional items (even masks) to showcase your business personality or highlight a promotion.
One thing that sets them apart from other promo companies is they allow businesses to set up their own custom shop online so they can easily sell their branded items. They handle setting up the online store, the printing, and even the shipping making this a simple tool for a small business to take advantage of. They even offer design services for businesses who need that extra hand.
Edmonds is full of lesser-known companies doing big work in the world, this is just scratching the surface! For more information about all the wonderful local businesses in downtown Edmonds, please visit http://edmondsdowntown.org/.
By Kelsey Foster, photos by Matt Hulbert