Articles by Laura Kostad

Laura Kostad is a freelance reporter for the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business and Senior Times. After completing her bachelor’s degree in creative writing at the University of Washington in 2015, she moved to Kennewick to pursue new opportunities and launch her career. She has been with the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business since 2017 and has enjoyed getting to know her new community through journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys working on the many book ideas she has and the occasional poem.
Great harvest of ripe red cherries on a tree branch. Selective f

Growers report good volumes despite chilly spring

It’s hard to say how 2022 will play out for Washington’s cherry growers. “It’s always a weather-vulnerable crop, and there are many ways the cherry crop can be sabotaged by weather,” said Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association. “The joke is that cherry growers don’t have to travel to Las Vegas…


Apple industry renews focus on domestic market

As summertime approaches, consumers begin to look to local markets for the parade of fresh fruits, and apple orchards buzz with preparations for the late summer harvest. Last year, 122 million bushels were harvested in Washington, the nation’s leader in apple production. It was a moderate crop compared to past years that have seen totals…

Doctor’s Pharmacy team members were hand-picked for their passion and enthusiasm for serving patients. The Richland pharmacy offers an array of services free of charge to customers, including delivery and medication sync dispensers that combine all routine medications into one box with individual dose packets grouped by the date and time to take. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Richland pharmacy redefines customer service

Doctor’s Pharmacy has been making steady inroads within the Tri-City community through its customer service-focused business model since opening last year. The pharmacy, at 65 Columbia Point Drive in the strip mall adjacent to Winco, joins only a handful of other privately-owned pharmacies in the area. Over the years, privately-owned pharmacies have given way to…

Sisters-in-law Julie Dawes and Julie Zirker teamed up to open a Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise at 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 200 in Richland. The bakery makes nothing but Bundt cakes, though an array of decorations and small gifts also will be available for sale. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

New franchise owners want to bake joy into their Bundt cakes

Tri-Citians need a little more cake. That’s what Julie Zirker believes. She’s the co-owner of the first Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise in the Tri-Cities. It’s opening at 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 200, in Richland at the end of June. “We need a little more joy and a little more cake. They’re interchangeable,” she said. Zirker…

Plastic bags get tangled in the sorting equipment and can shut down an entire facility, posing safety hazards to workers who have to remove them from the machinery. (Courtesy Waste Management)

What is the state of recycling in the Tri-Cities?

Though each of the Tri-Cities offers curbside garbage service, each handles recycling differently. Pasco, West Richland and greater Benton County (including Finley, Burbank and other Tri-City burbs) are serviced by Basin Disposal Inc. (BDI) of Pasco. Richland facilitates its own solid waste disposal program and sends its recyclables to Clayton Ward Recycling (CWR) in Richland…

Shannon Franklin, owner of Atomic Alchemy, helps clients create custom signature fragrances made from pure ingredients at her shop at 226 Williams Blvd. in Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Modern-day alchemist helps customers find their signature scent

A small shop in the Uptown Shopping Center helps customers create their own signature scent. Shannon Franklin is a fragrance alchemist who offers custom fragrances as a way to “help our customers to express their uniqueness while indulging in a bit of luxury,” she said. She opened Atomic Alchemy at 226 Williams Blvd. in December.…


Owners of Pasco’s oldest restaurant plan to retire

Pasco’s oldest continuously operating restaurant has been serving the Tri-City community for 58 years. Chinese Gardens at 1520 N. Fourth Ave. has been a Pasco cornerstone since late founder Jack Lee opened it in 1965. The building is hard to miss with its mashup of pagoda-esque midcentury brick architecture and flamboyant, dragon-flanked neon signs. And…

Lindsay Kirby, owner of Sculpt Tri-Cities Wellness Center, opened the doors to a second location at 5224 Outlet Drive in Pasco. Sculpt, which has a clinic in Kennewick, offers clients access to cryotherapy, red light therapy, infrared sauna, vitamin IV drips, functional medicine, aesthetic services such as body sculpting, Botox and more. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Sculpt Wellness opens second location in emerging Pasco wellness mall

Business is booming for Sculpt Tri-Cities Wellness Center, with the March opening of a second location at Broadmoor Park off Sandifur Parkway in Pasco. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, “people are just valuing their health more,” said owner Lindsay Kirby. “There’s definitely been a huge shift in what consumers are seeking and how…

Caitlin Tucker, from left, and her husband Steven Bun, John Peck and his wife Samath Bun are the skilled hands behind the sweet treats at Popular Donuts, 101 N. Union St. in Kennewick where the doughnut shop has been in business since 2005. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Popular Kennewick doughnut shop lives up to its name

A Kennewick business that frequently sells out of its tasty, doughy treats lives up to its name. Popular Donuts at 101 N. Union St. serves up daily a variety of shapes and unique flavors, frequently selling out toward week’s end. “All hours listed are until sold out,” it warns on its Facebook page, and it’s…

Troy and Erin Franzen sold their home north of Sacramento, California, and moved to West Richland to open a Pedego Electric Bikes shop at 1084 George Washington Way in Richland, bordering the Riverfront Trail. They opened Jan. 25 and look forward to outfitting and serving the region’s growing community of e-bikers. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Tri-Cities’ first dedicated electric bike shop opens in Richland

A California couple sold their home and moved to the Tri-Cities to open an electric bike shop in Richland. The empty nesters wanted a new adventure after their daughters grew up and left home, so they began scouting places to launch a Pedego e-bike franchise. Troy and Erin Franzen had never been to southeastern Washington…

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