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.
Carmen Kane, owner of
Columbia Quail LLC, holds a Japanese
coturnix quail in front of a basket of
eggs. Her small fl ock supplies eggs by
the dozen to several Tri-City retailers. (Courtesy Columbia Quail)

Columbia Quail supplies bite-size alternative to chicken eggs

Fancy a fancy quail egg? A Pasco farm’s flock supplies them by the dozen to several Tri-City retailers. These quail eggs don’t come from the kind of wild quail commonly seen around the Tri-Cities. The small, speckled eggs are produced by their larger cousin, the Japanese coturnix. These quail look like a small female grouse…

Underground Creative of Kennewick provided a rendering of what Fresh Leaf Co.’s new logo and sign would look like on its new building. (Courtesy Fresh Leaf Co.)

Fresh Leaf Co. puts down new roots in Richland

 A forced move amid a pandemic may have been a blessing in disguise for one Kennewick restaurant. Fresh Leaf Co. is moving to Richland with plans to open in March and expand its menu and hours. The restaurant closed the doors of its bright green building after more than five years at 2617 W. Kennewick…

Pat Knight stands flanked by a sampling of the metal art creations for sale at his 4432 W. Clearwater Ave. shop in Kennewick. All of the pieces are designed, fabricated and finished by Knight, his brother Randy, and their father, Larry. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Custom-made metal gallery find niche in Kennewick

Amid pandemic shutdowns and canceled art expos, Knights Welding retooled its business model and opened a Kennewick storefront. The custom-made metal art shop was grateful for a solid holiday shopping season. “Christmas was good for business,” said owner Pat Knight, adding that it’s the shop’s busiest time of the year, punctuated by an uptick in…

Alexa Orozco, owner of Polliwogs Children’s Boutique at 246 Williams Blvd., in Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center, hand selects and personally vets each brand the store carries for its commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Polliwogs Children’s Boutique’s niche is ethical, sustainable apparel

Polliwogs Children’s Boutique prides itself on offering an assortment of ethically and sustainably-sourced baby and children’s apparel, shoes and accessories. “I was actually really surprised that there were as many people who wanted that here,” said owner Alexa Orozco. Part of what motivated her to open the Richland store six years ago was her own…

Epic Trust Financial Group has formed after merging local businesses, Epic Trust Investment Advisors, Real Insurance Solutions and Burt Tax & Accounting. Owners Jeffrey P. Lewis, from left, Tyson Reil and Nathan Burt said joining their expertise under one company flag, in one location will add value and simplify financial management for customers. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Epic Trust unites financial services under one roof

Three local financial professionals have launched a new business after merging their separate financial planning, investment management, insurance, tax accounting and bookkeeping companies. “We’re the only firm in town that has all of our disciplines together under one roof. There’s no competitor that we are aware of that can do everything we do, all with…

Diahann Howard, executive director of the Port of Benton, center, reviews sewer plans for an expansion of the north Horn Rapids industrial area with Miles Thomas, director of economic development, left, and Roger Wright of RGW Enterprises, right.
(Courtesy Ross James Photography/Port of Benton)

Port of Benton: Critical foundation in place for 2021 projects

The first months of 2020 welcomed new members to the Port of Benton “We were in the middle of a transition,” said Diahann Howard, executive director for the port, whose jurisdiction includes a population of about 56,050 and a budget totaling $14 million in 2020. Howard, who became executive director in December 2019, hired a…

Kennewick’s Clover Island. (Courtesy Kim Fetrow Photography/Port of Kennewick)

Port of Kennewick: They’ve built it, now they’re ready for them to come

Kennewick’s Clover Island.  |  Courtesy Kim Fetrow Photography/Port of The dust seems to have settled at Port of Kennewick developments — for the moment. Construction of infrastructure and landscaping wrapped up for phase one of Vista Field and two additional wineries and five food trucks have moved in at Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan…

Deane Duncan moved her fashion and accessories shop, Hotoveli Boutique, from Lake Havasu, Arizona, at the height of the Covid pandemic and reopened in May at Queensgate Village in Richland. The boutique carries high-end couture pieces as well as more affordable product lines. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Boutique returns to Northwest to set up shop in Richland

Hotoveli Boutique, Richland’s newest fashion hub, has arrived at Queensgate Village, giving area fashionistas another local outlet to find the perfect outift, or pieces to complete their current wardrobe. Hotoveli offers a fashion house atmosphere with a selection of name brand, high-end items, as well as affordable styles to suit daughters, mothers and grandmothers alike.…

LeAnn Touchette, owner and resident manager, stands outside Cherry Creek Adult Family Home at 2616 W. 44th Place in Kennewick. The new facility will provide specialized care for six people in a homelike setting. It is scheduled to open in late September or early October. (Courtesy Cherry Creek Adult Family Home)

Residential adult family home bridges care gap between assisted living, nursing home

A nurse with a heart for geriatric care has transformed her former Kennewick home into an adult family home, realizing a longtime dream and goal that took shape after losing her grandfather. Called Cherry Creek Adult Family Home, the single-family house built in 2018 in the Cherry Creek Estates neighborhood east of Canyon Lakes has…

Caleb Knutzen processes a card transaction using the all-in-one BlockChyp payment terminal at Pasco’s Knutzen’s Meats at 6404 W. Court St. Knutzen’s was the first Tri-City company to adopt Kennewick-based BlockChyp’s blockchain-encrypted payment terminal technology, which enables merchants to process all payment types on one terminal. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

BlockChyp payment terminals adapt alongside Tri-City businesses

A Kennewick tech startup is transforming the way businesses process their payment transactions, even as coronavirus shutdowns and restrictions threatened its business model. “It’s interesting because we’re focused on brick-and-mortar transactions, so when Covid hit, we thought we were dead,” said Jeff Payne, BlockChyp’s chief technology officer. BlockChyp designs payment terminals using blockchain technology to…

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