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.
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…

Ed and Moe’s Pawn Shop & Guitar Bar owner Russel Del Gesso, center, and employees Jay Valdez, left, and Lalo Ruiz, right, don’t run your average pawn shop. Not pictured is Joby Tijerina. Their passion is for musical equipment. The shop is at 419 W. Entiat Ave., Suite C, in Kennewick. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Tri-Cities’ own pawn stars find niche in musical equipment

In the market for music equipment? Ed and Moe’s Pawn Shop & Guitar Bar is a store you’ll want to put on your list. It has typical pawn shop items – electronics, power tools, jewelry, collectibles – but Ed and Moe’s puts special focus on providing a replete inventory of secondhand musical instruments, audio equipment…

Amelia Kittson and her father Gus Kittson stand inside KIE Supply Corp., which started in downtown Kennewick in 1955. It has expanded over the years to carry irrigation, plumbing, electrical, decorative lighting, bathroom fixtures and appliances. Amelia works alongside her dad to prepare for her future role as the next-generation leader of the company. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Longtime Kennewick company begins transition to third generation

A third generation is poised to take over KIE Supply Corp., the iconic 67-year-old Kennewick business. KIE, established in 1955 by Augustan Kittson Sr., is a longtime supplier of irrigation, plumbing, electrical, lighting, appliance and bathroom fixtures for contractors and DIYers through stores in Kennewick, Hermiston, Sunnyside and elsewhere. Its gleaming fixtures sparkle on East…

Oscar and Lonnie Suarez, owners of Novel Coffee + Teas, recently celebrated one year at 710 George Washington Way, Suite B-B, in Richland. The Covid-19 pandemic shut down their shop inside the Richland Public Library for more than seven months. The café’s book walls are a popular spot for Instagrammers. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

The pandemic couldn’t close book on Novel Coffee + Teas

It’s not the typical narrative for small business owners. When statewide shutdowns in the wake of Covid-19 closed the Richland Public Library’s doors, its café, Novel Coffee + Teas, shut down with it. Though many businesses took advantage of the lull to re-imagine their brands, spaces and business models, few were faced with the unusual…

Residential construction near Ridgeline Drive and South Sherman Street in Kennewick. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

City of Kennewick: Forging forward to ‘normal’ despite pandemic

As the Tri-Cities negotiates its second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, cities and private developers alike continue to forge ahead with projects, bringing new services to the community. Despite state and federal level mandates limiting in-person business, tightened budgets and ballooning construction costs, Kennewick – the largest and most densely populated of the four cities…

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