Articles by Wendy Culverwell

A state grant helped Stacy McCorkle buy and equip two new trucks for Gene’s Custom Slaughter, which serves small farmers and ranchers across the Mid-Columbia. Above, he processes an Angus in Benton City. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

State grant helps Gene’s Custom Slaughter invest in growth

A state grant is helping a West Richland custom slaughter business grow to meet rising demand from small farmers and ranchers. Gene’s Custom Slaughter, owned since 1993 by Stacy McCorkle, used the grant to buy and equip two trucks to travel to customers through the Mid-Columbia. McCorkle is training his son to operate the second…

Bethany Pierson and her husband, Ryan, are bringing Rocco’s Pizza to Kennewick in partnership with Rob Curet, a longtime family friend and supporter. Rocco’s opens March 20 at 7911 W. Grandridge Blvd., the building formerly occupied by Pacific Pasta & Grill. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Rocco’s Pizza brings pickle face pizza to Kennewick

A West Richland couple is betting a popular Pasco pizza restaurant known for its pickle face and beer garden pizza specials will thrive in the heart of Kennewick. Bethany and Ryan Pierson opened the second edition of Rocco’s Pizza March 20 at 7911 W. Grandridge Blvd., former home of Pacific Pasta & Grill Restaurant. Pacific…

Non-Fiction Food Truck, the latest offering from Bookwalter Winery, will roll into Kennewick on April 1. The truck is operated by the husband-and-wife team of Maigh and Will Willingham. (Courtesy Bookwalter Winery)

What do you do when you run a restaurant and a winery? Launch a food truck of course

Richland’s Bookwalter Wines is expanding with a food truck focused on the foods of the South and the Pacific Northwest. Non-Fiction Food Truck named for the winery’s restaurant, Fiction @ J Bookwalter, debuts April 1 in a new food truck pod forming in the ample parking lot of Bella Furniture, 7425 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick,…

Layers of signs highlight building activity at the Vintner Square development off Queensgate Drive in Richland. (Photo: Paul T. Erickson)

Jersey Mike’s opening first sub shop in Richland

Jersey Mike’s Subs will open its first Tri-City shop at Vintner Square in Richland this fall. A company spokesman confirmed the New Jersey-based sub chain will open at 2729 Queensgate Drive in the third quarter. It is expected to open in a strip mall anchored by Starbucks and Bath and Body Works.   Fans currently…

A work crew prepares a foundation for a home at Aho Constructions The Heights at Red Mountain Ranch development in West Richland. The project is providing a “relief valve” for the Tri-Cities' heated housing market. (Photo by Kristina Lord)

Homebuilding pushes construction as commercial work lags

Tri-City construction topped the $1 billion mark in 2020, no thanks to the Covid-19 work stoppages, slowdowns and even a lingering shroud of smoke that bedeviled the construction industry. Overall construction dipped 13%, but homebuilding was a bright spot, according to figures compiled by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities. Collectively, local building agencies issued…


Tri-Cities Airport holds line as traffic falls by more than half

There is no way to dress it up: The Covid-19 pandemic battered – and continues to batter – the Tri-Cities Airport’s business. Its years-long record of passenger growth collapsed in 2020, which recorded 188,959 boardings, 57% fewer than 2019. The news was bad, but Airport Director Buck Taft said he felt duty bound to report…

Thelbert M. “Thadd” Lawson Jr. stands inside the new Veterans Warehouse Thrift Store at 908 N. Colorado St. in Kennewick, the site of the former Sports Authority store that closed in 2016. The Army veteran suffered PTSD and served in prison before turning his life around to help veterans through the nonprofit Operation Veterans Assistance & Humanitarian Aid, based in Wenatchee. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Old Sports Authority near Columbia Center to reopen as veteran-focused thrift shop

  The former Sports Authority store at Kennewick’s Columbia Center will reopen this spring as Veterans Warehouse Thrift Store, the second outpost for a Wenatchee nonprofit focused on supporting homeless and struggling veterans. Operation Veterans Assistance & Humanitarian Aid is converting the 40,000-square-foot retail space into a full-service thrift store that will sell furniture, clothing,…

Courtesy American Heart Association

Even in a pandemic, donʼt delay treatment for heart attack symptoms

February is American Heart Month, and the American Heart Association is marking the 57th annual celebration with a sobering message for the Covid-19 era. Don’t let fear of the virus keep you from seeking help if you are having symptoms of a heart attack. The hospital is the place to be. Time is muscle saved…


Advisor Benefits lives on as Advisor Health Benefits with new employee owner

Kevin Husted, a longtime Tri-City insurance benefits broker, had a busy fall. Husted bought the insurance side of Advisor Benefits Group in the middle of not one but two open enrollment periods, Medicare and Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange. Husted is a 20-year insurance benefits and Medicare professional who previously worked for Marvin Liebe at Advisor…

Ranae Pearce and Lisa Killian planned to launch Popped, a popcorn bar business oriented to events, but were deterred by the pandemic. So they created a party-in-a-box concept to get the word out. (Courtesy Ranae Pearce)

Grandma-led popcorn party business aims to build name for itself

Ranae Pearce and Lisa Killian had everything they needed to launch a popcorn party business in early 2020, except for good timing. The two grandmas – their term – were ready to start “Popped” to provide gourmet popcorn bars at weddings, reunions, tailgates, showers, quinceañeras and other festive gatherings. The business leverages the founders’ connections…

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