Our address:

Ed Newbold
#1 Economy Arcade, 93 Pike Street, Seattle, Washington 98101

Pike Place Market Website:

Pike Place Market

Call the store:

(206) 652 5215

Any Young Person out there want a Work-to-Own Business at the entrance to Pike Place?  (sorry, many many caveats)
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Any Young Person out there want a Work-to-Own Business at the entrance to Pike Place?  (sorry, many many caveats)

Any Young Person out there want a Work-to-Own Business at the entrance to Pike Place?  (sorry, many many caveats)

posted from Seattle, WA on March 24, 2024

Elias Benitez, who recently bought McPherson’s Fruit Stand on Beacon Hill was asked if he thought it would be easy to keep it going. “What is easy in this life? He replied to the Seattle Times reporter, “Nothing. You have to work for what you want and be grateful you can do it.”

This is a happy story of an aging Boomer’s business that presumably will be kept alive and carry on bringing life and fruits and vegetables to the city. But not all Boomer Life Projects are going to survive. My own business hangs in the balance as I approach my 73rd Birthday.

I believe I could sell my business quickly enough for some minimal amount of money but I don’t want to sell to an aspiring artist, and I want more control than that in the near-term. My real goal is to create a specific legacy for that space: A store that concentrates on products celebrating and serving Birds, Biodiversity and Conservation.

I am looking for a young person for whom Biodiversity is concern-of-the-heart, a person who is not an artist, but who has more of an interest in entrepreneurship and business management. I suspect one of the biggest barriers to doing this might be access to enough business space for warehousing and manufacture—I use a room upstairs and the entire basement of our (small) house.

It could be viewed as very advantageous that my proposal would mean no capital outlay would be needed, there many caveats. The stipulation that the person should not be an artist will probably be a dealbreaker, I understand this.  I believe there are probably 250 Artists in Seattle that could make this space work better than I have been able to, but I would rather have a Biodiversity legacy than an Art legacy and I’d rather not have a legacy if it’s not a Biodiversity legacy. I can dumpster it.  I’m happy to explain this to anyone: I’ve never been a great fan of art in general, read my book.  I ask young artists what they like to paint and they say “anything.” That’s precisely what I don’t like about art, it can be in the service of anything and anybody.

(My own art can be subjected to this type of scrutiny also. One of our most popular images is “Bring on the Night” which essentially celebrates the nocturnal lighting of the city of Seattle, which most people including myself find quite beautiful on a Ferry ride in from Bremerton or Bainbridge. Sadly though, it is also a huge factor in Migratory Bird mortality, and has also been implicated in encouraging insomnia and cancers in people.)

A person who wanted to ultimately own the business would work for me for regular pay for the early-middle period, when everything but painting and publishing would be transferred to be under their purvue, with my oversight and agreement. During this time the new manager would be paid as an employee. In the middle-middle period the store would retain it’s 100% Ed Newbold art character but the new manager would act as an owner and begin paying for inventory from me at acceptable prices and keeping the revenue the store generated.   In the late-middle stage I would be ready to quit new painting and publishing (this could be soon, as I’m almost 73) and there would be a handoff of management and whenever sales of my art began to slip, the new business owner could bring in new product that would have a Biodiversity/Conservation theme.  A store that could be a model for where the new manager might take things is the Birds Connect Seattle (formerly Seattle Audubon Society) store at 85th and 35th NE in Seattle.

Managing a small business is hard work, and there are times I have just wished somehow I could be subject to the Minimum Wage Laws (no I don’t really wish that) but it can also be exhilarating, it’s a way to be a leader of sorts, and it can make a difference in people’s lives. Nothing humbles me more than the nice things my customers and store-visitors have said to me and us, it makes me tear up just writing this. If some young person wants to put their heart into this, I guarantee that there are people out there who would be grateful and appreciative of what they were doing —keeping a Biodiversity Theme at the entrance of the Pike Place Market, keeping the store going, and they might tell them this, maybe at the end of long hard day, and make their day.

Anyone interested? Do you have an abiding desire to help promote Biodiversity? I would love to talk. Equal opportunity. Cheers, Ed : ednewbold1@yahoo.com

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