Business News

August 10, 2010

By Staff

Ben & Jerry’s opening soon

Mark Mullet, owner of Zeeks Pizza, now plans to bring a taste of Vermont to the Issaquah Highlands. The city councilman will open a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop next month.

The local branch of the eco-conscious company famous for punny flavors — Cherry Garcia, anyone? — and social activism will open near Caffe Ladro, inside a former home sales center about mid-September. Plans call for about 40 seats spread across 1,300 square feet.

“I think Ben & Jerry’s and Issaquah are a natural fit,” he said.

Before Mullet can start serving scoops of Chubby Hubby and Chunky Monkey, he had to attend Scoop University, the training facility for franchisees in Vermont. There, the former bank executive learned to mix milkshakes and shape waffle cones.

The biggest challenge for Mullet: cursive writing. He said another employee should handle the frosting messages atop ice cream cakes.

Edward Jones ranked highest in investor satisfaction

For the fifth year out of the past six, financial-services firm Edward Jones, including 12 financial advisors in the Issaquah area, ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full-service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study.

The study measures overall investor satisfaction with full service investment firms based on seven factors: investment advisor, portfolio performance, account information, account offerings, commissions and fees, website and problem resolution. The J.D. Power and Associates study found that Edward Jones “performed particularly well across the two highest-weighted factors: investment advisor and investment performance.”

The 2010 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,460 investors who primarily invest with one of the 12 firms included in the study. The study was fielded in May.

Edward Jones, which ranked No. 2 on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2010, is headquartered in St. Louis. The firm has been on the list for the past 11 years.

Goddard School teams with National Geographic

The Goddard School, with a branch in Issaquah, will play an integral role in developing a new book from the National Geographic Society.

Filled with magical science and nature adventures, the book will offer multisensory experiences for children.

The Goddard School community will help select the title and cover design, share ideas about classroom projects, test activities and contribute a collection of their own childhood memories. The book will be available this spring at retail outlets.

New mobile dog groomer debuts

Barbara Buglioli, of Issaquah, recently debuted her business, Groucho Barks Mobile Pet Grooming. She works individually with each client, offering discounts for multiple dogs and cats in the same neighborhood. Buglioli said her prices are the same or lower than many salons.

Buglioli makes the job fun for her and her clients by posting legendary Groucho Marx movie posters, postcards and other creative art on the walls around the van’s plentiful windows and high ceilings.

Buglioli also volunteers at the Seattle Humane Society, in Bellevue, helping groom dogs and cats waiting to be adopted.

Book your dog at www.grouchobarksgrooming.com.

Highmark Medical Center building opens

HighMark Investments has opened the Highmark Medical Center — a medical building spread across three floors and 46,000 square feet at Northwest Maple Street and state Route 900.

The building, across from the Issaquah Transit Center, has been certified gold under the LEED environmental rating system.

“A culmination of more than two years of careful planning and thoughtful design in protecting and enhancing the community, adjacent wetlands and staying true to preserving the environment, leads us to the end result of providing Issaquah a beautiful new state-of-the art building,” HighMark CEO Mike Kerby said in a news release.

The building houses locations for Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center, Lake Washington Vascular, Medical Arts Group of Issaquah, TLJ Aesthetics, Washington Imaging Services and Restorix/Innovative Health. About 80 percent of the building has been leased.

Texas company buys Issaquah pawnshop operator

Issaquah-based Maxit Financial — operator of the Pawn X-Change chain in Washington and other pawnshops in Arizona — has been sold to a Texas company for $70 million.

Cash America International, based in Fort Worth, and the Issaquah company announced the decision Aug. 2. The companies expect the deal to be finalized by the fourth quarter.

The chain operates 29 stores in Washington, and 10 in Arizona under the Maxit Pawn & Retail name. Cash America boasts more than 1,000 locations nationwide, including five in Washington.

Pawn X-Change started in 1993 and has since grown into one of the largest privately-owned pawnshop chains in the nation.

Pomegranate Center joins Walla Walla project

Through a collaboration with Walla Walla-based nonprofit Commitment to Community, Issaquah’s Pomegranate Center is working with residents of a neighborhood in Walla Walla to transform a misused open space in their neighborhood.

This project comes on the heels of a similar project in Walla Walla, where Pomegranate Center collaborated to build a neighborhood gathering place in one week. That project received the 2009 Washington State Evergreen Award for groundbreaking collaboration.

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