Longstanding Local Businesses

Local business are at the heart of any community. They provide important services with a personal touch and reflect the community they serve.


Often small businesses are powered by familiar faces. They don't just work in the area, but also share your community resources.


And, they are a powerful economic force! Did you know that small businesses employ more than half of the nation’s workforce, and typically contribute more to community causes like local charities and fundraisers than their national counterparts?


Whether it's sponsoring an event or a local Little League team, small businesses have a direct and quantifiable impact on the communities they are a part of -- but they also play a role in how we perceive our communities and in how we remember them.


Many Redmond residents remember getting ice cream at Theno's Dairy or stopping at T-D Feeds to pick something up. These locations make up the backdrop of our day-to-day lives, and become fixtures in our memories.


As Redmond has changed, so have many businesses in our area. Over the years some of these local business have closed, while others have opened. Years from now, which local businesses will you remember as your favorite coffee shop or dinner spot?


This list includes some longstanding Redmond owned or operated businesses. Are there any that you recognize or remember?


Cedar Lawns Memorial Park and Funeral Home

Ben Franklin Crafts & Frames

The British Pantry Ltd.

Fredrick's Appliances

Precision Press


 

Cedar Lawns Memorial Park and Funeral Home

Coming Soon!


 

Ben Franklin Crafts & Frames


Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop began in 1975 as a franchise bought for $25,000 by Bob and Shirley Ferguson. Bob had a wealth of retail experience from businesses his parents had owned or managed in the Los Angeles area, and went early into Woolworth’s, where he met Shirley. He managed several Woolworth’s stores in northern California before being transferred to co-manage in Honolulu, the most profitable branch in the country. While in Hawaii, Bob and Shirley became acquainted with the Ben Franklin franchise model and were offered their pick of sites along the west coast. The location, originally the site of the Redmond Garden Center, has not changed over time, though additional warehouse sites in the Redmond area hold their off-season stock. Their products originally mirrored that of a typical variety store, but as early as 1993, supply chain issues emerged (Ben Franklin Corporate suffered bankruptcy in 1997), forcing the Fergusons to obtain new products independently. This paved the way for a wealth of innovative products, sourced from all over the world. Framing, mop dolls, Beadie-Babies and scrapbooking supplies were some of their early successes. The Ferguson’s sons, David and Neil now run the business, but Bob and Shirley are still actively involved. Over the years they have employed more than 1,500 creative people, some for over 35 years, an important factor in their success. They generally have approximately 50,000 items available at any one time, though crafting trends that last more than six months are rare. One warehouse holds a miniature museum, created for Bob in 2006 as a 65th birthday gift, housing photographs, business machines and ephemera from their earliest days.


 

The British Pantry Ltd.


Established May 11th, 1978 by Mavis Redman and Doreen Tyce, wives of British engineers brought over by Boeing, The British Pantry Ltd. originally began as a way to bring British staples to Seattle-area expats longing for a taste of home. Redman comes from several generations of bakers who lived in Swinton, near Manchester and her children, who now run the business, were born in Lancashire. Tyce moved away from Seattle four years after incorporation and her share of the business was purchased by the Redman family, which includes siblings Alvia and Neville, and Alvia’s son Graham. They have operated at the original site, at 8125 161st Avenue NE since opening, starting with a bakery and tea shop, comprised of roughly 450 square feet, the portion occupied today by Neville’s Restaurant. The business has expanded eastwards five times and now encompasses roughly 6,000 square feet.


The first expansion became the restaurant, offering high tea and an assortment of British menu standards. The bakery and grocery occupy another segment of the building, and in about 1996 the Three Lions Pub was opened in the easternmost portion. Subsequent expansion of the pub side of the business in Novelty Hill (23525 N.E. Novelty Hill Road, A-101) and Bothell (10111 Main St.) occurred in 2013 and are still going strong today. The businesses are now run by Mavis’ children, but she is still an owner and active participant in this 43-year staple of Redmond’s core enterprises.


 

Fredrick's Appliances


Frederick’s Appliance, now owned by Eric and Margaret Blakemore, was begun June 17, 1971 by Frederick V. Habenicht, a graduate of the University of Washington, who had 15 prior years of appliance sales at Connor Sales, Inc. of Seattle. Initially, Frederick’s occupied the location of the former Old Custer Hardware at 16109 Redmond Way, in Redmond’s first strip mall, and offered a range of General Electric products. Habenicht sold the business to Midland Appliance, of Vancouver British Columbia 19 years later, over health concerns. The Fred Habenicht Rotary Park on the Cedar River in Maple Valley bears his name, and reflects his love of steelhead fishing.


Left to right: Mayor Bud young, Fred Habenicht, Kim Murray and Jerry Torell

The Blakemores came to Redmond to manage Frederick’s for Midland and purchased the business outright a year later in 1991. At that point they had 2.5 employees and a single delivery truck. One of their employees, Charlie Rowan, has been with them from the start, and two of their four children, Ryan (30) and Bailey (27), are also part of the Frederick’s team. The Blakemores were initially challenged by differences in Washington business practices as well as a lengthy immigration process, but they persevered. Redmond’s high-tech boom brought a significant amount of business to Frederick’s and dramatically increased the range of higher-end products they offered. The business moved in 2010 from Redmond Way to 7509 159th Pl NE, amid a spate of new high-rise apartment and office buildings, and mere blocks from their original location. Two doors down, Frederick’s Outlet serves as a distribution center and discount center for floor models and freight-damaged merchandise. Because they are independent, they accommodate a wide range of custom requests and they view long-term customer relationships as a cornerstone of their business which celebrated 50 years in June 2021.




 

Precision Press

Coming Soon!

15 views0 comments
RHSLogo-Sq-216x216.jpg