I began hearing happy chatter about the Feed Store soon after the Mount Baker grocery/mercantile/community gathering spot opened in 2015, in a tiny space in the corner strip across from Mount Baker Park, near Mioposto. “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it,” was the working motto for co-owner Kristin Hyde, who along with partner Denise Paquette ditched their former pursuits to give their neighborhood a spot for a highly curated selection of groceries, greeting cards, fresh flowers, fresh-squeezed juices, and necessities—batteries to masking tape.
Highly curated was as much a necessity as an aesthetic: This joint was small. So when another tenant vacated a larger space two doors up—they grabbed it and moved in, opening last October. Now the new and expanded Feed Store can do much more, including prepared foods, wine, and beers on tap. It’s still a grocery and mercantile (“We’ve got the stuff you forget when you go camping,” said Paquette), but it’s also in the business of filling growlers, pouring wine, and selling you sandwiches, salads, and soups from chef Maro Gjurasic. Early this summer, look for breakfast and lunch menus, along with dinnertime grab and go from salads and soups to roast chicken.
As for Feed Store’s old location—it roared back to life last month as The Saloon, an atmo-drenched little cocktail bar partner Paquette admits to having started designing in her head the moment they opened the original Feed Store. “I’d be standing at the register and just kept visualizing it as a cocktail bar, 21 and over, with great cocktails and beers on tap,” she says. “There’s really nowhere else in the neighborhood for that.” With the help of eBay and Craigslist and a band of handy friends she began lovingly filling the space from the plans in her head, including a hand-built walnut bar and furnishings that evoked a particular era of cozy. “The little loft upstairs replicates my parents’ basement from the early ’70s,” she smiles. “Wagon wheel furniture, a ’60s console, a beautiful cowhide rug.”
Records are played, a guitar grabbed and plucked, snacks (plantains and guac, blackeyed pea hummus) are munched—and cocktails most certainly imbibed. And the Feed Store kitchen supplies the Saloon with a nightly hot dish—gnocchi, tacos—for those who need the ballast.