New faces now greet those who need copies or to have packages shipped Central Copy & Shipping in Enterprise, now that Richelle Chitwood has sold the business to Michael Cooler and Sara Crawford.
Cooler and Crawford took over Wednesday, Sept. 16, as Chitwood showed them the ropes and shared a celebratory cake at the bustling business on River Street across from the Wallowa County Courthouse.
Chitwood, who started the business 15 years ago after seeing a need in the community, said she’s ready to step down.
“I’m exhausted,” she said. “I love the business, I love the people, but I’m tired.”
She said she plans to “spend some time out in the woods, work on the house and just ‘be’.”
But she’s not totally giving up on Central Copy.
“Hopefully I’ll come in and help them out a bit,” she said.
Cooler, from Lakeview, and Crawford, from Albany, have lived in Enterprise about seven years. He has worked at Building Healthy Families helping students get their General Educational Development diplomas and doing tech work. Crawford works at the Wild Carrot on Main Street and plans to continue there.
“It’ll be Michael’s face you’re going to see mostly when you come into the shop,” she said.
From behind his face mask, Cooler said, “Or half my face, anyway.”
The pair has wanted to own a small business for some time, and “when this opportunity came up, we couldn’t look away,” Crawford said.
“We saw what Richelle did here and what she does for the community and wanted to become part of that,” Cooler said. “We’re so grateful for this opportunity and so look forward to serving the wonderful folks of Wallowa County.”
Crawford added, “Look for our Facebook page, coming soon.”
They do have a website at https://www.loc8nearme.com/oregon/enterprise/central-copy/5968764/.
One of the unique features of Central Copy was that Chitwood always had her dog lazing around to keep her company. But will the new owners have a dog there?
“I have to say that’s probably the most common question we’ve gotten and at this point, no. We don’t have a dog,” Crawford said.
“Michael is working on it so that we can get a dog,” Cooler said.
In expressing her farewell to operating the business, Chitwood said, “Know this, that the conversations we have had have been more valuable to me than the business itself.”
The iconic Lostine Tavern is up for sale, complete with tavern/restaurant on the main floor and an upstairs apartment, according to Ruby Peak Realty’s website.
Owner Peter Ferré, of the Wallowa area, said it really hasn’t been open since 2016. In recent years, the LT has been open primarily for special events only, he said. He just recently decided to officially put it on the market.
“The LT’s been for sale since I closed it,” he said. “I just never formally listed it.”
Originally built in 1902 as a pharmacy and doctor’s office, it then became an old-school soda fountain. In the 1940s, it became a tavern and a local landmark.
Ferré bought the building in 2013. The tavern had reopened in 2014 as the first farm-to-table eating establishment in Eastern Oregon. It employed approximately 10 people during the winter and 15 during the tourist-season months.
“Somebody could walk in there and open a restaurant tomorrow,” he said. “It was a personal decision to close the restaurant.”
The asking price for the LT is $449,000 through Ruby Peak Realty at 541-432-5000.
Nominations for the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce 2021 Board of Directors will open Oct. 1 and close at 5 p.m. Oct. 31.
The positions open for nomination will be announced in the October newsletter. Anyone interested in serving on the board should call the chamber office at 541-426-4622.
A nominee must be a member of the chamber in good standing. A form will be available in the October newsletter and may also be obtained from the chamber office. Include the full name, phone number and the board position of the nominee. Nominators must also include their name and be a member of the Wallowa County Chamber in good standing.
Starting Oct. 1, nominations may be submitted by mail, email or directly to the chamber office. For questions about board positions, contact the chamber office and speak with Diane Knox.