Annie’s Attic & Cafe Kicks Off In Dayton With Wave Of New Businesses | Business


DAYTON – The wave of new businesses popping up in the Walla Walla area continues to create unique outfits like Annie’s Attic & Cafe, which opened on December 24 in downtown Dayton at 232 E. Main St.

It offers antique and antique furniture and housewares on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as a daily menu of homemade breakfast, lunch, soups and pies.

“Annie’s Attic & Cafe has been my husband’s idea for quite some time now,” said Laura Aukerman.

“My husband has always had an interest in antique and antique furniture as well as household items. He did most of the cooking when our three daughters were growing up, and I did most of the cooking. He decided to open this as a restaurant on one side and vintage / antique furniture on the other.

The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic has been disastrous for small businesses, with people ordered to refrain from social gatherings, but the 2021 rebound has been tremendous.

While downtown Walla Walla reported 17 new businesses following nine closures last year, the recovery is also being felt in smaller communities like those in Columbia County.

“It feels like there has been a resurgence downtown definitely,” said Port of Columbia executive director Jennie Dickinson. “There are new businesses, a new art gallery, two buildings that are being renovated. There is a lot of activity.

“Rural town centers are difficult, so it feels good. We feel better.

Help came from $ 5,000 in grants from the Port of Columbia Innovia Foundation, of Spokane.

Recipients include Annie’s Attic & Cafe as well as Starbuck Lodge, which is still under construction.

The funding remains for another Innovia grant, Dickinson said.

Last year, the port gave grants to Main Street Marketplace and Table Rock Meat Co. Both are still going strong, and Dickinson said Table Rock Meat is already looking to expand.

“It was a great program, really successful,” said Dickinson. “I would like this to continue. I think as long as I have private grants and stay away from taxpayer dollars, I think I could keep doing it.

The grant came to the Aukermans just at the right time as they lobbied to get Annie’s Attic & Cafe up and running before Christmas Eve.

Businesses rarely start at this time of year, Dickinson said, with people already busy. Laura Aukerman also runs Paige’s Floral & Gifts, on East Main Street, with her daughter.

This leaves little time for planning, design and construction or for buyers to explore new outlets.

Annie’s Attic & Cafe is an exception.

“We had a tight schedule to put this in place in 45 days,” said Laura Aukerman. “It’s been almost three months of preparations.

“Starting a new business during the holidays is difficult, plus it’s a busy season for the flower shop. But I don’t think there is a better time. It really makes a person stop and think about everything they need to be grateful for. “

Family is what Annie’s Attic & Cafe is, designed with the simplicity that makes guests always feel welcome.

It was named after the family dog.

The restaurant’s menu is displayed on a blackboard, limited to fresh breakfast and lunch or soups and pies made each day.

“What we cook and bake will be just home-style cooking,” said Laura Aukerman. “Nothing elaborate, but comfort food at home. It’s a blend of our own recipes and recipes passed down from generation to generation on both sides of our family.

While only open on weekends with limited staff, they may plan to add days.

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