Business

CJ's brings old-fashioned charm to Park Avenue

Located just outside Evergreen Rotary Park, the building returns to its roots as CJ’s Evergreen General Store.   - Photo by James Mange
Located just outside Evergreen Rotary Park, the building returns to its roots as CJ’s Evergreen General Store.
— image credit: Photo by James Mange

Whether you want the perfect topper to your picnic, or you simply forgot something on your outing to Evergreen Rotary Park, CJ’s Evergreen General Store is one-stop shopping. In fact, with all of the specialty items the new store carries, it could very well be a destination all its own.

Matt Cyr and his wife Cynthia Jeffries-Cyr opened CJ’s last Saturday directly across the street from the busy waterfront park. The building used to be an organic market, and prior to that was a high-end wine shop. It’s deeper roots, however, were as the Park Avenue Grocery. Matt and Cynthia are the perfect pair to return a little of all that history to the park neighborhood.

Cynthia managed the Port Gamble General Store and Cafe for the last three years, before the store lost its lease. “Some of our customers there told us about this location,” she said. “We came and saw it, and we fell in love with it. Matt loves that we can still see the water.”

Susan and Pat Wright, the former owners of the Port Gamble store, are sharing in the CJ’s adventure, offering bulk tea through their company, “Just Your Cup of Tea,” exclusively at the Park Avenue location.

In addition to the specialty teas, CJ’s also offers a fine selection of cigars, classic sodas by the Orca Beverage Company of Seattle, hand-dipped ice cream from Cascade Glacier, and even penny candy. They have three baristas, so someone will always be available to make espressos, and their homemade roast beef sandwiches and clam chowder are offered daily. Other specialties include local products like Steadman’s Honey, Sequim Valley jams and Pheasant Farm eggs.

And there’s more. CJ’s also carries fishing gear, bait, and hardware items.

“We listened to the people in the neighborhood,” Cynthia said, “and we tried to include all the things they said they wanted.”

CJ’s hopes to have a liquor license granted within a month, and the plan would then be to open seven days a week.

If you stop in on a weekend, the store could very well have that true Mom and Pop shop feel, since the couple’s children, 10-year-old Monica and Jessica, 8, will probably be there “helping.” “They cried when we left Port Gamble,” Cynthia said, “because they weren’t going to be able to run the cash register.”

Now the kids, and the neighborhood are back in business.

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