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Biz Beat 6-5-2014

The West Eugene EmX expansion is moving forward, despite vocal opposition and efforts to derail it. With this in mind, the nonprofit Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST)  is holding a public forum to “share diverse views on why transit is, or isn’t important to our community” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 10, at the LCC Downtown Center, Room 105. By late summer, BEST will report back to the community on views that have been expressed, and “offer suggestions for possible next steps toward improving public transit in our community,” says Rob Zako, executive director of BEST. See best-oregon.org.

We see the “For Lease” sign is still up at the former location of Top City Frozen Yogurt Café near Albertson’s at 18th and Chambers. The business, owned by Joel and Tina Rimmer, opened in spring of 2012 and closed at the end of 2013. The Rimmer family owns Oldfield’s Appliance and Home Theater. No comment from Joel Rimmer on why the yogurt shop closed. A couple of food-related businesses have tried that high-visibility location (Bene Gourmet Pizza was first) since it was a branch of Oregon Community Credit Union. It still has a walk-in bank vault. Hmmm. Maybe a good place for a cash-only medical pot dispensary? Evans Elder & Brown is asking $1.12 per sq. ft. and the building is 3,500 sq. ft. 

Mountain Rose Herbs is trying something different, a first-ever retail pop-up shop from 4 to 9 pm Friday, June 6, and from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, June 7, at the Broadway Commerce Center at 44 W. Broadway. The pop-up shop will coincide with the June First Friday ArtWalk and the Eugene Saturday Market. Mountain Rose has a large facility in west Eugene, but zoning there does not allow retail sales. 

Friendly Street Market has a new full-service deli and patio that opened May 31. Owner Erin Gilfillan says she enlisted the help of local artists, architects and landscapers to “create a space that is relaxed and comfortable. What was once a dark,  cluttered space has now become bright, welcoming and full of opportunity.” General manager is Angela Mustacchia. See friendlystmarket.com. Across the street is the LUCiA development which is happening in stages starting with townhouses.

Pink Buffalo Productions is a new business in Eugene that organizes and manages running events. Owner is runner Piper Ruiz, who recently won $2,000 in prizes for her business plan and pitch to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce Latino Business Network. Ruiz also works with Eclectic Edge Racing. One local event coming up is the “Running of the Bulls” July 19, but instead of live bulls, runners will be chased by Roller Derby girls. See pinkbuffaloracing.com.

The Makindu Children’s Program is planning its annual fundraising benefit and auction from 6 to 9 pm Saturday, June 7, at 123 Café, at 123 International Way in Springfield. Keynote speaker will be founder Winnie Barron. The nonprofit supports the Makindu Children’s Centre in rural Kenya, serving hungry, sick and dying children, many of them orphans of the AIDS epidemic. See makindu.org or call 357-9673.

Guerrilla Funding for Small Business” is the topic of an LCC Small Business Development Center session at 6 pm Thursday, June 12, at the Downtown Eugene Library. Speaker is Frank Plaisted, an expert on financing small start-ups. Call 682-5450.