kaffrins coffee

Kaffrin's Coffee

For a few years, Connell has enjoyed having a local specialty coffee shop. But on January 15th, 2019, new owners Adam and KaTrina Kunkle opened Kaffrin’s Coffee with a new and fresh community minded vision. The local shop was restructured under a different name and with a lot of new ideas to generate community engagement while still providing quality beverages with personal service. Kaffrin’s serves coffee, teas, smoothies, Italian sodas and many other items as well.  Adding yet another level of business to the coffee shop, they also opened their doors to local artists and craft vendors to bring in their items to display on the walls and to offer to customers.

Kaffrin’s Coffee (pronounced Kaff-rIn) got its name from the owners daughter (Katherine – 4years old) as that is how she says her name. “She is a social butterfly and can light up any room she walks into, as well as make friends with anyone and everyone. She has a magnetic personality and she’s the reason I was brave enough to try and save Connell’s lone coffee shop”, says owner, KaTrina.

The Kunkle family moved to Connell in 2012 and had no plans to open a business – but this opportunity fell into their laps at a great time and they jumped at it. KaTrina goes on to say, “Besides our daughter, we have an older son (as well as a newborn son now) and when our older son started school Katherine was absolutely lost without her best friend, so we would go to the coffee shop and she made friends with all the baristas and a lot of the patrons. She would always order a “Kaffrin Coffee” (hot coco) and then tell them if I wanted a ‘mommy coffee’ or ‘mommy tea’. I couldn’t see her favorite place go away, I had to do something! So now, here we are.” Funny fact about the owners though – KaTrina is super outgoing but also loves to be a homebody and enjoy time with her family, with coffee of course! While Adam doesn’t actually like coffee (crazy huh?), he does enjoy the smoothies, Italian sodas and lemonades too.

Kaffrin’s Coffee has been a boost to the Historic Downtown area of Connell – hosting many community events in less than a year of being open – and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. They offer a community hang out, a place to come get cozy with friends and enjoy a favorite drink. In May they hosted the first annual car show, bringing in many people for that event. They have also hosted several paint nights, board game days, a teen night, and just this last weekend a Ladies night. Several home based businesses have come in on Saturdays for customers to shop. Be sure to look at the chalkboard in the shop to see upcoming events or check out the FaceBook page – Kaffrinscoffee and click on events tab to see what is happening in the next month or Instagram - @KaffrinsCoffee.

This summer, they put in many hours of hard work to create an outdoor space in the backyard for customers to enjoy as well as having a couple different conversation areas inside: couches, tables, benches – something for all ages to sit and enjoy. As far as expanding – they plan to expand only locally in the Connell Shop. Hopefully someday (3-5 years) adding a little drive through, serving soups, salads and sandwiches. They currently have 4 part time employees.

Kaffrin’s Coffee Shop is located at 257 N Columbia Ave in Connell – you can reach them at Kaffrinscoffee@gmail.com or on Facebook or Instagram. They are open Monday-Friday 6:00am-6:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-2:00pm during the school year.  Their summer hours are posted at the shop (typically only altered hours for July and August). With the holiday season coming up and cold weather setting in – come and bring a friend for a warm drink or grab a few gift cards for some quick gifts from family, friends, teachers and neighbors.

bobbie lee alpaca farm

Bobbie Lee Alpaca Farm

Just a few miles outside of Connell is Bobbie Lee Alpaca Farm owned by Michael and Bobbie Woodcock. They have had the farm for 2 years and have grown quite a bit in a short amount of time. They raise the alpacas for their fiber to then make retail items to sell – scarves, hats, socks, rugs, blankets, gloves, dryer balls, soap, fertilizer and other apparel items as well.  They also open their farm up for tours to the public too so that they can educate others on the kind and gentle nature of alpacas and also provide information on their fiber as well. Tours are available any day before 5:00pm, they just ask that you first call ahead.

Bobbie Lee Alpaca Farm is a family business. Aside from Michael and Bobbie, they also have their daughter and Bobbie’s sister who help with the business as well. Bobbie’s sister makes some of the retail items from the alpaca fibers.  Something new they did this year and will continue to do in the warmer weather months is Alpaca Yoga. Typically you sign up in advance and then show up on the day with your yoga mat. As you do yoga in the field, the curious and friendly alpacas with wander throughout and join the group.  

The Woodcocks lived in Connell a few years ago when they relocated back to Washington. After then moving to Pasco for 5 years, they decided that they wanted to start the Alpaca farm and that Connell would be the perfect place for it. Bobbie stated, “Connell just felt more like home than anywhere else so we moved back and started raising alpacas.”  They wanted to be able to bring something new to the community, something that everyone would be able to enjoy while learning the unique features thatalpacas provided both as a live animal and from products derived from alpacas.    

The weekend of September 27-29th was National Alpaca Weekend – the Woodcocks opened up the farm for tours, despite the very cold weather. The community got to go out and feed the alpacas and walk in the pens amongst them all the while learning about them too. Some fun facts about alpacas – they are much smaller then llamas and don’t spit (unless threatened), they have a gestation period of 11 months and have the capability to choose when to have their baby. All babies are born on a decent weather day between 10am and 1pm – the mother alpaca knows that her baby needs to be up and stable before it gets dark so they don’t have babies when they know they wouldn’t have enough time to be up and eating before then.  Also alpaca products are as soft as cashmere and warmer than wool and the best part is they don’t have the ‘itch factor’ in their fiber.

So if you are looking for something fun, unique, and free to do locally, call to visit the Bobbie Lee Alapaca Farm – it is perfect for little kids too! It is located just a few miles east of Connell at 3961 E SR 260, just be sure to call ahead if you’re coming out to be sure they are there and available - #509-948-0062.  You can get more information on their products and about alpacas by emailing bobbieleealpaca@gmail.com or check out their website bobbieleealpacafarm.com. They are also on facebook – like their page and stay up to date on any events they are hosting and follow the progress and growth of their baby alpacas and the whole farm too.

papa rays

Papa Ray's

Papa Ray’s is the newest restaurant to open up in Connell and is owned by Ray & Rachel Robinson. After an extensive remodel including new and additional seating options, new paint and wall coverings, and decor, they opened in March 2019. Their menu includes pizza, burgers, appetizers, salad bar, wings, dessert pizzas, and since initially opening has added take-n-bake pizzas. The other unique service Papa Ray’s provides is a delivery option – a first to Connell residents or those who are just outside of town.  

Ray and Rachel have been in the food business for 17 years. Previous to moving to Connell, they owned Time Out Pizza in Quincy from 2003-2018.  They consider their business in Connell to be a family business as their kids work there in addition to 5 other part time employees. Opening a new business in a new town has meant long hours for them but they have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the community.

Papa Ray’s came to Connell because the Robinsons wanted to be able to own the building they were working in.  They visited Connell and loved the small town feeling, supportive community, and just so happened to find the perfect space that they were looking for in old downtown. The Robinson’s have 4 children, 2 daughters and 2 sons. Their oldest daughter is married and lives in Moses Lake but she comes to work at the restaurant in Connell, one son is on a church mission, and then they have a sophomore son and a freshman daughter who both attend Connell High School. Papa Ray’s immediately engaged in the community by becoming chamber members, sponsoring and donating to chamber events as well as several other school and community activities as well. During the recent Manton Way fire, Papa Ray’s was one of the businesses that provided pizzas for the fire fighters and first responders.   

So, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Papa Ray’s for either lunch or dinner – take the family to dine in, order for delivery or get a pizza and bake it at home.  They offer “Group Specials” that are perfect for a family or big groups – they include a pizza, sides and drinks.  Some of the Robinson’s personal pizza favorites and local favorites include the ‘Papa Ray’ and ‘The Works’. They have 24 named pizzas to choose from or you can always build your own so surely there is something for the entire family to enjoy. They even have pizza with corn (Calvinator) or pickles (Lil Ray) and also Gluten Free Pizza crust. They are located at 245 N Columbia Ave and are open Monday – Saturdays 11:00am -8:00pm or 9:00pm.

Bingo Flyer - Business Promo

Community “BUSINESS BINGO BLACKOUT” – Grand Prize: Apple iPad

The Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to launch the first ever Business Bingo Blackout Card….a game designed to support local businesses.  After feedback from community and chamber members, the Chamber Board brainstormed ideas on how we could help boost commerce while promoting our local business members….the end result is the Bingo Stamp Card. It will launch this week and run through July 2nd. The rules are simple and everyone in the community is eligible to participate.

The Rules:  Pick up a Chamber Bingo Card at any one of the 12 participating businessBurger Factory, Papa Ray’s, Taco la Herradura, McCary Meats in Basin City, Michael Jay’s, Old Brick Store, Subway, Sunset Theatre, Mei-Lings, Connell Grange Supply, Pizza Station and Kaffrin’s Coffee – and start collecting the color coded stamps by making the qualifying purchase listed on the card at each business. Be sure to present your card at checkout to receive the individualized stamp from the business. One stamp per qualifying purchase. Once your card is filled with all 12 stamps, put your name and contact info on the back and drop your card into the collection box at the Connell Grange Supply to be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE – an Apple iPad. Additionally, there are 10 reserve prizes from local businesses that will be awarded. Multiple entries per person can be entered as long as you have received the stamps from all businesses. Drawn entries will be validated to be deemed eligible prior to being awarded. The final drawing winners will be announced at the 4th of July Fireworks Show in Connell, come and enjoy the Fireworks Show and see if you won, we will also be publishing winners in Graphic the following week and contacting each winner to claim their prize! ImportantNote:Connell Grange Supply is the only collection site for completed entries; participating business will not collect cards.

Shop Small, Support Local Business and You could Win! For more information and list of the prizes please visit connellwa.com. Have fun playing Business Bingo Blackout…..Good Luck!!

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Individual Chamber Members

The Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce sees value in anyone who has an interest in the promotion of our business sector and the betterment of our communities so, in addition to businesses, they welcome individuals to join as members, too. An Individual Membership is for any community member who has an interest in the Chamber of Commerce’s good works in our communities. It is also a good opportunity for individuals who have retired from the business community but want to continue to stay in touch. Currently, there are 7 individual members including Black Blackwell, Burl Booker, Kara Booker, John Lindner, Pam Moon, Representative Joe Schmick, and Gene Stocking.

Blacky Blackwell…..moved to Connell in the spring of 1983 and worked for Hanford, cleaning it up and shutting down plants. During that same time-frame, he also worked for the Feathers Thompson Ranch. Eventually retiring from Hanford, he started work at Paradise Farms as a mechanic where he permanently retired from in 2010. He is a former member of the Connell Community Club and was mayor of Connell from 2014 thru 2017. He fondly remembers the healthy number of businesses that existed in Connell in the 1980’s. He thinks a healthy business economy exists by promoting and supporting local businesses and is important to attracting and bringing in new business to a city. With that mindset, even though his initial membership in the Chamber of Commerce was because of his term of service as mayor for the City of Connell, he has continued his membership as an individual.

Burl Booker….was born and raised in the Mesa and Connell area. Burl graduated from Connell High School in 1977 and after attending college, he returned to the area to farm and raise cattle. Although he has a personal interest in the success of the community as a whole, as a tax payer through real estate investments in the city of Connell, he has a vested interest in the business climate as well and would like to see Connell grow. In addition to being a Chamber of Commerce member, he is an active member in the Connell Community Club, CHS Ag Advisory Board, President of Eagles Nest, Fire Commissioner with Franklin County Fire Dept., and President of Columbia Basin Jr Livestock Show.

Kara Booker….is a 1985 graduate of Connell High School. Kara returned to the Connell area after marrying Burl Booker in 1990. Kara has always had a strong sense of community. While raising their family of 4 daughters, Kara’s community involvement started with volunteering for activities and programs at the NFSD schools. Her volunteer efforts continue still today as a member of the NFSD School Board, Connell Community Club, Columbia Basin Jr Livestock Show, Connell Fall Festival, Connell Community Float, and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce.

John Lindner….was originally a westsider working with the King County Sheriffs Department for 31 years before “officially” moving to the area 12 years ago. John’s wife, Carol (Colley) though, grew up and graduated from Connell. After moving to Connell, they owned and operated The Old Hardware Store for 10 years before recently selling it to the current owners. Believing that being active and involved in the community is important, John is not only a member of the Chamber of Commerce but can often be seen in the audience of City Council meetings to keep informed and for the fun of it. John is also a member of the Connell Fall Festival committee and an active member of the Connell Community Club taking the lead to coordinate the Political Candidates Meet and Greet Forum and organize the Winterfest Parade. John really enjoys the Connell community and stated, “Life did not get interesting until I moved here”.

Pam Moon….was raised in Connell graduating from Connell High School in 1973 and has lived here ever since with the exception of very few years. Her dad owned and operated a successful fertilizer business, Welch Brothers Corporation, for over 40 years. While working for him, she also opened up her own business, a fitness center called “Let’s Get Physical”. Pam attributes her sense of community to her dad who was a successful independent business owner and her mom who had a heart for volunteerism. Through the years of Pam’s Chamber involvement, she has served as both president and secretary. Pam states, “It’s the people that make this community and surrounding area special”.

Representative Joe Schmick.... is a member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 9th District, which includes Asotin, Garfield, Franklin, Adams, Whitman and south Spokane counties, since 2007. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee as well as is the Ranking Member on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. Joe is a former second-generation farmer and a small-business owner. He appreciates and supports the work that local Chamber of Commerce’s do for their communities. Joe and his wife, Kim, reside in Colfax, WA.

Gene Stocking….has an extensive history with the Connell Chamber of Commerce. Beginning back in 1983 when he was branch manager of Seattle First National Bank, Gene has continued to remain a member even after retiring from Community First Bank a few years ago, concluding a 36 yr banking career. During his tenure with the Chamber of Commerce, Gene served as president for 6 plus terms, served on various committees of Chamber sponsored events, and was an integral part in getting the Chamber involved with the Community Float. Throughout the years, Gene has served the community as a volunteer in various ways…Boy Scouts, Coyote Ridge Correction Center, Benton Franklin Council of Governments, Connell Parks & Recreation Board, North Franklin Development Board, Connell Community Garden, and Jr Miss Program to name a few.

Franklin County graphic

Franklin County Graphic

The Franklin County Graphic is currently owned by Kathy Valdez. Kathy has owned the Graphic since 2008 but has been working at the Graphic since the early 1980’s. As she recalls, she is the 6th owner to run and operate the Franklin County Graphic – she worked for the previous 4 owners. Kathy has been a typesetter, did newspaper layout, worked in the dark room developing pictures, and many other tasks – she said “I have done everything except the reporting.” The Graphic was first printed in 1955 and has been recording the “history” of the North Franklin communities ever since.

The Franklin County Graphic is the only active and legal-printing paper in Franklin County. It is the one place that “the Legals” are required to be printed in because it’s the only designated paper in the county. The Graphic used to be a paper that people would pay a subscription fee to receive it for the year. That changed when the Graphic became the only paper in the county to publish the Legals. It is now free to approximately 2,700 households that are in and around the area.

In addition to the Legals, the Graphic offers the community direct business advertisements, city news, local school information and sports articles, event information, letters to the editor, and interesting stories about things that are happening within the community as well as birth/wedding announcements, and obituaries (offered at no cost to the family). As the one employed reporter can’t be everywhere to report on everything, they are happy to offer space to publish articles submitted from community members. Currently there are 3 people who work for the Graphic – Kathy Valdez (owner/editor), Katherine Bingham- Trowbridge (reporter), and Becky McGuin (proof-reader). Kathy noted that social media has had a huge impact on not only the Graphic but printed newspapers in general. Not needing to wait for a daily newspaper, or in the Graphics case, weekly, news can now be received in the very moment. The Graphic wants to remain relevant to the local community though by being consistent with the services they are able to provide. Looking forward to retirement at some point in the future, Kathy hopes that someone with the same drive and ambition she had years ago will step up to keep the Graphic in operation, when the time comes.

Throughout the years, the Graphic has been a generous in-kind member of the Chamber of Commerce in advertising the various community events that the Chamber sponsors. In the last seven months, the Graphic has been a great partner in publishing the Chamber of Commerce “highlight” feature articles for our business members…THANK YOU!!

The Graphic office is generally open Mondays 9-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and Thursday 8-12 noon. They are typically closed Friday-Sunday. The Graphic is printed and delivered to the community on Wednesday’s for those who receive their mail by PO Box. Those that live in the rural country receive their Graphic on Thursdays. If you would like to submit an article or ad for print in the Graphic, the deadline is Mondays by 4pm. You can email them to franklincountygraphic@gmail.com The Franklin County Graphic office is located in at 346 S Columbia Ave in Connell. Their phone number is 509-234-3181.

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REH Co is a family farm owned and operated by Greg & Julie Hart just a few miles east of Connell. They incorporated in 1973 but their family has been in Connell for over 100 years. They are dryland wheat farmers. As farmers don’t run on “business hours” but rather on “Farmer hours” – so the schedule of the year and weather. Their harvest time is July/August and runs anywhere from 2 ½ to 4 weeks long. They have 2 full time employees who help with daily farming operations and 1 seasonal employee.

REH Co. expanded 2 years ago when Gregg took over farm ground and equipment from his cousin’s farm John Hart. That expansion nearly doubled what they farm yearly. They farm now approximately 6,500 acres a year. As mentioned this is a family farming operation, Gregg made the decision to come back and farm when he was in college and took over from his dad, Richard E Hart in 1987. REH got its name from the initials of Gregg’s dad Richard.

REH Co and Gregg & Julie Hart have always been great supporters of Connell and the community. They have been chamber members and supporters of events, support local businesses as much as they can, support the schools and their church throughout different events and also offer scholarships to juniors/seniors yearly. Gregg encourages his employees to be active in the community and support the community as well – as this community is what makes them enjoy and appreciate living here and he wants to give back, so others will follow the lead and do the same.

Gregg & Julie have raised their 3 kids here in Connell and now have 6 grandkids that they enjoy spending time with both here on the farm and going to visit them. They look forward to spending more time with the grandkids as the years go by.

michael jays

Michael Jay's Restaurant

Michael Jay’s is owned by David & Casey Hart. They bought the restaurant in 1979 from the John Moon Family when the business had only been running for 5 months. Originally the M&M motel and Michael Jay’s were owned together. David and Casey were in the process of moving to Spokane area and buying a different restaurant when they got the call to purchase Michael Jay’s – this gave them the opportunity to move to Connell and come back home where they both grew up.

Michael Jay’s got its name from the 2 original owners, as their middle names were Michael and Jay – David and Casey never changed it as it had a good ring to it. They are currently the only family dining restaurant and bar in Connell. They have an All-American full menu, have a banquet room for private events and meetings as well as they also do catering for events too on and off site. David & Casey both work at the restaurant and have 14 employees total – 9 of them are full time. The most employees they have had while running the restaurant is 35, but that was many years ago when they also had a band that played on the weekends.

Michael Jay’s offers local jobs as well as family dining and the only bar in town to locals and visitors. They have been huge supporters of chamber events over the years – sponsoring fireworks, Fall Festival, Harvest Festival (Wine & Brew), and the Chamber Banquet. As well as supporting the community in other capacities too. They enjoy their loyal customers and seeing them daily and visiting as well as meeting new people who are stopping by to visit. They aren’t looking to expand Michael Jay’s but rather looking forward to retirement – they do hope that someone young and eager will want to continue with the business and they can sell and enjoy the next part of their lives.

Michael Jay’s is open Tuesday- Thursday 6am – 8pm, Friday/Saturday 6am – 9pm and Sundays 8am – 3pm, Mondays they are Closed. They are located near the south entrance of town at 710 S Columbia Ave. If you want to make reservations for dining or for the banquet room or have questions on catering, the phone number is 234-8841.

connell inn & suites

Connell Inn & Suites

Connell Inn & Suites is owned by Valiant Hotels LLC under Jay Patel. They have been in the hotel/motel business since 1970. Jay and his son bought the motel – formerly known as the Tumbleweed Motel from Regina Janosky in April 2016. They are the 3rd owners to run the motel in Connell. When Jay bought it in 2016 they started with renovations to the rooms and exterior of the building as well, doing upgrades and many improvements. The motel is open 24 hours a day. They have rooms that offer 1,2, and 3 beds with amenities; microwave, refrigerator and cooktop.

Connell Inn & Suites has 2 full time employees. While they don’t plan to expand here in Connell – Valiant Hotels LLC does plan to continue in the hotel/motel business across the US. Jay saw that the motel needed to stay open and had a good customer base already and decided it would be a good investment.

The motel was built in 1946 with the front office, living quarters and front rooms by John & Velva Dougherty. The motel and the gas/service station which was originally a Texaco (now the Connell Gas & Food Mart) were operated and owned together by the Dougherty’s. In the 1950’s they built the pool house and then the back set of motel rooms. They sold it to the second owners Harlan & Regina Janosky in 1972. Janosky’s purchased the Annex buildings (across the street) in 1975 which had extra rooms and also housed the laundry/cleaning facility. They ran the motel and gas station until they sold the gas station to Quinton Booker in 1982-83. Then the motel, annex and pool were all sold after 44 years of ownership to the current and 3rd owners Jay & Valiant Hotels LLC in 2006.

Connell Inn & Suites is located at 433 S Columbia Ave. To make reservations you can go online to their website Connellinn.com or by calling 234-2081. They look forward to having new guests and continuing to make the upgrades and improvements to the rooms and motel to enhance every guest stay.

johnson agriprises

Johnson Agriprises

Johnson Agriprises has been a local farming operation for over a century. Since 1906, starting with Arthur Johnson, the farm has been in the family passing from generation to generation over the years.

Johnson Agriprises farms both conventionally and organically. The crops raised conventionally are wheat, potatoes, peas for seed, triticale, grass seed and corn seed plots. Their organic crops include onions, potatoes, asparagus, wheat, triticale and spelt. Johnson Agriprises employs approximately 20 people year-round with many more hired seasonally.

The Johnson Family emigrated from Sweden to California. In Sweden the farming season was relatively short because of how far north Sweden is located. When they moved to Yuba City, California, they had to farm 12 months of the year. Looking for a farming season that was longer than in Sweden but shorter than in California, after harvest in 1906, the James Johnson family loaded up their mules on to a train and moved from California to Eastern Washington. Orman and Gavin Johnson’s father was born here in 1910.
In the mid-1950’s, they received their first water to start irrigating some of their farm. They started growing potatoes in the mid-1960s. Following a few years later, they started growing potatoes for Lamb Weston. Johnson Agriprises continues to grow potatoes for Lamb Weston today. In 1971, the family corporation, Johnson Agriprises, was formed.

In 1999, they expanded into the organic crop market. It was and still is a challenging endeavor. Recently, Johnson Agriprises signed an agreement with Progressive Produce to supply the majority of US Trader Joe’s with organic mini-red, yellow, and purple potatoes for half of every year. Orman stated, “We are in partnership with Brad Bailie for that supply.” One of the biggest challenges they are faced with is the need for a more reliable water supply in the near future with Orman saying, “the Columbia Basin Project water supply is needed to replace our depleting wells.”

In recent years, an addition to their agricultural business was the purchase of Pacific Produce in Bruce. As their business continues to grow, so does their family history. Orman and Gavin Johnson are part of the 3rd generation; Frank and Tami Baxter (Orman’s daughter and son-in-law) and Nick & Kate Johnson (Gavin’s son and daughter-in-law) are a part of the 4th generation; and many grandchildren have established the 5th generation on this family farm. And if you didn’t already know, the Johnson families are big WSU Coug fans – many have stopped to take pictures at their “GO COUGS” potato shed on highway 26 between Othello and HWY 395 on the way to Pullman. Johnson Agriprises is located at 1010 S Johnson Rd Othello, WA.