Fortuna Chamber Newsletter Q2 2024

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3 CALL US TODAY! TWO LOCATIONS SERVING ALL OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY L AND M AR K R E A L ES TA T E LANDMARKHUMBOLDT LANDMARKHUMBOLDT LICENSE #01857152 JESSICA VAN PELT-STRETCH Broker Associate LIC# 01204126 JEREMY STANFIELD Broker Owner LIC# 01339550 LORI BOOTS Sales Associate LIC# 02195950 ANDREA VARGAS-LOPEZ Sales Associate LIC# 02155917 ANTOINETTE L A ROCCA Sales Associate LIC# 01846571 DEVON BOLLAN Sales Associate LIC# 02080831 MOLLY WICKE Sales Associate LIC# 01983594 LAREESA STANFIELD Broker Associate LIC# 02070934 125 12th St. 725.2852 FORTUNA 334 Main St. 786.9300 FERNDALE Upgrade your home today with the best appliances from Whirlpool at Eel Valley Appliance. Upgrade your home today with the best appliances from Whirlpool at Eel Valley Appliance. 1001 Main St., Fortuna • 707 725-6734 • • Largest Whirlpool, Maytag and Kitchenaid dealer in the county • Competitive Prices • Delivery and service after the sale
4 Get all the latest news at (707) 725-5111 1784 Smith Lane, Fortuna, CA. 95540 Hours of Operation Mon - Sat: 7:30a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Start right, Start here. HOME IMPROVEMENT MADE EASIER!

Chamber Mission & Vision

The Fortuna Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization of individuals and businesses that join together to enhance economic growth through the promotion and support of our community, civic interests, and member businesses.

Our Members play a vital role in the Chamber’s future by participating in programs, events, and fundraisers that support and promote the Chamber’s mission. Our Mission is to provide businesses with essential resources, training, and networking opportunities to retain customers and strengthen their position within our communities.

We offer partnerships with other local organizations, networking, and leadership development. We also host a number of special events that provide our members the opportunity to communicate with other Chamber members.

Jenn Carnemolla, Ambassador Chair

Bailey Davy, Cornerstone Realty

Becky Giacomini, Honorary Ambassador

Carla Diaz, Cornerstone Realty

Heidi Rubalkava, North Coast Hitching Post

Kassandra Casselbury, Coast Central Credit Union

Katy Roe, Umpqua Bank Lexi Stowe,


Ambassadors! ON THE COVER CONTENTS 6 Welcome New Members 8 2024 Chamber Mixer Schedule 9 Member Spotlights 10 47th Annual Daffodil Show 11 Eel River Brewery Expands 12 2023 Fortuna Chamber Awards 735 14th Street FORTUNA, CA 95540 (707) 725-3959 ©2024 The Quarterly Newsletter is a publication of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce. Entire contents are copyrighted. No article may be reprinted without written permission.
Meet Your Chamber
The River Lodge and Riverwalk along the banks of the Eel River. Photo by Katy Roe.
Bicoastal Media
Inspire Mavis Amens,
Amens Saryn Kennedy,
Business Services
Kirstin Malone, Coastal
Zampardi, Non-Profit Mortgage
eXp Realty 1433 Broadway St, Eureka, CA 95501 (707) 443-7369 CA T-79023 OR 238790 Commercial, Residential and Office Cleaning Move in/out Cleans Deep Cleanings and Event Cleaning Post Construction Cleans 2023 Green Company of the Year Award (707) 617-0904
Lucretia Newman,

Welcome New Members

Stainbrook Handyman Services

A message from Jared:

My name Is Jared Stainbrook. I was born and raised in Fortuna. I service the Eel River Valley as well as the Eureka and Arcata areas. I’ve been in business for a year and a half. I have over 10 years experience in construction and building maintenance. I specialize in general residential maintenance and repairs. The big companies often do not have time to do small tasks, and that’s where I come in. I take pride in offering honesty, fairness, integrity, craftsmanship and a value to my customers. When I started this business, I saw a unique opportunity to serve my community with my skill set and provide a living for my son and I. What separates me from every other business is that I will always return your call and never leave your texts unread. So if you need a helping hand on your project that’s collecting dust, a light fixture and a faucet installed, or just some furniture assembled with no extra parts, please call or text 707-845-5469 and let’s tackle that to-do list together.

Quality Body Works

Quality Body Works has served so many Humboldtians over the years. We are located just one block south of Costco so most folks swing by when they do their shopping. We love the Chamber. We are excited to support it now, and well into the future. My grandpa opened Quality Body Works

in 1978. My uncle and dad took over in the 90s. For the last 6+ years I’ve been operating QBW. We try to honor the values grandpa lived by such as, treating people right, doing what you say, and standing behind what we do. His principles continue to live on at Quality Body Works. Technology continues to change, but our values will not.

Over the Ridge

Over the Ridge, established in 2022 is a mobile bar. Providing you with bartending services and mobile bar options. Our goal is to make every celebration special by creating a unique experience with custom garden to glass cocktails, mocktails, professional service, and a fun environment. We are committed to making your event one that you and your guests will remember.

Contact Ena for all inquiries. (707) 496-1202.

Platinum Detail

Platinum Detail is located at 1409 Main Street, Fortuna. Our team uses only the best products and takes care of your vehicles for the best experience, knowing the job was done right the first time! We


offer a variety of services with full details — inside only, outside only, touch ups, as little as you want or as much as you want. We welcome any type of vehicles, call us today for an estimate.

Satya Healing

When you combine multiple modalities such as sound healing, yoga, breath, guided meditation, reiki, herbalism, creative expression, and microdosing, you are amplifying the benefits that they all encompass. Giving you a deeper understanding of yourself, shifting perspective, re-wiring thought patterns and reactions. You will tap into your emotional, physical and psychological realms creating a new path to your overall health and well-being.

Welcome to your journey to deep self-love, compassion and total awareness of your spirit’s philosophy. If you are wanting to relieve stress, to connect with your inner child, open doors to joy and happiness, improve spiritual well-being, release tension, anxiety and calm the inner tides of depression, I am here for you.

Contact Satya at (707) 382-8827.

Styles Studio

Local friendly hair salon with a combined experience between us of 50 years of providing beauty services to our awesome county! Stop by and say hi! to Bobbi Jo and Jessica at the new shop located 2869 School St. Fortuna, CA or Call 707-682-6005

Northcoast Horticulture Supply

Re-opening Recap: Special thanks to everyone who came out and braved the weather during our grand reopening event. Although Mother Nature had different ideas, we still got together and had a lovely time getting to know our community. With our new spin on the store, we hope to be able to accommodate our community’s pet, farm, feed, nursery and homesteading garden supply needs. We invite you to stop in and say hello or give us a call. Currently we are on Winter Hours: Monday - 10am-5:30pm Tuesday-Friday - 8:30am-5:30pm Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday - Closed.

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Welcome New Members

Left in Stitches

Left in Stitches, Inc. is a local business in Fortuna which provides manufacturing in the garment industry. From prototyping to production sewing, classes and alterations.

Left in Stitches, Inc is located at 905 I St. Fortuna. To contact Left in Stitches, Inc. 707617-2540 Email:


Member Spotlights

Benchmark Realty Group has been voted “Best Of the North Coast” by the TimesStandard readers numerous times over the years. In addition, Tom Hiller was voted “Best Real Estate Agent” multiple times.

Tom has lived and worked in Humboldt County since 1974. He is a Broker/Owner of Benchmark Realty Group and has been a licensed Realtor® since 1994. In addition to holding a Broker’s license, he holds a Graduate Realtor Institute degree. Tom is an active member of the Humboldt

Association of Realtors® and a past President. He has chaired numerous committees within the organization. Tom served as a State Director of the California Association of Realtors for 12 years. He was the Humboldt Association of Realtors 2010 Realtor of the Year. Tom is the past President of

the Board of Trustees of the Consolidated Fortuna/ Rohnerville School District. He is also a long standing member of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, where he is known for his “spirited” door prize donations at Chamber Mixers.

“In my 30 years of Real Estate service, my greatest gift has been meeting and working with some of the best people on the north coast and beyond. I look forward to sharing my expertise for years to come.”

Submitted by Tom Hiller

2023 was a great year for Kent Johnson to promote Redwood Wishing Wells during the Rodeo and Apple Harvest. You can find his original work available locally at Miller Farms, Mad River Gardens, and Hensel’s ACE Hardware. Stop in the new Fortuna Senior Center to see his custom table and wishing well located in the lobby.

Call Kent at (707) 362-2808

to order your specialty or custom wishing wells, wood planters, benches and raised beds.

Submitted by Kent Johnson


1931 (707) 725-3316
210 12th St. Fortuna CA 95540

The 47th Annual Daffodil Show

The Fortuna Riverlodge is the perfect venue for Daffodils by the River. This year is the 47 th daffodil show for the Fortuna Garden Club. The free show is scheduled for Saturday March 23rd 10-4,

Sunday March 24th

11-3. This is the largest daffodil show North of San Francisco. If you grow a few daffodils, you can enter them in the show. Maybe you have blue ribbon flowers in your yard! Entries are accepted on Friday the 22 nd . There will be lots of people that will be happy to help you with your entries.

size, stems, petals.

There are so many different colors and varieties to see, the amazing diversity in shape, color and size of the daffodil, no one can walk away without the shocking realization that daffodils are not just yellow. You will see hundreds of these beautiful flowers all judged, and in a wide variety of colors,

The club has planted 500 pots with 3 bulbs in each pot. The potted daffodils will be on sale during the show for $20 each, while the supply lasts. We always sell out, so come early to purchase your pot of bulbs.

The show also features flower arrangements, in all sorts of categories. Miniatures no more than 5 inches, to much larger arrangements. Youth categories are very popular, with some

really wonderful arrangements created by kids from elementary school to high school age. Judges come from all over California to award plaques and ribbons in many different categories, of arrangements and cut daffodils.

For more information about entering please send an email to Maria Kernek glenmarheather@ (707)268-5560

Submitted by the Fortuna Garden Club

Quality Used Cars for Less $$$$$ Quality Used Cars for Less $$$$$ 195 S. Fortuna Blvd. Fortuna, CA (707) 725-6225 12TH & MAIN, FORTUNA • 707.725.2610 Certified Pedorthic ID #2262 FAMILY SHOES & REPAIR The store that still measures your feet Full Family Shoe Store Offering Personalized Help and Professional Fittings

Eel River Brewery Expands

February 20th, 2024, the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening of The Eel River Brewing Company’s new production facility. We started with commencing the event with a ribbon cutting, enjoyed a brief history of the brewery and facility tour, enjoyed a tasting of the wide variety that they brew, then finished with scrumptious snacks from their brewpub next door. Their state of the art production equipment was quite impressive. What an amazing addition to Fortuna.

Stop by the Eel River Brewing Co., located at 1777 Alamar Way, Fortuna, CA 95540, home of the first certified Organic Brewery,

photos CourtesY oF eeL rIVer breWerY
Tires • Auto • Trucks • Tractors Brakes • Shocks • Alignments 260 S. Fortuna Blvd. Fortuna, CA 95540 Lisa Hummel Owner Wendy Hummel Owner Phone: 707-725-4120 755 12th Street, Fortuna CA 95540 (707) 725-1094 TM Sarah Albin Broker/Owner, DRE #01951075
Build to edge of the document Margins are just a safe

Fortuna Chamber 2023 Awards

On Friday March 1st, the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce went a ‘lil country’ during the Annual Awards celebration and recognition of all the amazing local businesses who were nominated by the community for their outstanding service. Attendees were offered a delicious bbq dinner catered by Moonlight Catering, and tasty signature drinks mixed up by Over The Ridge Mobile Bar Co with alcohol provided by Humboldt Distillery, Old Growth Cellars and Eel River Brewing. Guests played a fun game of heads and tails, had a friendly competition of table-top decoration, captured the event at the photobooth and danced the night away with country tunes by Accurate Production. It was a night to remember! As this is the only Chamber fundraiser, a huge sincere thank you goes out to everyone who attended, sponsored, donated and volunteered at this event!

Fortuna Chamber oF CommerCe photos

2023 Award Winners and Nominees

Large Business of the Year

Forbusco – WINNER

Forbusco is a small, family-owned business since 1946. It was started by their grandfather and has stayed in the same family. They operate with 1820 employees who have been and are all locals of Fortuna. Most of their employees have been there for more than 30 years. In the past 2 years, two employees retired after more than 35 years of service. Plus, they have never laid anyone off.

Forbusco is most proud of their longevity. John Taylor states, “Being a long-time staple of the community.” They love being able to consistently serve the Fortuna community. For example: during the 92 earthquake and the Dec 2022 earthquake, they took plywood out to homes and businesses (in 2022 by 5:30 am!) to help curtail damage. Everyone who received plywood paid without being asked.

Future goals are to to keep the doors open and the lights on and keep everybody working so they can continue to serve the community as they have

for 77 years. This will also help them continue to donate to many community non-profits such as: Rotary, Kiwanis, schools, dinner fundraiser...and they also helped an individual build ADA ramp.

They are honored to be nominated for this very special award, as there are many good businesses in this community so standing out means they are doing something right.

Coast Central Credit Union – Nominee

Coast Central Credit Union started in 1950 and has been in Fortuna for 42 years. It is the only bank in Humboldt County that offers 7 days a week availability for their customers, which they take a lot of pride in.

For those of you who may not know, the Fortuna branch location has been under construction for the past several months so finishing that up this year will be something they are very proud of. The remodel is beautiful and adds a lot of value to the staff, customers and the community.

CCCU branches do a lot to give back to their communities by giving out a whopping $650,000 in total sponsorships and grants and their employees logged 63,000 volunteer hours. Each branch manager has their own budget to give back to their local community, so the Fortuna branch strives to foster kids, support sports programs and big brothers/big sisters. The Fortuna branch gives to local emergency response when in need for fire and public safety to keep this community safe. They also focus charitable efforts towards seniors as many of their cusLARGE

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Thank You!

For all your amazing donations. We couldn’t have done it without you!!!

2nd District Supervisor

Michelle Bushnell

• Hummel Tire • Clean Queen Meal Prep

• Clendenen’s Cider Works • Redwood Capital Bank • Coast Central Credit Union

• Double D’s Steak • Eel River Brewing Co. • Garcia’s Florist • Green’s Pharmacy

• Grundman’s Sporting Goods • Harbor

Lanes • Shafer’s ACE • Tri Counties

Bank • Owsley Electric • MendocinoHumboldt Redwood Co. • CW Wood


• Redwood Wrench • Fortuna Rodeo Association • Fire Chief Rus Brown

• Hoppy’s Fro Yo • Vern’s Furniture •

Redwood Empire Golf • Inspire Beauty

• Paul’s Live NY Pizza • Platinum Detail

• Powerhouse Garage • Victorian Inn •

Ferndale Pizza Co. • Sweetness & Light

• Farmers Daughter • Ferndale Golden

Gait Mercantile • Sunshine & Fog • JB

Fabrication • Fortuna Ace Hardware •

Hops In Humboldt • Bear River Casino •

Above All Cleaning Services • Cornerstone

Realty • Bodyworks • Humboldt Distillery

• Humboldt Grassfed Beef • J & G Lawn Care • North Coast Horticulture/Fortuna

Feed • Dorris & Daughter Catering •

Pape Machinery • 1st District Supervisor

Rex Bohn • Root 101 • Sport & Cycle • Humboldt Hippy Cup Coffee • Landmark

Realty • Hensel’s ACE • Tuyas • Like

Nobody Else Day Spa • Subway • Main Street Coffee Co. • Famous Amens • Gill’s by the Bay • Taco Loco • The North Coast

Journal • L’s Kitchen • Exp Realty Lucretia

Newman • Trish’s Out of the Way Cafe • Humboldt Sweets • Jitter Bean Coffee Co

• Forbusco Lumber • Beverage Plus

tomers span across multi-generations. Their employees also have a sense of volunteerism in their personal lives by volunteering for sports, dance, and schools, etc.

The Fortuna Branch Manager, Laura Morris was recently awarded the 2023 Employee of the Year out of 250 candidates. She credits this to being able to lead by example during the natural disasters her community has experienced over the past few years. Being nominated is an honor but it was a team effort, they all help the town that helps them! Humboldt Redwood Company – Nominee

Humboldt Redwood Company started when they purchased 225,000 acres with 1 sawmill in 1998. Then in 2008 Mendocino Redwood Company purchased 208,000 acres and another sawmill which came with the ability to create biomass energy.

Both companies adopted policies to retain every old growth redwood tree possible. They believe in full transparency so offer tours of the sawmills or forests. They practice selective timber removal where each tree is marked, which is expensive, yet a better way to manage the forest environmentally. Future goals are to continue to monitor fuel reduction to help prevent massive fires.

Fortuna is hugely important to their business –they support local community and have Community Action Teams, which each have a budget where they take requests from both Counties – Focus on people, seniors, youth activities, events, and land trusts. On a bigger scale, they have discretionary giving to communities. Fisheries, CalTrout, Trout Unlimited, Grant Funding for new logs back in Creeks, Fire Departments for equipment and supplies, educational programs for kids to learn about the forest, Chamber of Commerce’s, and Mattole Fire Safe Councils. Also, HRC donated $50,000 and lumber to help open the Fortuna Open-Door Clinic.

This nomination is huge for them. That someone else acknowledges that they are treating the land right, operating sustainably and that there are benefits to the community for having us here.

Green Business of the Year

Above All Cleaning - WINNER

Above All Cleaning Services began in March of 2022 and does residential and commercial cleaning. They are often the last call before US Department of Health and Human Services starts for the elderly. They specialize in caring for their elderly clients

Fortuna Chamber 2023 Awards

with a compassionate, gentle demeanor and take on the deep cleaning when needed.

Helping the elderly was the motivation for starting the business. All their dedicated employees are vetted and undergo drug and background checks. They also specialize in ’move in, move out cleaning,’ so that homes will look their best before going on the market. They clean event venues, office spaces, banks, and much more.

They are proud of how far they have come since starting 2 years ago. Being able to provide amazing service to the community, including Humboldt County. In the future, they hope to obtain the certification to clean special circumstance situations so they can expand their operation to further help the

community of Fortuna.

Above All Cleaning offers case by case rates for clients with Breast Cancer who are either currently being treated or are survivors. They also offer case by case pricing for many of their elderly clients. Additionally, they help other businesses all over the world through podcasts and coaching and mentor other cleaning companies.

They are grateful for these nominations! It’s not just the owner, it’s what it would mean to the employees who have worked so hard. To be known for their hard work and not just “Betty with a bucket” is priceless.

ERV Community Foundation- Nominee

The Eel River Valley Community Foundation was formed with the purpose of taking responsibility of the running and the maintenance of the Gene Lucas Center on Newburg Road from the McLean Foundation who funded and built the Center starting in 2018.

ERV is host to many non-profits throughout the county that come to Fortuna to run their different

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Fortuna Chamber 2023 Awards

programs. In fact, First Five has the largest play group in the county located at the GLC. ERV feels their most important achievement is having the ability to provide welcoming spaces for so many small and large non-profits to operate their programs.

The wetlands in the back of the GLC is host to beautiful walking trails with new interpretive signage coming soon. Humboldt Senior Resource Center uses the commercial kitchen to run their successful nutrition program for the many seniors in the area.

ERV is so happy to be nominated and recognized by Chamber for being able to serve the community and all of Humboldt County by providing a unique, beautiful campus that welcomes all.

Humboldt Distillery – Nominee

Humboldt Distillery was nominated for Green Business of the Year due to their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and for having culture of being environmentally friendly.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Famous Amens – WINNER

tears, just not in the jars!

This community has been incredible to start a business in, it supports them and they support it. They give back in many ways by donating their products or dedicating their time volunteering. They are very involved in the Chamber’s of Commerce and are helping recharter the Van Duzen Grange. They also support local youth programs. In the future they hope to continue to grow so they can get more involved and serve within the community more. Last year they won the award for Home Based Business of the Year and see this nomination as proof that the community is loving what they have to offer and continue to support them and their small business.

Small Business of the Year Powerhouse Garage – WINNER

Famous Amens was started a little over two years ago by a husband and wife, Colt and Mavis, after discovering, when smoking meats for various food companies, that a lot of premade spices were loaded with ingredients that never really made it to the pal ate of consumers. Colt was using close to a cup of these seasonings yet could never taste them on the finished meats. So the experimentations began!

The first ingredient, garlic, is what inspired the logo and the name Famous Amens came when a friend asked for “some of that famous Amens seasoning.” From experimenting with garlic, he learned that he could modify and enhance other spices to create delicious flavor profiles while reducing the amount of seasoning needed. Now, every ingredient used in their seasonings is hand touch to bring out the best while using local quality ingredients. This venture has been a lot of blood, sweat and

Powerhouse Garage has been in Fortuna for a year and 8 months but the owners have been in the automotive industry for 20 years, plus 40 years for a combined experience level of 60 years! They are a small business operated by a husband and wife with 1 employee. They focus on automotive repairs of 4X4, offroad vehicles primarily but do work on all vehicle types. They provide quality products and labor at a reasonable cost which keeps their customers coming back.

The past year has shown quick growth so they are working on finding ways to continue to grow while still supporting the community. They want to keep the quality of work and level of service while gaining new customers and see new faces! Powerhouse Garage graciously donates to schools, supports the Jr. Rodeo saddle, parks & recreation youth programs, softball, the District 2 Rodeo and AutoXpo. They strive to give back to kids programs whenever possible.

Last year they received the award for New Business of the Year and are very proud of that and for being nominated again this year for Small Business of the Year. These nominations keep them


motivated to continue to provide excellent service to their customers and this community. They know that there are other great businesses including automotive repair in Fortuna so being recognized by the community is special.

Non Profit of the Year

Miranda’s Rescue – WINNER

Shannon Miranda has been saving animals all his life but officially incorporated Miranda’s Rescue in 1995. They often work with other organizations and non-profits. They work with kids who are on probation and help kids who need their 15 hours of high school community service hours.

They also work with Making Headway with individuals who have brain trauma, as well as children with autism with the Diane Cathey center.

They are very proud of the fact that they have saved thousands of animals and helped save the animal population by spay and neutering. They love Fortuna. Everyone calls this the wonderful friendly city and it really is. They are glad to be doing business here with their Shelter and Second Hand Store.

Miranda’s hopes to continue to save as many pets as they can and continue to do community outreach through the second hand store. They donate items when people lose their homes to fires or natural disasters. Earning this nomination feels awesome! They are thankful to be recognized for their work and it would be amazing to win an award for that dedication and passion.

Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department – Nominee

Originally known as Company 2 “Teddy Bear Drive”, Santa’s Sleigh Service was started in 1987 by Dave Ansley, a retired member of Fortuna Fire Dept., Co.2. Santa starts his sleigh service by being chauffeured (via fire truck) to the homes of over 15 children who are disabled or have special needs and are unable to go out to see Santa.  Santa spends time with each of these children giving them lots of love and attention, a teddy bear and a candy cane.

In 1991, Company 2 added a second phase to the

program. Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with some helper elves visit all of Fortuna’s senior care homes where they spend time with the elderly, giving each one a stuffed animal, a candy cane and a lot of love, something these folks look forward to and truly enjoy.

The third and largest phase of Santa’s Sleigh Service began in 1998. It involves helping families in the community who would otherwise not have Christmas. This phase of the program is very individualized in that each family is visited by a volunteer to find out the individual needs of each child. Each child receives gifts including warm clothing and toys.

Santa makes his deliveries on Christmas Eve Day via fire truck and convoy.  In addition to the children’s gifts, each family receives a box of food consisting of canned food that has been collected from the local Elementary and High Schools, a canned ham or turkey, 10 pounds of potatoes, rolls, butter, juice, and pie. Santa’s Sleigh Service brings Christmas to over 150 families in the community of Fortuna.

ERV Community Foundation – Nominee

ERV Community Foundation was nominated for Green Business of the Year for their conservation efforts and the beautification of the property at the GLC.

Hospitality Business of the Year Peppers – WINNER

Pepper’s is one of 7 restaurants owned in a portfolio of local food establishments here in Humboldt County. The owner has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years and takes pride in each of these locations. In Fortuna alone, this portfolio of restaurants employs 110 Fortuna residents. Pepper’s has a dedicated and loyal following where the staff build relationships and friendships with their customers and often refer to them as family. The employees at

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Fortuna Chamber 2023 Awards

Pepper’s have been there for many years and enjoy a culture of loving where they work, and who they serve everyday.

One area that is very important is being able to foster great employees, support their families and connect with the community. Fortuna is considered home so it has special meaning and is where a lot of the charitable work is dedicated towards. Pepper’s donates to and volunteers for many local youth programs, hosts the weekly Kiwanis meetings, supports the Elk Club, supports Veterans, and sent free food to the hospital during COVID.

Pepper’s underwent a remodel that was finished at the end of February that has a fresh 50-60’s theme to it. The hope is that this new look will bring a smile to their customers. Someday Pepper’s hopes to be able to offer a place for kids to be able to meet and do positive activities as a safe learning hangout.

Earning this nomination means a great deal to the staff. Ashley, who has been a server since she was 16 and is now in a leadership roll, said the people who come to eat there make her happy and the staff feel the same way. Ashley said she has a great crew with the same sentiments as her and it is an honor to know that the community feels that way about them.

Bob’s Footlongs - Nominee

Bob’s Footlongs started in Fortuna in 1949 out of a trailer until it found its home in its current location in 1974. It was closed for about a year after COVID and reopened January 9, 2023. The owners take pride in quickly serving great quality local ingredients. They tend to employ local students in an effort to mentor them and help them grow.

Bob’s Footlongs received the award for Best Burger & Hotdog and were thrilled when they sold out of ribs in less than 4 minutes. They are very proud to watch kids in their community learn how to work for the first time. They are also happy that they have been able to continue an iconic restaurant in town and are thankful for the support they have received! They hope to continue to grow their business so they can keep giving back to the youth of Fortuna.

Bob’s Footlongs sponsors the Jr. Rodeo, Fortuna High School sports programs, youth basketball, the Lions, and anything youth related as they are our


Being nominated as Hospitality Business of the Year is flattering and shows that hard work pays off. They are happy to know that their customers get to have a great experience when they stop by for a bite to eat great quality food.

North Coast Hitching Post – Nominee

The first wedding held at the North Coast Hitching Post was in August of 2020. Heidi had a coworker whose daughter was wanting to get married but because of covid couldn’t secure a venue. Heidi and her husband offered their meadow, and the rest was history! After that first wedding, it completely changed her and her husband’s view on their property. In 2021 they were a fully permitted wedding and event venue. They went on to win the 2022 best outdoor wedding venue and the 2024 listeners choice award.

Starting this business gave them a better picture of their community and how great it is. Fortuna is such a wonderful small community, and it made their world so much brighter and bigger by the people they have met along the way. Whether it’s clients or vendors or attendees, it pleases their heart to have happy and satisfied customers by being able to help with even the smallest of details on such an important day for so many.

They want to make this the best experience for their customers. They host all kinds of events, from planning a celebration of life, a wedding, or a birthday party. They do it all.

This nomination has been so inspiring. They love what they do and are very passionate. Winning this award would be the icing on the cake for them!

Community Business of the Year

Fortuna Garden Club - WNNER

The Fortuna Garden Club has been serving the community for 100 years by helping to beautify the Fortuna Area in many ways! Their largest contribution is the planting and maintaining of the 31 corner bulbs in Fortuna with funds from the community and their fundraising efforts. They also


plant trees on Arbor Day throughout Fortuna.

The Club offers appreciation to the Police and Fire Departments by giving them annual gift cards from local businesses in Fortuna. The Club has hosted the annual Daffodil Show for 47 years as a gift to the community and countywide flower lovers.

They award two $1,000.00 yearly scholarships to our local high school students pursuing their education in the Agricultural and related horticulture fields.

The Garden Club is thrilled to be nominated and recognized by the Chamber after 100 years of supporting Fortuna through the beautification of the city.

Coast Central Credit Union – Nominee

Coast Central Credit Union was nominated for Community Business of the Year for all their dedicated work in and contributions to our community.

Cornerstone Realty – Nominee

Cornerstone Realty is a local real estate office that has been around for almost 20 years and is focused on community and is always involved. It started as an employee, not even an agent but has grown into an office under new leadership over the past three years that dedicates a lot of time and resources to giving back to the community. Cornerstone loves supporting the Humboldt County Fair, the Annual egg hunt with local businesses which will be the third year this year.

Being in Fortuna means a lot, this Community gives them business, and they provide support to the community. Agents go to work there because of the community involvement, it’s part of the job. It is special to know that each agent contributes to sports, youth programs, serves on boards, and other philanthropic efforts. This year Cornerstone is focused on having a successful egg hunt, to stay positive in a challenging market, continue to grow and be optimistic.

Some of the community work Cornerstone participates in are the chili cook off, library days, 4h, sponsor the CCC stocking stuffer event, Santa’s sleigh, Fortuna Rodeo sponsor, youth sports, Kiwanis, both rotaries, chambers of commerce, Humboldt Association of Realtors and Cares for Youth.

Being nominated for Community business of the year feels validating after taking over as a new owner to continue the success of the business. It

feels good that the community recognizes them as a successful business.

Innovation Award

Humboldt Distillery – WNNER

Humboldt Distillery is a small manufacturing company that is certified organic that makes vodka, rum, whisky, and brandy. They have been in business since 2012 and have eight employees that wholesale their products all over California. They plan to expand out of California more and just got their products into Arizona and are working on getting into Nevada.


They are happy to have gained many followers local, state and out of state. Their organic vodka was nominated as the best seller in California. They have also received several other achievements in their respected fields.

They love doing business in Fortuna, it is convenient to live and work in the same community as it cuts down on their carbon footprint. Fortuna has so many good and friendly people with a great local government, a thriving and supportive business community who are very accommodating.

As a part of their culture, Humboldt Distillery supports a lot of local non-profits by donating items or sponsoring events and they especially dedicate themselves to help raise awareness for local needs. They are an active member of the CCKA, California Coast Keeper Alliance, which keeps west coast waters fishable, drinkable, and swimmable. Being nominated for these awards shows them that their efforts are being noticed and they are very appreciative of it.

Logan Olson – Nominee

We couldn’t get an interview with Logan but we learned he crafts putters for golfers locally in Fortuna and the No.1 golfer in the world, Scottie Scheffler, used one of his clubs when he won the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

He quotes on “I like to tell people I don’t make putters, the canvas of a putter just gets

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Humboldt Distillery

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Fortuna Chamber 2023 Awards

in my way. I try to make rocket parts, or jewelry, or a Swiss watch. It just happens to be on that platform of a putter. Sure, like many, myself absolutely included in this, we are re-imagining concepts that have been around for quite some time now. But it’s in the way I try to approach these problems that I believe creates my difference.

“From start to finish, I put my thumbprint on this process in my own unique way. It’s a twist on what’s expected and executed in my own language. The deeper you look, the more you find.”

Lost Coast Laser- Nominee

Lost Coast Laser started in 2017 with two families involved with the idea and manpower to create unique items in many ways for the consumer. They also do not shy away from trying to design new products based on custom buyer requests. Their goal for the future is to expand their inventory in many different ways.

They also started a Makers Market to encourage others to showcase their skills. Lost Coast Laser is present at many craft fairs and donates to many causes throughout Humboldt Co.

They appreciate being nominated to showcase that, other new businesses, like them, can be noticed and supported.

Milestone Award

Wyckoff’s Plumbing – WINNER

Howard Wyckoff and his brother Leo Murray grew up in Hayward, CA. They started working as plumbers at a very young age . It wasn’t until after World War II that they relocated to Humboldt Country to become dairy farmers but soon after saw a greater opportunity in the Plumbing Industry. Howard grabbed the chance to start a plumbing company and called Leo to join him.

Wyckoff’s Plumbing was then started with the original store on Main Street which is now Beverage Plus. Wyckoff’s plumbing opened the doors September 1, 1948. Eventually Howard wanted to step away from the business so Leo Murray bought the business from his brother. Two days after Leo purchased the company it was completely

destroyed by a fire. Leo began to rebuild and geared his business towards the do-it-yourselfer. Carrying plumbing, hardware, electrical supplies and equipment. In 1978 Leo moved Wyckoff’s Plumbing to the current location where he built a solid reputation for quality and customer service. Opening a second retail location in Redway, CA where they offer the same customer service and products to the Southern Humboldt area. Leo Murray’s grandson Ryan Reback is now the owner of Wyckoff’s Plumbing. Ryan followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and began working in the store at the young age of 14 where he started off cleaning the store, stocking the shelves and helping customers. Leo was sure to make Ryan earn his place in the business so he started him at the bottom and made him work his way up. Wyckoff’s Plumbing has evolved from its 1948 business model of just one Plumber to operating two fully stocked retail stores, a septic tank pumping business and eight highly qualified plumbers. We strive to provide quality service at a reasonable price to help the do-it yourselfers be successful in all projects.

Here is to another 75 years!

AM Baird Engineering - Nominee

AM Baird Engineering and Surveying, opened in 1978, starting with two engineers and a staff of about nine. They have been located here locally in Fortuna for over 45 years and have not only taken part in many projects in Fortuna, but also taken part in projects spreading about a 2 1/2 hour radius around Fortuna. Allen was raised locally, moved away with his wife for a few years, and ended up coming back to open AM Baird Engineering and Surveying. In this time they’ve completed over 10 different hotel projects, multiple apartment complexes, fire stations, vineyards, the Senestraro unit subdivision, and the Forbusco Bridge.

His business has won the business of the year award twice and Allan has also received a citizen of the year. He has volunteered on the HSU Alumni Board, served as state president for the Native Sons of Golden West, served as president for the Fortuna Chamber, Fortuna Rotary, Highway 36 Association, Rohnerville Recreation, and participated in the Kinetic Sculpture Race representing Rotary.

A-1 Radiator - Nominee

A-1 Radiator began in 1955 by Bob Cox. Dale Waddell started in 1973 and bought the business in 1980. He is most proud of his wonderful customers. His future goals are retirement! 50 years

MILESTONE AWARD Wyckoff’s (75 Years)

is long enough!! He plans to play with his dog and take his wife to lunch and do a little fishing. He is the President of the Fortuna Pistol Club, a member of the Lions Club International, is the Fortuna Fire Dept Assistant Chief and a Training Officer for 18 years. This nomination is a shock, but a happy one!

AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR Kassandra Casselbury CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Becky Giacomini
•Parker Hoses & Fittings •Filtration •Hydraulics •Pneumatics •Seals •Instrumentation
496 & Tractor Oil
Cylinder Repair. 750 Riverwalk Dr FORTUNA 707-298-1918 www. westcoasthydraulics .us Tom Hiller, GRI Broker/Owner DRE#01174002 | Since 1994 BENCHMARK Realty Group ‘All the listings. All the time.’ (707) 496-4557 Celebrating 30 years of Real Estate Services to the Eel River Valley
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