Celebrating the contributions business women have made on Lopez Island
Published by the Islandsâ€™ Weekly
When community and coffee meet By Cali Bagby
Weekly / Journal editor
The Lopez Coffee Shop opened its doors on Friday, Oct. 2 with the sounds of foaming milk and the chit chat of locals and tourists alike. Owners Bridie Spreine and Theresa Lynch hope to not only serve delicious beverages but give people a warm place to hang out. “We’re hoping that it will build community and that people will come in and feel comfortable,” said Lynch. “And that other businesses in the area will feel welcome and have a consistent good cup of coffee.” If you drop into the shop you will find they are serving Lopez Island Coffee Roasters Organic Espresso roasted on island. The shop was previously called La Boheme under the ownership of Robert Herrmann. When Herrmann initially opened the shop Spreine worked for him. “Working for Robert ... Every interaction was so delightful,” said Spreine. “When he decided to sell in 2015 and asked if I wanted
the shop I said, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want.’” Robert taught Spreine that every person, customer, vendor, friend or family is an individual. “On Lopez if you’re willing to have a conversation that will challenge your beliefs, it strengthens you as a person,” said Spreine. “The coffee shop has done that for me over and over again.” In addition to working for Herrmann, years of working in customer service has helped Spreine learn a few tricks of the trade, including the knowledge that she “identifies more with customers than employees.” She takes this friendliness in addition to the same philosophy Herrmann had. Spreine and Lynch wanted to take his shop and seamlessly transition into their own place. They said besides a new name and maybe new paint, there will be few changes. “Robert had the same vision. He was very welcoming and pleasant,” said Lynch. “And there was always a sense of comradery with the people here and a good feel to it, which
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Staff photo/ Cali Bagby
The entrance of the Lopez Coffee Shop located next to Chimera and Holly B’s Bakery. owned business on the island you can see Spreine’s three kids at the coffee
45 Weeks Rd. Lopez Island, WA 98261 (360)468-2295
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shop too. They are just as involved in process, often asking if they should talk to
the customers or work on coloring books.
Celebrate Women’s History by Colleen S. Armstrong Publisher
Their footsteps echo in the corridors of history, but we rarely hear them. As a young woman living in the 21st century, I don’t often think about the sacrifices of those who came before me. I take it for granted that I can vote, achieve my goals,
survive on my own income, choose whether or not to start a family. I can dress how I please, I can voice my opinion, I can file for divorce. And on the isolated occasion that I do feel discriminated against because of my gender, I brush it off because it has no relevance. There will always be ignorant people in this world. It is my choice to
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is what we want to do.” Spreine describes her business partner as very strong, logical and a good troubleshooter. Lynch describes Spreine as creative, fair and full of wonderful ideas. She said they are a good fit and balance each other out because they are both dreamers but have the ability to slow down and think things out. “The coffee shop has been Bridie’s dream for five years. She has been dreaming, eating and breathing how to make it a reality,” said Lynch. For Spreine, the dream could not come true without the support of the island. “The community support has been amazing and having the kindness of Robert and Ron in the transition has been amazing,” said Spreine. “Even people who don’t drink coffee stick their heads in and say welcome to the community. “ And like other family-
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The Islands’ Weekly • Women in Business • www.islandsweekly.com • October 20, 2015 – Page 2
internalize it or move on to something else. But when I pause to really consider history, I feel an earnest and intense kinship with the women who pioneered my rights decades ago. They took the real risks. They were strong in the face of challenging deep social traditions. And the shocking part – and this is true for Civil Rights as well – is that it wasn’t very long ago that our cultural fabric was based on severe restrictions to human rights. As we salute our modern business women in this special section, we also pay tribute to those who laid the way for our success. What follows is a timeline of notable events in the history of women, courtesy of Encyclopedia Brittanica.
1800 The U.S. logs the highest birth rate worldwide, 7.04 children per woman. 1833 Oberlin Collegiate Institute (later Oberlin College) is founded in Ohio as the first American college to admit men and women on an equal basis. 1893 Largely through the efforts of suffragist Kate Sheppard, New Zealand becomes the first country to grant women the right to vote. 1900 British tennis player Charlotte Cooper wins the first women’s gold medal at the Olympics. 1904 In French law, women are SEE HISTORY, PAGE 3
Lopez Pharmacy – a voice for everyone By Cali Bagby
Weekly / Journal editor
Marge McCoy, pharmacist, business owner, mother and wife, said her number one belief at work is that the staff at the pharmacy put the patient first. “We are there to advocate for the patient and not to be bullied by insurance companies or pharmaceutical establishments,” she said. “We are the voice the patient needs.” She said a lot goes on behind the scenes for patients from prescription interaction research to contacting doctors. She calls her current crew stupendous. That crew includes her daughter Megan, who has essentially worked at the pharmacy her entire life. “I didn’t go to preschool I went to the pharmacy,” said Megan, who is now a technician. Marge’s son, Evan not only worked at the pharmacy but his life has impacted how his mother dealt with customers. Her interaction with customers facing medical needs changed when their son was born with critical lung issues. Marge told her son as he grew up, “I know it doesn’t help, but all the things I learned have helped with other people.” In addition to her children, Marge credits her husband with success with the business. Marge and Rick McCoy met in pharmacy school and started working together in 1978. While living in Denver they owned two pharmacies. They will celebrate their 40th anniversary in May. Marge said because of how much time she has spent with Rick between work and home that they have actually been together for 100 years. “He is truly my partner,” said Marge. “I wouldn’t be doing this without him.” Her other love is interacting with the community. Marge said some people come in just to talk or for a hug. She added that human interaction, among other things, is what is missed if you send out for your medications online – a tendency that is becoming more common in the digital age. Several years ago a workman came in with dust in his eyes looking for an eyewash. As he talked to Marge about his symptoms, she began to think he may have another issue and sent him to the medical center. It turns out that he was having a stroke.
HISTORY CONTINUED FROM 2
no longer permanent minors. 1908 A group of women storm the British Parliament demanding suffrage. Twentyfour of them are arrested. 1909 In New York, shirtwaist factory workers go on strike. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and the Women’s Trade Union League work together in support of the strike. 1911 Marie Curie is awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for the isolation of pure radium. 1912 Juliette Gordon Low founds the Girl Guides (later Girl Scouts) in the United States. By 1927 there will be a troop in every state. 1913 Norwegian women win the right to vote. In 1915, Danish women win the right to vote. 1914 In Russia, Princess Eugenie Shakhovskaya is the first female military pilot.
She flies reconnaissance missions. 1917 The United States Navy hires 12,000 women as clerks in the same job classifications and for the same pay as men. This is so that it can send men overseas. 1918 Canadian and British
Kimberly Lystrup, pharmacy assistant, has worked with the McCoys for two and a half years and has been inspired by their work ethic. “Rick and Marge make me feel like I don’t even work for them because they are busy working so hard for the community it feels like we are all working for someone else,” said Lystrup. As far as how times have changed for women in business, Marge said it used to be common for people to assume she worked in the cosmetics department. “But those times have passed,” said Marge. Now the pharmacy workforce is primarily female with four women and one man – Rick. women are granted the right to vote, although in Great Britain a woman must be over age 30. The U.S. government reports that 1.4 million women work in war industries. After World War I these women are forced out of industrial work. 1920
The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is signed into law, giving women the right to vote. Despite death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, Mary McLeod Bethune begins a voter registration drive for African American women. The University of Oxford
Staff photo/ Cali Bagby
From left to right: Megan McCoy, Marge McCoy, Kaylee Steinbruck and Kimberly Lystrup of Lopez Pharmacy. “The women keep this place organized. They run a tight ship,” said Lystrup. The women at the pharmacy say that they not only work well together, but learn great amounts from Marge. “She is an amazing teacher and role model with a huge amount of knowledge. You learn something very day,” said Kaylee Steinbruck, who has been a pharmacy technician for five and half years.
admits its first full-degree female students. 1945 More than six million
American women who entered the workforce during World War II are pushed SEE HISTORY, PAGE 4
Lopez Island Pharmacy
Remember to get your flu shot Open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed 12:30 – 1:15 for Lunch Closed Saturdays & Sundays (360) 468-2616, Fax (360) 468-3825 The Islands’ Weekly • Women in Business • www.islandsweekly.com • October 20, 2015 – Page 3
Women making a splash in the news by Colleen Smith Armstrong Publisher
The National Women’s Histor y Museum created an online exhibit entitled “Women with a Deadline: Female Printers, Publishers, and Journalists from the Colonial Period to World War I.” The following highlights excerpts from the exhibit, which can be found at www. nwhm.org. Some of the information was also taken from the New York State Library (www.nysl.nysed. gov/).
Women have been integral to the development of printing and journalism in North America since the earliest settlers landed in the New World. Less than two hundred years after Johannes Gutenberg’s 1450 introduction of the printing press, Elizabeth Glover crossed the Atlantic, bringing the first press to be operated in the British colonies. In the 1700s, women edited 16 of the 78 small, family-owned weekly newspapers circulating throughout the British
Thank you to the many women in business who make our community special!
colonies. Women worked as publishers, printers, typesetters, journalists and carved wooden engravings for illustration. In 1738, following the death of her publisher husband, Elizabeth Timothy became the first female newspaper publisher and editor in America. She operated the “South Carolina Gazette” in partnership with Benjamin Franklin, who had owned that press. Female journalists were among the first to record, comment on, and publicize the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. At the beginning of the 19th century, women were encouraged to submit their writing from home and to use pseudonyms. Nevertheless, determined women sought a place in this traditional male domain beyond the society pages of newspapers. The Civil War
opened many new opportunities to women, including jobs in mainstream journalism. By 1879, women comprised 12 percent of the journalists credentialed for admittance to the press galleries in the United States Capitol. In the early 20th century, newspaper tycoons Hearst and Pulitzer understood that many new readers of their penny papers were
HISTORY CONTINUED FROM 7
Women of the Weekly
out of their traditionally male jobs at the war’s end. 1975 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that women cannot be excluded from juries because of their sex. 1986 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action on the basis of race or gender. 2002 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the throne.
Michele Smith has 35-plus years of small business experience After running Tanbark Marine in Friday Harbor she now manages Spencer’s Landing Marina and operates Tanbark out of Lopez Co-workers say her organization and attention to detail are what make her a success If you stop by Spencers to see Michele you’ll be greeted by her two friendly dogs August and Shelby
(360) 468-4391 • Lopez Island
young female factory workers or domestic servants, and the two publishing magnates hired women to write for their papers. In 1937, Anne O’Hare McCormick was the first woman in “New York Times” history to sit on the editorial board. In 1958, Judith Crist was named drama critic of the “New York Herald Tribune,” the first woman to hold such
a title for a major daily. In the early 1960s, she became editor of the arts and editor film critic. Mary McGrory first joined the staff of the “Washington Star” in 1947 as a book reviewer. In 1975 she became the first woman to win a Pulitzer for commentary for her series of columns about the Watergate scandal.