Thursday, June 20, 2024

In the heart of downtown Leavenworth, new shop owners create a respite from the crowds

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The shops on the downstairs floor of 217 9th Street in downtown Leavenworth are not an easy find for the untrained eye. For new shop owners Sara Jones and Desiree Stein, that’s preferred.

“We of course love the tourist traffic, but we are building all of this so that we as locals have a place to go and meet with our friends and sit down and hang out. It's a little bit hidden, not everybody knows about [it],” said Stein.

Jones and Stein are the owners of Shake Your Doughnut and Art of the Board, a gourmet eatery and beer and wine bar. Shake Your Doughnut opened in December in the space that used to be occupied by Pika Provisions. Although hidden, the doughnut shop had no trouble getting business.

“We'd be completely sold out at one o'clock because [people would] come in and just buy them all and leave, and that was with no advertising,” said Jones.

Shake Your Doughnut is intended to be a spot for locals to grab their morning coffee and doughnut, offering creative and classic doughnut options and a full espresso menu. 

Each specialty drink, whether a latte or milkshake, receives a deep-fried mini doughnut on top as an ode to Shake Your Doughnut’s origins. Stein’s business originally sold deep-fried doughnuts out of a food truck on the West Side pre-pandemic. 

After moving to the area full-time and meeting Jones, the pair decided to reopen Shake Your Doughnut as a brick-and-mortar.

“Sara and I are super compatible. She's very even-keeled. I'm super distracted by shiny objects and feathery lamps, and so it was a good partnership,” said Stein.

When the opportunity arose to rent multiple spaces in the building, Jones and Stein saw an opportunity to add another space for people to gather later in the day.

Art of the Board will serve gourmet food such as fondue, paninis, and charcuterie. It will also have a beer and wine bar. In lieu of standard table seating, Art of the Board has comfy couches and chairs for people to stay awhile.

While serving different purposes, both Shake Your Doughnut and Art of the Board share a common denominator: art. Stein and Jones hung interactive art in Shake Your Doughnut to engage younger customers. Kinetic artwork by Yaacov Agam moves with the viewer; it is another piece of art that incorporates augmented reality. Customers can hold their phone up to the art on the wall and see it come to life through the screen.

“For kids, it's a fun introduction to art,” said Stein.

The walls of Art of the Board are also covered in artwork from Stein’s personal collection, including pieces by artists such as Vladimir Kush.

“Art is in everything that you do, and when we talk about Art of the Board, you'll hear that it's in the food. It’s in the experience. It's in that look and feel,” said Stein.

On the day of Shake Your Doughnut’s grand opening in January, Stein and Jones arrived to find a water leak coming from upstairs. The duo pivoted to operating Shake Your Doughnut out of Art of the Board’s space, which has delayed Art of the Board’s opening day. Shake Your Doughnut plans to reopen in a space across the hall. For updates, visit Shake Your Doughnut’s Instagram or Facebook page or call (509) 404-3110.


Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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