Senator Murray greeting Chinook Shoppe staff

Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA) stopped by The Chinook Shoppe, Kalama High School’s new student-designed store located inside the Port of Kalama’s Mountain Timber Market. 

Murray, who made the stop during a tour of the new market, visited with Kalama School District CTE Director Cory Torppa, Kalama High School student Hailey Heeney (who works at the shop), and Kalama High School’s Career Connected Learning Specialist, Stacy Jones.

“The Port of Kalama has really created something special with the Mountain Timber Market on the waterfront - this is such an incredible space for small businesses to reach new customers and for people to come together, shop small, and enjoy something to eat,” said Senator Murray in a press release.

Opened in late November and developed by students and staff, the Chinook Shoppe features a range of Kalama and Pacific Northwest-themed products for sale including apparel, tumblers and mugs, keychains, greeting cards and other handcrafted items that have been created and/or designed by Kalama students. 

For many of the students involved, especially those in Kalama High School’s CTE (Career Technology Education) program, the store offers real-world marketing, engineering, manufacturing and small business experience (budgeting, product selection, pricing, inventory management, etc.).

“I think the biggest takeaway is that the shop is not just an idea anymore - it is real,” said Jones when asked to reflect on the Chinook Shoppe and its impact on student learning. “Student ideas are great, but the true test of those ideas is based on product sales. I do believe the majority of students who are heavily involved in this project are not only working at producing products, but to produce quality products that are sought after.”

Best sellers at ‘the Shoppe’

The Chinook Shoppe has been up and running for about two months, and, according to Jones, these are the top five best selling products (by gross sales):

  1. Basic sweatshirts (Kalama & Mountain Timber Market themed)
  2. Kalama tumblers
  3. ¼ zip sweatshirts
  4. T-shirts (Kalama & Mountain Timber Market themed)
  5. Metal Art 

The top selling products by quantity are the student-designed greeting cards and stickers. The newest products on the shelves are hats, beanies, and cutting boards produced by the Kalama Middle School woodshop program.

To all of our community members who have taken the time to come and visit The Chinook Shoppe during its first two months in operation, we thank you!