Nash’s Organic Produce closed its farm store off Sequim-Dungeness Way on Feb. 1. Owners said the location, rising minimum wage expenses, and last year’s bad weather all impacted their decision. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Nash’s Organic Produce closed its farm store off Sequim-Dungeness Way on Feb. 1. Owners said the location, rising minimum wage expenses, and last year’s bad weather all impacted their decision. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Nash’s closes Farm Store in Dungeness

Organic Farm to continue wholesale, market operations

After reducing its store size in December, owners of Nash’s Farm Store, 4681 Sequim-Dungeness Way, opted to close the storefront last Saturday.

A Facebook announcement went out on Jan. 28 about the decision to close on Feb. 1.

“We thank all our customers for eight years of healthy food and great community,” wrote Patty McManus, co-owner of the store with husband Nash Huber.

“Words can simply not express the gratitude we feel for those of you who supported our store ever since we opened and who feel that local, organic food is important.”

The farm’s grocery store opened more than eight years ago off Sequim-Dungeness Way.

While the storefront is closed, McManus said in an interview that the farm remains operating and they are investigating the option of a farm stand at its packing shed west of the farm store, 1865 E. Anderson Road.

If the farm stand opens across from the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse, McManus said it’ll be limited only to Nash’s products.

Nash’s Organic Produce will continue to produce organic vegetables and grain and flour for wholesale and individual sales, she said.

Myla Gloor-Nelson helps a customer last week inside Nash’s Farm Store in Dungeness prior to it closing on Feb. 1. She worked at Nash’s for 12 years starting at its old farm stand. Gloor-Nelson said she wasn’t certain she’d have a job after Saturday and was uncertain where she’d shop next. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Myla Gloor-Nelson helps a customer last week inside Nash’s Farm Store in Dungeness prior to it closing on Feb. 1. She worked at Nash’s for 12 years starting at its old farm stand. Gloor-Nelson said she wasn’t certain she’d have a job after Saturday and was uncertain where she’d shop next. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Location struggles

McManus reiterated that the Dungeness store location “just didn’t pencil out.”

“Somehow, coming those few extra miles was a bridge too far for many people,” McManus wrote, “and while the tourists made the summer pencil out, the colder months became a challenge impossible to meet over the long term.

“Also, organic is now available in so many big box stores that can purchase in large quantities, that customers could get it without driving that extra distance. All these things worked against us.”

In an interview she said that increases in minimum wage in recent years made it difficult to keep the store open, too.

“We’ve cut back to a skeleton of our former selves,” McManus said.

Last February’s deep snow was another major factor in the storefront closing as well.

Migrating birds ate 10 acres of spring crops for the first time costing the business about $150,000 in produce, McManus said.

Supporters provided more than $41,000 in an online campaign to support the farm.

“The winter last year rippled through the whole year even after the public stepped up,” she said. “It’s tough. (The crops) were never disturbed by birds before.”

As the snow melted, birds ate the tops of the vegetables because they were the only food source visible at the time, McManus said last year.

Patty McManus, co-owner of Nash’s Organic Produce, helps clean sunchokes on Jan. 31 inside the farm’s packing shed. The farm will continue operations, but its farm store closed on Feb. 1. McManus said they’ve “cut back to a skeleton of our former selves” due to a rise in minimum wage, declining sales and bad weather last year. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Patty McManus, co-owner of Nash’s Organic Produce, helps clean sunchokes on Jan. 31 inside the farm’s packing shed. The farm will continue operations, but its farm store closed on Feb. 1. McManus said they’ve “cut back to a skeleton of our former selves” due to a rise in minimum wage, declining sales and bad weather last year. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Building, markets

The former farm store will go on the market in the near future, she said. It includes about two-thirds of an acre of land.

An announcement will go out soon to newsletter subscribers and social media followers about hardware sales from the inside of the building

For now, Nash’s Organic Produce is only appearing at one farmers market, at the U-District in Seattle from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.

A decision to participate at the Sequim and Port Angeles Farmers Markets is tentative, McManus said.

“We gave this business our best shot, and we feel that we raised awareness of many important health and food issues, as well as providing clean food for our community,” she wrote.

“Thank you all so much for supporting us. This has been difficult letting the Store go. We don’t know where to shop ourselves now, and we will miss the relationships we have had with all of you. Please know that you are truly appreciated.”

Find more information online at www.nashsorganicproduce.com or by calling 360-681-7458.

Editor’s note: Reporter Matthew Nash has no affiliation with Nash’s Organic Produce.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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