Blackberry House changes hands

Published on Thu, Aug 29, 2002 by Meg Olson

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Blackberry House changes hands

By Meg Olson

On Friday afternoon Marsha and Charlie Hawkins will pack up their church pews and their recipes and lock the door to Blackberry House for the last time. “We’ve really liked this place,” Marsha said a little wistfully. “We’ll miss everyone.”

The Hawkins, who started Blackberry House with owners James and Mary Rankin in fall of 2000, have been leasing the business with an option to buy since February 2001. In May they decided not to exercise their option to buy the business, and the lease expires September 1. “We couldn’t agree on a fair price,” Charlie said.

Blackberry House has been a family affair. “We both cook,” Marsha said. “Charlie makes the soups and mom and I make all the baked goodies.” Besides Marsha’s mother Kay Goff in the kitchen, sons Colin and Spencer and niece Jaclyn work the counter. Besides good coffee, homemade soup and blackberry cobbler, Blackberry house has become known for community gatherings, from poetry readings to music jam sessions.

Charlie, a former commercial fisherman, said they had found their niche in café life and would look into options for setting up shop somewhere else. “Don’t give up on us yet, we’re looking around,” he said.

Mary Rankin said Blackberry House was leased to Theresa Paris as of September 1 with an option to purchase. Paris has relocated from Bothell to the Blaine area and plans to follow the Hawkins lead of making Blackberry House a family business. “I have family here and have been coming to visit since I was a kid.”

Paris has worked as a personal chef and hopes to make some changes to the menu over time, adding daily specials and different baked items. “This has been kind of a dream of mine,” she said. “I love to bake. It’s my passion.”
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