The retailer Ginger Street moved to Rainier from downtown Olympia a year ago, a move that is not so surprising as it sounds.
For one, the owners of the business, Laura and Joe Cattuti, live in Rainier, and it’s where they launched the business after running a similar business outside New York City for about 20 years.
Wanting to be closer to their children brought them to Thurston County, and then they launched Ginger Street, first as a home-based business, then it moved to Fourth Avenue in downtown Olympia, then moved again to a site on Capitol Way.
But during their time in Olympia, downtown went through a transition, as more state offices and workers moved to other parts of the county.
Eventually sales became too sluggish, Joe Cattuti said.
“We got out in time to save our business,” he said.
Sales are about the same in Rainier, but the difference is that they have lowered their costs, both for their building and the cost to commute. It now takes them seven minutes to get to work.
The store, though, hasn’t changed.
Walk into Ginger Street and you find yourself surrounded by a little bit of everything: gifts, home decor items and antiques. Its best-selling items are black and white signs, emblazoned with cute or funny expressions, followed by kitchen towels, Laura Cattuti said.
Although they have moved, many Olympia customers still visit the store, and Joe Cattuti continues to have an Olympia presence: he sells blown glass as a guest vendor at the Olympia Farmers Market.
Another business in Rainier is the Main Street Cookie Co. Owner Joycelyn Zambuto has known the Cattutis since they moved to the area. She said Ginger Street’s arrival was a huge boost to the community. She called it fun and described the Cattutis as very personable.
“Not only are you shopping in a beautiful store, but they are wonderful people,” she said, adding that they send business to each other.
“We both cater to excellence,” Zambuto said.
Ginger Street Owners: Laura and Joe Cattuti
Location: 101 W. Binghampton St. S.E., Rainier
Type of business: retailer of gifts, antiques, home decor and other items. Joe Cattuti also sells blown glass at the Olympia Farmers Market.
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; Joe Cattuti is at the Olympia Farmers Market 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.
Advice to business owners: Have enough capital, continually learn from your business, and you have to like what you do, the Cattuti’s said.
Did you know? The Cattutis originally are from New York. Laura Cattuti ran a gift shop in Cold Spring, about an hour outside New York City, for 20 years before they moved to Thurston County to be closer to family in 2002.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org