By Pat Nelson
Valley Bugler Columnist
Hot coffee and spicy teriyaki are heating up the scene in downtown Woodland. The Red Leaf coffee stand is moving to larger quarters in the old Bank of America building at 740 Goerig Street, where it plans to open June 1. Remodeling is near completion, and attractive rockwork and landscaping has been added. There is a drive-thru lane, as well as additional parking in an adjacent lot.
Melissa and Ray Vandervaulk opened their simple Red Leaf espresso stand in Woodland in 2008. Since then, they have done so well that they have opened a second, much larger shop at 209 W. Main in Kelso. Asked why they chose to move from their original location to downtown Woodland, Melissa said that a Carl’s Jr. is coming to town to replace both the Shell station and their Red Leaf espresso stand. “It’s nice,” she said, “that now we will own our own land and another business cannot move us out.”
The larger location will allow Woodland’s Red Leaf to have room for an oven to bake its own goodies. The goal of Red Leaf is to create foods that taste good and are as organic and healthy as possible, and there is a big demand for their gluten-free offerings. Red Leaf’s new Woodland location will open at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 6:30 a.m. on the weekends and will be open until 6 p.m. daily.
Follow Red Leaf’s Facebook page for updates.
Just a half block away, near Dollar Tree and Los Pepe’s Restaurant, the Teriyaki Spice opened in April in the former Eager Beaver location at 631 Goerig Street. Owners are Norma and Delfino Luna and Norma’s brother, Martin Gonzales. The Lunas decided to open their own restaurant after working in teriyaki restaurants for the past nine years, and they are off to a busy start in Woodland. Teriyaki Spice is staffed seven days a week by family members. Hours are 10am-9pm.
Meats are charbroiled and grilled and served with white rice, brown rice or Yakisoba noodles and vegetables or salad. Dishes can be mild or spicy to suit the customer. With chicken, beef, pork, salmon, veggies and tofu, plus pot stickers, egg rolls, Hawaiian teriyaki burgers and french fries, there is something for everyone. Lunch specials are served 10:30am-2:00pm and include chicken teriyaki for $5.95, hot and spicy teriyaki for $6.50 and chicken and prawn teriyaki for $7.50, each served with a small drink.
Owner Martin Gonzales says the family is considering adding ice cream since the former Eager Beaver location has served up ice cream for many years.
Pat Nelson, is co-creator of three humorous and sometimes edgy anthologies: ‘Not Your Mother’s Book: On Being a Parent’ (Amazon.com & retailers); On Being a Grandparent; and On Working for a Living.