ROSBURG — A family with local roots has revitalized an important Grays River Valley resource, after reopening the Rosburg Store in October, and the community has welcomed them with open arms. The Western Wahkiakum County store provides some of the only provisions for sale between Naselle and Cathlamet.
“People have been real happy,” said co-owner Landen Miller, as he put together a grilled chicken BLT for a customer recently, in the remodeled kitchen at the store.
Miller and his brother Ed, and Ed’s wife Roni, went in on the venture together. The family has had a hunting and fishing lodge in Rosburg for around 15 years.
“Every year we come down for elk, deer and clamming seasons,” said Miller, adding that their father grew up in Cathlamet and went on to be the director of the Elochoman Fish Hatchery back in the 1950s and 1960s. “We noticed the Rosburg Store had been for sale for a few years before deciding to purchase it and start this little venture. We all decided that since we enjoy being down here during the hunting seasons, why not be where you enjoy being, as well as work in the area?”
The store, which received a makeover on the inside, with new blonde wood paneling, features snack foods, general groceries, household necessities, animal food, lottery, beer and wine, as well as offering hunting, fishing and razor clam licenses.
And with Roni minding the store out front, Miller spends much of his day making food in the kitchen. Miller, who graduated with a degree in culinary arts from the Art Institute of Seattle, has put together a small menu of made-to-order dishes, including burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, deep fried items like fish and chips, crispy shrimp and chicken strips.
“I will also be doing weekly specials of varying dishes once we get ourselves situated and get a feel for the flow,” said Miller, who emphasized that all the menu items will be made almost entirely from scratch. “Burgers will be meat ground in-house, sauces and dips will be made from scratch, as well as the crispy shrimp, fish and chicken strips.”
In the morning hours, Miller will have breakfast items available, like sandwiches, biscuits and gravy and breakfast burritos, with the biscuits made daily from scratch, as well as homemade sausage gravy.
The store also offers the pre-made grab-and-go foods like corn dogs and burritos in a hot case out front.
And while they currently aren’t offering fuel, Miller said the plan is to eventually provide gasoline, diesel and propane services.
“That is not gonna be an immediate happening, as the fuel is going to cost a bit of money to get filled,” Miller said, noting that all the money they’ve put into the store thus far has come from their own pockets, rather than loans. He said they are considered “new business owners” and were unable to acquire loans because they did not have any built up business credit.
“It has definitely been a challenge, but so far we have pulled through well enough to get to this point,” he said. “We are going to need the store to start bringing in some income before we can pull the trigger on (fuel).”
But on a recent visit, Miller noted that things have gone well so far, and they should be able to hire some help in the near future.
The store is currently open 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday, at least until they figure out their busiest times and can fine tune their hours of operation.
“Sunday might be a day where we only open for a partial day as it’s fairly quiet down here on Sundays,” Miller said. “Time will tell on that though.”
The Rosburg Store is located at 4193 Washington State Highway 4, and can be reached at 360-465-2223.