When Dave Jekel, owner of Spud’s Produce Market, would be watching his daughter’s basketball practice near the Olympia Airport, he kept hearing the same question, “Why don’t you open a Spud’s over here?” It was a good question and one he answered perfectly by the end of last year. That was when Dave and his crew opened up the new Spud’s Produce Market II.

Spuds Market II Kaufman Const Dave and Riley Interior
Spud’s owner, Dave Jekel, stands with Riley Wall of Kaufman Construction in the new Spud’s Produce Market II. Photo credit: Meagan Murphy Ross

“All of the stars just kind of aligned,” Dave recalls. “John Kaufman’s daughter played basketball too and he had this property and I said, ‘Hey, I would like that.’”

Riley Wall was the project manager for Kaufman Construction on the job. Over the course of the build, he and Dave became even better friends and good work-partners.

“We are design–build contractors,” says Riley. “And Dave knew what he wanted, which was great. We designed a lot to his needs. He would say this is what I am looking for and we would come up with a conceptual plan to turn it into a reality.”

For anyone who has visited the new store, it fits Spud’s Produce Market’s character flawlessly – a rolling garage door entrance, high ceilings, and amazing lighting. Dave is still in awe of the building and how easy the crew made the process. “They are the people to work with in my opinion,” Dave says of Kaufman Construction. “We started with a bare field and these guys turned it into this,” his arm sweeps across the beautiful new store.

Relationships that Work

Spuds Market II kaufmann const bldg only
Spud’s is seeking a neighbor to share their beautiful new building with. Photo credit: Meagan Murphy Ross

Now, the new question Dave gets asked is “who will be moving in next door?” There are two open store fronts beside the Spud’s Produce Market II that are brimming with possibility. “At Wildwood, we see people stop in and get their pizza, “explains Dave, “and they come to us for their salad and their beer. In the morning, they will get bananas and breakfast and then go next door and get their coffee. It is a symbiotic business relationship that works for everyone and, perhaps most importantly, the neighborhood. Dave sees this new, growing area bordering Highway 99 as having that same potential.

Getting a Toe-Hold

There is an assortment of small businesses and manufacturing warehouses all making their home here. Small breweries, a bakery, manufacturing warehouses, it is amazing what you can find in the zig-zag of buildings and streets.

“I would definitely encourage anyone to get a nice toe-hold in this place,” Dave says thoughtfully. “It is a great area. We have been well-received out here and it is just going to blow up.

Spuds Produce Market arial view
The new Tumwater location has quickly become a neighborhood anchor just like a traditional corner store.  Photo credit: Dave Jekel

The two new buildings next to Spud’s Produce Market II were built to be flexible. “There is a drive through area with a communication system,” says Riley. “We ran the conduits and everything to accommodate that. We also have oil and water separator, which is what you need for a small brewery, coffee house or restaurant.”

A Corner on the Produce Market

Though it takes time for the character of a neighborhood to develop, having a Spud’s Produce Market here is a great feature. “Now we see about a half a dozen bikes parked out front on the weekends,” says Dave. “Neighbors are coming in because we are close and it really works well for us. We are like a corner store and pantry.”

Though there has been interest from a few people in the two stores next door to Spud’s, no one has committed yet. In the meantime, Dave and the crew at Spud’s Produce Market will continue doing what they do best, bringing in the finest local produce and products to share with their neighbors.

Spud’s Produce Market
2828 Capitol Blvd S, Olympia
Monday – Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Spud’s Produce Market II
804 79th Ave SE, Tumwater
Monday – Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.


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