The coastal community of Seabrook all began with an idea in Town Founder, Casey Roloff’s mind nearly two decades ago. After visiting the rugged coast of the Olympic Peninsula, Casey became motivated to build his vision of an idyllic community that encourages local entrepreneurial ventures, while celebrating the natural beauty of the area.
In 2004, Casey and his wife Laura purchased a plot of land in Pacific Beach, which soon sprang into a quaint coastal community using the design principles of New Urbanism. Casey’s inspiration was brought to life and quickly put on the fast track. Today, Seabrook has over 400 single-family homes built and will continue to build until all 1200 lots are developed. Additionally, the Town Center has welcomed in 8 new businesses over the last 2 years bringing the total into the 20s. “It’s been really incredible to watch as the community has evolved from a plot of land into something really special,” says Casey. “We continue to hear more and more from people wanting to come enjoy the Town Center and explore the many shops and restaurants.”
Ann Kjelsberg, owner of the The Salty Dog, can attest to the positive environment that she operates her business in. “Running my store in this community is rewarding every single day,” expresses Ann. “It’s amazing to see the positive effects that this community has on other parts of the North Beach area.” Having grown up and spent the early portion of her adult life in Minneapolis, the idea of owning a small business on the coast of Washington was far from her mind. After adopting a dog of her own and moving to Seattle, Ann entered a new phase of her life. “If you don’t grow up with a dog and later adopt one as adult,” explains Ann, “you jump into the experience wholeheartedly and have so much to learn. I knew at that point that I wanted to one day own some sort of dog-related business.”
After living in cramped Seattle for a bit, Ann drove out to Seabrook after researching pet-friendly vacation destinations on the coast. “I came out on a Thursday in July about 10 years ago,” states Ann. “On Saturday, I was making plans to buy a house and discussing with Casey the idea of opening a dog store.”
Nine years later, and The Salty Dog is one of the oldest retail stores in the community. “The most rewarding part of this experience has been developing relationships with fellow business owners, supporting each other, and working on events together,” says Ann. “I can’t even begin to explain how rewarding it is to make a difference in the life of a dog, even with something as small as a new toy, collar or dog wash. It’s really fun to be a part of people’s family traditions and visit with them year after year while they visit Seabrook on their annual vacation.”
In the near future, Ann is eager to continually improve her products and services. This includes anything from full-service grooming services and pet boarding to expanded food offerings featuring frozen raw food. “It’s incredible to see what Seabrook has done to contribute to the County,” praises Ann. “Although I’m not from the area, I love discovering the history and hometown pride that Grays Harbor possesses.”
Two more of the community’s longstanding, locally owned shops include SeaWorthy Home and Front Street Market, both own by husband and wife duo of 29 years, Lisa and Steve McElliot. Both have deep Harbor roots with each of their grandparents having moved to the Washington coast to work in the logging industry. Today, most all of their family still resides on the Harbor. “Both of us have always dabbled in side hustles in one form or another,” explains Lisa. “The natural path was to do something on our own but in partnership with one another.”
SeaWorthy Home was established in 2007 as strictly a vintage road show business. “Steve and I searched for great antiques and fun unexpected pieces, grew our look, and traveled to many popular different vintage shows in the Seattle area for a few years,” explains Lisa. After leasing spaces in various antique malls, their shop eventually settled into the perfect spot in Aberdeen in the back of Lisa’s parents Grand Heron building. In 2013, after having SeaWorthy in its own dedicated retail store for a few years, Lisa and Steve were approached by Casey to check out the brand-new retail spaces at Seabrook. Instantly hooked, Lisa and Steve signed the lease, moved in, and opened in May of 2013. Since then, the two have worked diligently to grow their whole home interior design for homeowners both at Seabrook and around the North Beach area.
Their second business in Seabrook, Front Street Market, was established in 2014. “Steve saw the absolute potential that Seabrook had and was eager to find a niche that would allow our whole family to move to the beach full time,” states Lisa. “Although we were no more grocers than astronauts, we found a way to make it work.” The two then moved forward with purchasing Lil’s Pantry from the former owners and diving straight into this new venture. In the grocery business there was a lot of trial and error and deciphering what people were interested in, but they finally feel like they have a strong handle on what they’re doing. The market has a terrific staff, made up of a lot of family and employees that are like family.
Since owning both SeaWorthy Home and Front Street Market, Lisa and Steve have learned the importance of always evolving and working with one another every step of the way. “We love working together,” expresses Lisa, “and that isn’t just us as a couple. We have three lovely children who are all a part of the process. Ryan, our oldest helps manage the market with Steve while Reagan and Finn work on the weekends with us. We love having them involved.”
“I can’t even begin to express how lucky we are to have entrepreneurs like Ann, Lisa, and Steve, as well as all of the others that helped create the dynamic Town Center of Seabrook,” states Casey. “They have really helped set a high standard for quality in Seabrook and the new businesses that move in continue to strengthen that. We encourage both Grays Harbor locals as well as out of town visitors come out to the beach, patronize locally owned shops and restaurants, enjoy our parks, playgrounds, and events all year long.”