EDA backs Moose, Hen with loans

Plaid Moose owner Pete Beerman (right) talks about his new sandwich and coffee shop with EDA members, from left, Dennis Fultz, Mark Seager and Dave Tiegs during a tour of the Plaid Moose last Friday. Photos / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

Progress on the business front is taking place in Tracy, and the EDA on Friday made two decisions that will foster it.

As part of a busy meeting last week, EDA board members approved loans to a pair of businesses looking to make a big impact in town: the Plaid Moose in downtown Tracy and Cinnamon Hen LLC, which is now occupying the former Tracy Floral building on the highway.

As of last week, the EDA had $24,000 in loan money to work with for the remainder of the year and before now hadn’t awarded any loans in 2021.

The first loan that was awarded was $15,000 to Tom and Nancy Dobson at Cinnamon Hen. The $15,000 will be spread out over seven years at 2% interest.

The Dobsons have been putting in a lot of work in their newly-purchased building. Tom told the EDA on Friday that their construction work inside the building has come a long way, as the floors and the showroom are complete. While continuing work on the inside, they’re turning some of their attention to the exterior.

“What we’re looking for is more of a facelift on the outside,” Tom Dobson said. “We’ve paid for everything else at this point in time, and what we’re hoping to do is to make this property a little more eye-appealing from an outside perspective, driving down the highway.”

That facelift, he said, includes the greenhouse portion of the building’s front. The plan is to let vendors in that area, but before they do that, there is some work to be done. That includes totally enclosing that area, which means replacing glass panes and fixing the roof, which, Tom said, is in pretty good shape.

“Just driving down the road, it’s easy for people just to by-pass the building because it’s looked the same for a long, long, long time,” he said. “We think this property, because of its location, can be a real anchor for the community. If we can get people to stop because they see something different … that gets them at least to stop. From there, we can say we’ve got a new coffee shop downtown, that there are other businesses downtown.”

Tom, who has been a member of various EDAs over the years, including in Tracy, added that the couple will be buying their lumber and other items in Tracy, which means monies they receive from the EDA will stay in the community.

“That’s really a benefit in the community — just to get those dollars circulating,” he said.

Tom added that they would like to open the showroom on Labor Day weekend and host a farmers’ market on Labor Day.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.