Mercer Island Local Business Year in Review

December 5, 2015 | by Erin Sirianni

Explore +

Curious about how local businesses on Mercer Island fared in 2015? After a year of reporting on exciting business openings as well as some closures, new ownership, and more, I thought I’d share my observations as well as comments from the expert of local commerce herself.

Ben Friedman (left) and Brad Gillis (right), Homegrown co-founders at new Mercer Island location

Ben Friedman (left) and Brad Gillis (right), Homegrown co-founders at new Mercer Island location

Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Terry Moreman said she believes 2015 was a good year for most local business owners. With less uncertainty in the economy, she said several chamber members moved to larger spaces to accommodate their growth, and their vacated spaces were quickly filled.

Moreman has also received calls from Mercer Island residents with businesses in Eastside locations who have inquired about space based on their interest in moving to Mercer Island.

“More and more is happening in the Town Center and South Mercer Shopping Center,” she said. “I expect the enthusiasm of businesses to be part of the community and residents to support them to continue to grow.”

Here’s our full report about what opened, what closed, what moved, what to look forward to in 2016, and more:

What opened?

Starting the year off on an exciting note, an eighth location of Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop, co-founded by Islanders Ben Friedman and Brad Gillis, opened next to Island Books. The sandwich shop has become a new favorite place for lunch dates and is also a great choice for local catering of casual fare.

Here’s the full list of new business openings:

  • Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop
  • MI Athletic Club
  • Clarke + Clarke Art & Artifacts
  • 212 Health & Fitness
  • Jujubeet Kiosk (inside 212 Health & Fitness)
  • Bright Horizons at Mercer Island

What closed?

One of the biggest news stories on Mercer Island of the year was the closing of Albertsons. Many were sad to hear that the charming children’s shoe store Hennie McPennie closed, and bike enthusiasts were disappointed to say good-bye to Veloce Velo.

Here’s the full list of business closures:

  • Albertsons
  • Han’s Garden
  • Hennie McPennie
  • Veloce Velo
  • Mountains Plus
  • Yo Mercer
  • Sunny Foot Massage

What moved?

The success and growth of several local businesses has shown recently by their expansion into new, larger spaces. Here’s the full list of businesses that got new digs this year:

  • Six Walls
  • 5 Elements Pilates
  • Mercer Island CrossFit
  • Kumon Mercer Island
  • Eva Nehring State Farm

New ownership

Two businesses on Mercer Island are now under new ownership. Laurie Raisys bought Island books from former owners of 30 years, Roger and Nancy Page.  Roberto’s was sold by its former owners, John and Kris Robbins. They sold the pizza shop to Jish and Dolly Nath. (The pizza shop is currently closed for a remodel.)

What’s ahead in 2016?

Here’s what to look forward to in 2016:

Are you a local business owner? Or perhaps you may be a patron of many local businesses.  Feel free to share your business reflections for the year 2015.  Any business news we missed? Let us know in the comments.