Introducing Side Street Cashmere: a new local business hub 

Photo by Megan Sokol. Lana and Andy Thomas, owners of Side Street, with baby son Desmond.

Self-acclaimed mom-and-pop duo Lana and Andy Thomas are finishing plans for renovations to their newly acquired property at 107 Railroad Avenue and are now ready to present Side Street, their future community-based hub that will cater to small businesses, vendors, and artisans.

Their dream for the six buildings and roughly 60k sq. ft. of floor space is to create a whimsical family-friendly space of nostalgia geared towards supporting the micro-economy of Cashmere.

Some ideas they have for the space include: a bilingual daycare, kids activity center, a taproom, a downstairs “speak-easy,” a music venue, a mail carrier service, coffee shop, food trucks, meat and produce, artist studios, and mercantile services.

The Thomas couple bought the space back in February and have been cleaning out the space since then. They had prior experience renovating and refurbishing spaces in the past, Lana was born and raised in Leavenworth and had her own design company and Andy managed his own contracting business, both based in Seattle.

Their inspiration was based on the old town-square department store layout of the early 20th century, a concept that seems appropriate for a building that was built circa 1890 and was originally made from river stone. Andy states that community-based market squares are becoming a nation-wide phenomenon with great success rates.

“It's not a new concept necessarily. I think that what sparks it is why and I have a high degree of confidence in ourselves that we can pull something like this off,” Andy explained. “I think that we're uniquely suited to do something on this grand of a scale. Everybody's capable of running that one business, we're trying to open 25 businesses inside of the building.”

They are also opening an inn that will be marketed towards families. They will most likely open the inn in about three months; however, they are currently still drafting up design plans and looking for a mercantile manager.

Lease agreements will vary based on size of business. They will also be looking towards funding sources that would be geared towards small business partnerships and building improvements. It will be roughly six months before Side Street Cashmere may be looking to open.


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