Laht Neppur Breweing Co. to expand to WW

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Laht Neppur Brewing Co. will expand into downtown Walla Walla mid-summer.

Owners Court and Katie Ruppenthal have posted a business sign in the window at Spokane and Alder streets, the former home to Studio Opal.

But if eager patrons are looking for a true sign of when the suds are coming, they should be on the lookout for moving tables, said Katie Ruppenthal.

She and brewmaster Court are waiting for paperwork to be processed at the state level before they can make their expansion complete, she said last week. She said she remains optimistic that the new location could open by the end of July, but is unsure of a date.

"When tables start appearing, you'll know we're almost there," she quipped.

The Walla Walla location of Laht Neppur -- "Ruppenthal" spelled backward for those unacquainted with the business -- will likely feature five or six brews along with the business's menu of pulled pork sandwiches, brats and more in a laid-back atmosphere. The Waitsburg location, 444 Preston Ave., will continue to be the headquarters for all the brewing.

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Every cup of coffee sold at Dutch Bros. on Thursday will raise money for the fight against cancer.

The coffee business, 630 S. Ninth Ave., will donate $1 for every drink sold to Relay for Life, which takes place this weekend. The local franchise, owned by Dave Beamer, will also accept donations. It operates Thursday 5 a.m.-10 p.m.

The Simmons Financial Group has made the leap from Main Street to Alder Street and plans to celebrate Thursday with an open house.

The insurance company has opened its office in the new building at 128 E. Alder St. The building is also home to Williams Team Homes.com .

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the move with an 11:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Refreshments -- hot dogs and Coca-Cola products -- will be served.

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A new senior vice president has been named to run the Global Operations at Walla Walla manufacturing firm Key Technology Inc.

Joel S. Bustos will be responsible for the development of global operations and manufacturing strategy for the company that designs and manufactures process automation systems. The work by Bustos, who begins in his new position Monday, will be closely tied to Key's overall corporate strategy, shareholder value building and more.

In an announcement on the appointment, Key President and CEO David Camp said the company is particularly excited about Bustos' experience establishing global supply chain and operations strategies.

"He has demonstrated a dynamic ability to manage operations to achieve increased efficiencies and profitability, and we believe that he will be a strong contributor to Key's future growth," Camp said in the statement.

Bustos spent the last three years at California-based Aehr Test Systems, where he was vice president of operations with responsibility for global operations and supply chain. Before that he spent six years with Canadian-based Celestica Corporation, where he served as general manager of the Consumer Business Unit and general manager of the company's San Jose facility.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

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