AK mobile kitchen to move into downtown

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AK's mobile kitchen will be rolling into downtown Walla Walla next week.

The food truck -- a 153-square-foot custom kitchen built in an 8 1/2-foot-by-18-foot trailer -- is relocating from the Walla Walla Regional Airport to a more visible space downtown, said owner and chef Andrae Bopp.

Starting Monday, Bopp will serve his rotating menu for lunches and dinners at the corner of Rose and Palouse streets in the lot behind Nicholas Cole Cellars. The weekday schedule hasn't been completely determined yet, Bopp said via e-mail. His goal is to secure several spots where he can pop in throughout the week. The concept is similar to mobile street vendors such as Skillet Street Food in Seattle.

Bopp, a French Culinary Institute-trained chef, has been serving up his curbside cuisine at the old terminal building at the airport since the beginning of the month. Though he's been stationed there four days a week -- serving a menu that includes AK's cheeseburger, pork tacos, curry dishes, french fries and more -- he rotates on the weekends among the south side wineries. Barring any other scheduled events, he's also stationed at Woodward Canyon on Sundays.

Those looking for AK's -- which stands for Andrae's Kitchen -- can find out where it is via social networking, including Facebook and Twitter. He can be found on Facebook under "Andrae's Kitchen" and on Twitter under "wineandfoodguy."

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A familiar face to customers at the Rose Street Safeway will be parting ways this week.

Tom Baumgardner will be retiring from the grocery store after 42 years of service, said Manager Steve Wenzel.

A celebration in Baumgardner's honor will take place 8 a.m.-noon Friday. Cake and coffee will be served. All are welcome.

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Rain or shine. German or Italian.

The eighth annual Walla Walla Sausage Fest takes place this weekend at the DeSales campus, 919 E. Sumach St.

The two-day event will help support technology improvements at Walla Walla Catholic Schools.

Friday kicks off the festival with game booths operating 5-8 p.m.; food booths, 5-10 p.m.; and a beer garden 5 p.m.-midnight.

The festivities continue Saturday with game booths open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; inflatable structures, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; food, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; entertainment, 1-5 p.m.; beer garden, noon-midnight; and live music with Penrose Lane at 8:30 p.m.

The menu includes Italian and German sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, Klicker strawberry shortcake and Dilly bars.

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The former executive director of the Walla Walla Community College Foundation has made a return to her roots in the banking industry.

Linda Hardy began work this month as Community Bank's vice president and market manager for the greater Walla Walla region. She assumed the position Sept. 1, according to an announcement from the bank.

A native Walla Wallan, Hardy had served a decade with the foundation. Before that she had prior bank marketing and public relations experience in the Walla Walla and Portland areas.

In her new role for the Oregon-based bank, Hardy will help with business generation and retention at the downtown and Milton-Freewater branches and the new branch under construction in College Place, said Keith Burghardt, Community Bank's senior vice president and marketing director.

Joseph-based Community Bank, a subsidiary of Community Bancshares Inc., has $380 million in assets and 150 employees.

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

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