Colville St. cafe to serve vegan fare

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The wait is over for those who've been wanting to sink their teeth into downtown Walla Walla's new vegan cafe.

The Garden Vegan Caf is apparently opening Friday, according to scuttle on Facebook.

Under construction for the past several months, the caf?© is at 36 S. Colville St. in the former site of Metropolis and, before that, the Underground.

The caf is described as an affordable spot for vegan specialties in a casual atmosphere.

According to its Facebook page, The Garden offers sandwiches, salads, rice bowls, vegan baked goods, smoothies, raw juice and more. Gluten-free, soy-free and raw-food diets are also accommodated.

Hours of operation are Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, call 529-3169.

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Play time is changing at the Walla Walla Children's Museum.

Starting today, hours of operation for the museum that encourages children to learn, explore and interact will shift to its summer schedule.

The museum will operate Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Throughout July and August it will be closed Saturdays except for birthday parties by request only.

The normal schedule -- Thursday-Saturday -- will return after Labor Day, said museum Director Jenn Bishop. For more information call 526-7529.

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The weight loss and fitness efforts of an employee at Emeritus at Garrison Creek Lodge have been such an inspiration to her company that the assisted living services provider sponsored her at a marathon last weekend in Seattle.

Emeritus Senior Living sent Jessica Dodgin and eight other employees from across the country to the Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Marathon last Saturday.

The sponsorship was part of a companywide competition as part of the "Better You" Employee Wellness program, according to an announcement from Emeritus. The program offers employees tools, events and coaches to help them improve their health. The company also sponsored half the registration for any of its Seattle home office employees who wanted to participate in the marathon. Between those employees and the nine others selected, the company was represented in Seattle by 60 runners.

Dodgin, who walked the race's half-marathon, earned her spot on the team after a switch to a healthier lifestyle helped her shed 70 pounds. According to the announcement, her change began with a healthier diet. She added a little exercise. Her success prompted her to begin a "Biggest Loser" weight-loss challenge for employees in her building. Many of those people have since lost five to 75 pounds.

To be selected for the marathon team she had to submit an essay discussing why the race was important, how it fit into her fitness goals and what inspired her to enter. Those selected received free travel, accommodations, meals and a half-marathon registration. They also received weekly instruction and encouragement from running coaches, a pre-race catered carbo-load dinner at Emeritus headquarters in Seattle and team running shirts.

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

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