New HQ for Andrae's Kitchen

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Andrae's Kitchen, Walla Walla's gourmet eatery on wheels, is rolling out a new permanent address this week inside the Walla Walla Farmer's Co-op.

"AK's at the Co-op" is expected to open late this week -- either for lunch Thursday or breakfast Friday, operators say.

The indoor spot will expand the business for chef Andrae Bopp. In addition to the daylong service inside the co-op, Ninth Avenue and Rose Street, the mobile kitchen will continue to circulate at various spots throughout the community.

AK's at the Co-op will operate daily 6 a.m.-6 p.m., serving breakfast, as well as the menu of items for which Bopp has become known. Nonbreakfast items will be served starting at 10 a.m.

On top of meals made to order, pre-packaged sandwiches and goodies will be available for those on the fly. Orders can be placed at the co-op's drive-through window, in-store, or via mobile app and text message. A business delivery service is expected down the road to the downtown corridor.

In the meantime, the mobile truck that has served guests at various locations all over the Walla Walla Valley is in for a two-week cleanup and will be back on the road soon to continue serving those who can't make it to the Co-op. For more details, check out Andrae's Kitchen on Facebook or andraeskitchen.com.

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Owners of a new acupuncture business in Walla Walla will celebrate the grand-opening of their office this weekend.

Guests are invited to an open house for Family Acupuncture & Wellness, 310 S. Third Ave. The event runs 2-5 p.m.

The event is a chance to meet practitioners Chris and Heidi Withey, tour the clinic and learn more about the benefits of Chinese medicine. Refreshments will be served and a drawing for acupuncture treatment cards will take place. Treatments purchased during the event will be discounted 25 percent.

A little information about the owners/practitioners from their website: Both Witheys are nationally certified in oriental medicine. Chris holds diplomate status with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He earned his master's in oriental medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and his bachelor's in business administration from Walla Walla University. His practice provides treatments for everything from sports injuries and chronic pain to help balancing hormones and guiding lifestyle choices to minimize the impact of a chronic illness.

Heidi Withey is licensed to practice in Washington and Oregon; received her master's from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and her bachelor's degree in human development from Washington State University. She has training in breast feeding support and served as a peer counselor for the Nursing Mother's Counsel in Portland. She is available for home visits and treatments during birth. Her particular passion is women's health, including for conditions such as premenstrual syndrome, migraines, infertility, labor support and fibromyalgia.

To learn more, call 525-9081 or visit fawellness.com.

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The parent company of Sterling Savings Bank has laid off about 6 percent of its employees in an effort to cut costs, officials reported.

Cara Coon, spokeswoman for the Spokane-based company, said about 160 positions have been cut across the company's five-state footprint. She said the move was an "unfortunate event" that Sterling officials did not take lightly. Employees were offered severance packages, she said. Coon didn't have specific information on how many positions were cut in any particular area but said they took place across every level of employment. In a prepared statement, Sterling Chief Executive Officer Greg Seibly said the changes were necessary for the company's long-term success.

"Given the challenging interest rate environment and the uncertain economic outlook, Sterling must position itself for continued success, including lowering its operating expenses. Sterling has fewer assets today than it did just a few years ago and, although this has been a difficult decision, the bank needs to appropriately reflect that reality."

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

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