Visitors can trust grocery service to deliver the goods

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A local woman known for her personal chef business has expanded her operation with a grocery service.

Colleen Farnham, proprietor behind "What's Cooking?" Personal Chef Service of Walla Walla, has launched her grocery service for tourists.

The goal is to make vacations to Walla Walla slightly less stressful for those renting vacation properties, Farnham said in an announcement.

"Whether they drive in after work from Seattle or Portland or catch the late flight from Seattle, they won't have to worry about finding a place to eat or stopping to buy supplies for the next day's breakfast," the announcement explained. "Everything they need will be waiting for them when they arrive at their rental."

A few logistics: Visitors fill out a form online to create their shopping list. They can choose from a variety of services including a concierge greeting service and prepared meals.

Once details are confirmed, the order is reviewed via telephone. During that time, Farnham gathers credit or debit card information. The visitor's card is charged for the cost of goods plus a fee on the day of delivery. Entry to the property is arranged with the manager or owner. Perishables are put away, and the rest of the order is left on the kitchen counter. Items that require proof of age, such as alcohol or tobacco products, can not be included on the purchase list. For more details, visit chefcolleen.com/groceries.

Employees of the Walla Walla County Joint Development Agency are reportedly among the greenest when it comes to their daily commutes.

For the second consecutive year, the operation was the grand-prize winner in the Green Travel Competition sponsored by Sustainable Walla Walla during Earth Week.

About 54 percent of the planning agency staff participated in the event. Forty-five percent of their commuting trips during that week were by bicycle, walking, bus, ride-sharing or other ways to get to work as alternatives to single-occupancy motor vehicles, according to an announcement. Thirteen people are employed by the agency.

Coming in second place in the competition was the U.S. Forest Service. The agency had the highest participation rate in the competition with just over 54 percent. About 25 percent of their commute trips were by green modes.

In third place was the City of College Place, which had a 38 percent participation rate and logged in 23 percent green trips for all of its staff commuting during Earth Week.

Winners in special divisions: Wheatland Village Retirement Community won the residential services division. Staff walked 43 miles to work, cycled 106 miles, carpooled 913 miles, rode scooters for 80 miles and rode the bus for 9 miles for a total of 1,151 green commute miles during Earth week. That's in addition to van and bus trips by 147 residents.

The winner of the schools and colleges division for the third year in a row was Whitman College. Spearheaded by Whitman's Sustainability Committee, the campus was divided into nine departmental teams that competed for the greatest number of green trips and a variety of prizes. The winning team was the Sciences & Mathematics Division.

Awards for the winners of this year's competition for the best Green Travel programs were made at noon on the opening day of the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market last Saturday by Sustainable Walla Walla chair Marti Buck.

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

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