PORT ANGELES — Necessities & Temptations gift shop, a fixture at the corner of Laurel Street and Railroad Avenue for 21 years, is closing.
“Sometimes the stars align and you just have to do what you have to do,” owner Edna Petersen said Wednesday afternoon at her shop. “I really, really really hate to go away. But it’s time.
“This is the appropriate moment in time.”
Petersen, who will turn 79 this month, cited an illness in her family as the major reason for the closure, adding that upcoming construction of a hotel near her shop would be “difficult.”
An inventory sale will begin at 10 a.m. today, with items 20 percent off.
Petersen is selling fixtures as well as her stock — but not everything will be available to the general public.
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is purchasing some.
“The tribe is buying several of the iconic things in the store so that the flavor of Necessities & Temptations will be in their hotel,” Petersen said.
The tribe plans a $24 million, 100-room, four-story hotel that will front both East Railroad Avenue and East Front Street.
In the hotel, Petersen said, will be the first piece she purchased for her shop, an unnamed oil painting that hangs in the store.
The subjects — a mother with two children and a collie — depict the cozy family atmosphere she wanted to create in her store.
“That’s what I wanted the store to be,” she said.
Petersen does not own the building and said she does not know who will occupy it next.
Petersen’s shop — once known as “Chick Swain’s” she said — has offered everything from clothing to kitchenware to jewelry as well as such unique gifts as yodeling pickles.
She developed it from largely an antique shop to a “small-town independent department store,” she said.
“Necessities and Temptations is the best place in Port Angeles for indulging yourself, and it will be sorely missed,” said John Brewer, retired publisher and editor of the Peninsula Daily News, who served with Petersen on the boards of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Port Angeles Downtown Association and Port Angeles Business Association.
“Every inch of the store is literally crammed with treasures,” he said, also noting “a problem-solving staff and free gift-wrapping.
“And Edna stands No. 1 in town when it comes to donating to local fundraisers and supporting every civic effort,” Brewer added.
During its more than two decades in operation, Necessities & Temptations, located right across Railroad Avenue from the Black Ball Ferry Line terminal “has become an iconic retail shop in downtown Port Angeles,” said Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“She has high-end inventory which reflected well on Port Angeles,” he added.
Abshire emphasized that Petersen, “through her retail shop, has been a huge supporter of many community and charitable causes.
He said that Petersen was instrumental in the creation of the inaugural Winter Ice Village, which hosted a skating rink in downtown Port Angeles and surpassed expectations for drawing visitors from November to January.
“She inspired us to actually take the risk and go out on a financial limb and make it happen,” Abshire said.
Petersen, who also served on the Port Angeles City Council in 2006-07, was selected for the chamber board’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement for 2018, Abshire said.
She was also was active in expanding the chamber’s Fourth of July celebration among many endeavors.
“I plan to stay involved in community affairs,” Petersen said.
“I will still be working on those things that I can” such as the ice village, which is expected to be expanded next winter, Olympic Medical Center Foundation fundraisers and others.
“This is an amazing community, a giving community,” she said. “We give more than Bill Gates for the money we have.”
Other future plans include cooking and photography.
“I’m going to learn how to take pictures of what I cook and post them on Facebook,” Petersen said.
She appreciates the changes occurring downtown, saying she wants the new additions that are planned “to change the landscape.”
She also applauded the vision of those directing Peninsula College, the Port of Port Angeles, the William Shore Memorial Pool and other area fixtures.
Her sale will continue for 10 days to two weeks, Petersen said. She plans to be out of the space by the end of March.
Petersen said she has been blessed with hard-working, competent and loyal staff, who will now be in the job market.
“If they apply for a job, you better hire them because if you don’t you’ll miss out,” she said.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].