Developer Kevin Cavenaugh has inked leases on five new retail stores settling into Crusher Court, the newly renovated former Timberline Dodge dealership on Northeast Sandy Boulevard. The entrepreneurs – all women business owners – are looking forward to the grand opening of their new shops on April 20.
Johanna Zuniga and Megan Anderson co-own one of the new businesses – Dream Cakes – which primarily sells wedding cakes but also wholesales confections to several bars in Portland.
In April 2016, the Southeast Portland building where Dream Cakes was located was sold, Zuniga recalled, “and we found this space through a broker.” Zuniga and Anderson plan to set up a retail shop where people can drop in and purchase cakes, and an area where they can consult with prospective celebrants to determine their needs.
“During the typical wedding season between April and October, it’s not unusual for us to bake 300 cakes,” Zuniga said. Dream Cakes won Oregon Bride Magazine’s “Best Custom Wedding Cake Maker” award in 2015 and 2016 and has been nominated for the award again in 2017.
Several doors to the east at 2502 N.E. Sandy Blvd., Thanh Ngu, known to her friends as T, plans to set up a retail shop in her Crusher Court space. At Upper Metal Class, Ngu sells a line of “subtle but beautiful” minimalist jewelry, wholesaling to boutiques in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada and Korea in addition to individual customers.
Ngu said a part-time hobby at a table in her bedroom gradually grew into a full-time occupation where Ngu now designs the product, a manufacturer executes the design, and she fills orders and ships the jewelry. While most of her sales have been online, she plans to add clothing and accessories to her retail space, dubbed Project Object, focusing on women artists and designers.
Ngu is passionate about helping abused women and said she donates 10% of her proceeds to the Bradley Angle (bradleyangle.org) organization and events and promotions that feature women in the arts.
The owners of Upper Metal Class and Dream Cakes said that, in addition to their landlord’s positive attitude, they were attracted to their location by the surrounding Kerns neighborhood. “It’s growing and changing,” said Ngu. “I really believe the neighborhood is about to explode,” predicted Zuniga.