Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – Since 1973, a little shop named Bubbles has provided North Coast bathers with everything they need to make bathtime fun and fragrant. Don’t worry – that’s not going to change... well, it will a little, starting with a change of ownership.
Founder Vicky Joyce has sold the business to longtime employee Carla Hayes. After 22 years, she knows the (soap on a) ropes pretty well and is ready to take the reins.
The change had Joyce reminiscing about Bubbles’ origins. Back in 1973, Bubbles popped up next door to its present location at 1031 H St. when it occupied what is now one of the Minor Theatre’s mini-theatres. The current location was then the home of Benzinger’s TV Repair.
When the Minor remodeled into its tri-plex configuration, Bubbles floated one shop over.
Under the newly inaugurated Hayes administration, Bubbles will conjure some new features, but nothing too shocking for a clientele still foaming from the departure of Baloo the shop dog.
Sustainability is Hayes’ focus, with local sourcing and carbon footprint reduction a priority. Where she can, she’ll switch from plastic containers to glass and paper, with refill options stepped up. New discount programs will be lathered up for frequent buyers, students, seniors and members of the military.
“Wherever I can, I’m going to buy local and try and eliminate the shipping footprint,” Hayes said.
An unseen change is the scrub of the Bubbles factory space in Aldergrove Industrial Park via its sale to Kokatat.
But the most major and immediate change, albeit a temporary one, is already underway. The shop was to close yesterday, Oct. 1, for its change-of-ownership overhaul.
Bubbles will reopen around Saturday, Oct. 12, just in time for the big event the next day. On Sunday, Oct. 13 from noon to 4 p.m., Bubbles will host a “Goodbye Vicky, Hello Carla Block Party.”
The event will feature music and entertainment, plus specials at the shop, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Sales for Survivors to support the Breast and GYN Health Project.
“I really appreciate the customers that have been shopping here for nearly 50 years,” Hayes said.