Small businesses vie for Arcata Chamber’s top honors

Joellen Clark-Peterson
Arcata Chamber of Commerce

ARCATA – Every year, the Arcata Chamber of Commerce offers its Business Leadership Awards in six categories: Business of the Year, as decided by the City of Arcata’s Economic Development Committee; Small Business of the Year; Nonprofit of the Year; New Chamber Member of the Year; Hospitality and Tourism of the Year; Green Business of the Year; Beautification of the Year.

The 2019 awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Business Leadership Awards dinner on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center.

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Small Business – three nominees

This year’s nominees:  

Adventure’s Edge 

Jennifer Johnson of Adventure's Edge.

Jennifer Johnson, Owner

Steve O’Meara, who owns Kokatat, started Adventure’s Edge 50 years ago and sold it to me 12 years ago. I love cycling and being outside and love helping others to enjoy these hobbies. Between the Eureka and Arcata stores, I have 18 employees, part time and full time. I opened the second store in Eureka a year after I bought the Arcata store. I’m a Eureka Native and an alumni from HSU where I earned my MBA. 

I am a female owner of an outdoor store and there are only a handful of us in the nation. It’s a male dominated industry. Women have always been participating, but not at the industry level. It’s interesting, people come in all the time and assume I don’t own the store.

We give $20,000 back into the community every year to different nonprofits. For eleven years I have been the race director of Tri-Kids, Humboldt County’s only kid triathlon and I am on the board of the Tour of the Unknown Coast.

I appreciate everyone that shops locally and when you shop with us we have the knowledge to make sure you get the right gear and equipment that you need. We are here to support you on whatever adventure you are going on.

Humboldt Patient Resource Center

Marielen Jurkovich and Brian Willkomm of Humboldt Patient Resource Center.

Bryan Willkomm, General Manager

We are the longest operating, permitted local cannabis business in the United States. We opened our doors in 1999. HPRC is a cannabis dispensary that focuses on locally produced and pesticide free cannabis product offerings provided by an exceptional staff that is Cannabinoid Therapy certified. We also connect our community members through art and wellness at the Connection Wellness Center in Eureka that is funded by our dispensaries. 

We are dedicated to higher levels of service. We have 32 employees who each go through four weeks of training before they can work with customers. We have long time employment opportunities with full time positions. We donate substantial amounts of money to nonprofits and local events each year. Through our local distribution channels we have also helped local farms to distribute their product across the state of California. 

We have two dispensaries, our community wellness center, our garden, and our distribution center. We work with our local customers and visitors to Arcata and helping them become educated on cannabis products, cannabis applications, and cannabis tourism opportunities. We take pride in being a  part of the historical Humboldt county cannabis industry and work with local distributors and local farms.

Los Bagels

Team Los Bagels.

Dennis Rael, Co-owner 

We opened the doors in Arcata -–our original location – in 1984. We have right around 50 employees at three locations including HSU and Eureka. 

We are a multicultural bagel bakery and cafe with the tagline, “More than just a real bagel.”  We are more than food and drink, we have a strong cultural element. My initial cultures are Jewish and Mexican and we embrace them all at Los Bagels. 

From the very beginning we looked for ways to get involved with other businesses so that we could showcase Humboldt county. The first partnership was with the Fish Brothers. Then we helped get Mad River Jams going. More recently we have collaborated with Boldt to make Los Bagels Whiskey. I am always looking to mentor or co-sponsor other businesses.

There are five owners of Los Bagels and each of us takes a different role in seeing the bigger picture. For example, we work with Humboldt Area Foundation, Equity Arcata, and have a lending library of dishes to back up our sustainability efforts. We have set up an internship with local high schools. We think that being involved with each other is the ticket to staying relevant, to evolving. People who know us know we aren’t afraid to do what we believe in. It’s about community and working hard.




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