By Dawn Feldhaus
A wide variety of food and gifts for people and pets is available at a new shop in Washougal.
Wanda McFarlane opened Healthier Choices in late October.
We think people and pets should get healthier, she said. This is not a health store. It is not totally green. It is something in-between. It is greener than the average store.
Food products from northwest companies include honey from Brush Prairie, barbecue sauce made in Oregon City, caramel corn from Eugene and an assortment of mixes from Bobs Red Mill, of Milwaukie, Ore. Bobs products include apple strawberry granola and buttermilk pancake and waffle mix, as well as gluten-free brownie and pizza crust mixes.
Specialty foods suitable for gift baskets include spinach fettuccine, caramel butter rum cheese bake mix, peach marmalade and pecan pie in-a-jar. They are displayed on three 1940s-era refinished cabinets that are not for sale. There are also meatball mixes and shrimp scampi pasta sauce blends.
The shop sells handcrafted Traeger pellet grills, suitable for smoking salmon and turkey, grilling steak and barbecuing ribs and brisket. McFarlane also has seven choices of barbecue pellets, including alder and mesquite, as well as biodegradable outdoor furniture and barbecue cleaner.
Items for the kitchen include deluxe cherry pitters, honey/syrup warmers, bacon presses, asparagus steamers and taco stand up holders.
Products for pets include collars, feeding dishes, grain-free food, organic dog biscuits and environmentally friendly cat litter. Identification tags are engraved on site.
There is also soap-free dog shampoo.
It has no harsh chemicals, McFarlane said. It is more natural.
Healthier Choices has bird seed, bird feeders, squirrel food and feeders and a variety of hay. An ice melt product is safe for pets and vegetation. Food is available for hamsters and rabbits.
The gift section includes socks, handmade soaps, Christmas ornaments, greeting cards, fudge and chocolate sunflower nuts, as well as Bella Sara books, DVDs, trading cards, puzzles and statues.
We try to have things you dont see in the big stores, McFarlane said. It is a unique shop different from most places.
There are Western-theme night lights, playing cards, pendants, earrings and collectible Trail of Painted Ponies figurines.
McFarlane previously owned a feed store in Oregon City for 26 years. It closed earlier this year. She is a Camas resident.
I used to live in this area 26 years ago, and I moved back, McFarlane said. I like a small town, and the people are friendlier.
I enjoy the people coming in, she added. They are pleased with the store, and hopefully they will support it.
Healthier Choices, 1826 E St., is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 835-3451.