Biz Beat 10-9-2014

Ring of Fire has closed and may reopen later in a new location, according to a message on the restaurant’s phone service. The Thai and Pacific Rim restaurant, bar and catering service at 11th and Chambers is owned by Josh Keim, and has been a Eugene favorite since around the turn of the century. Keim did not return a message by press time, but the restaurant’s Facebook page says chef Pornwadee Garner has retired, and “we look forward to bringing you own newest concept, ‘Flying Monkey’ — 24/7 community owned not-for-profit restaurant.” Keim has two other eateries in town, Lucky Noodle and Granary Pizza Co., which remain open. Some very fine servers from Ring of Fire are looking for work.

We hear two caskets are for sale at the St. Vincent de Paul store on Broadway downtown. One is cherry and the other is mahogany. Just in time for Halloween, and the last piece of furniture you will ever need.

Sponsors, the nonprofit agency that assists convicted offenders in reentry to society, is holding its big “Harvesting Hope” gala event from 5 to 9 pm Thursday, Oct. 9, at Studio 5, located at 2975 Chad Dr. Keynote speaker is Rep. Jennifer Williamson. Tickets are $100 and may be sold out. Visit or call 485-8341.

In labor news, a community rally in support of a fair contract for McKenzie caregivers drew a crowd Saturday, Oct. 4, to Willamalane Park across from McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center. Hospital workers have voted in support of strike authorization. “Will these workers have to strike for fair wages and working conditions?” asks Shelley Pineo-Jensen, director of operations for Eugene/Springfield Solidarity Network/ Jobs with Justice. “Despite McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center being the second wealthiest hospital in Oregon, management is offering the workers a 1.2 percent raise,” she says. “For the lowest paid workers, this is pennies and will not cover the cost of the insurance increase management is proposing.” Another frustration, she says, is “as the corporation owner buys community hospitals, it guts staffing to increase profit. This leads to a very unsafe environment for patients.” 

Saturday Market is having a big sale this weekend on the Park Blocks downtown. We hear vendors will be in the mood to discount prices. Good time to begin holiday gift shopping.

Kandy Mountain Treacle LLC is a new business in Eugene that imports wild palm syrup from Sri Lanka to make an alternative sweetener that is popular in Asia but little known in this country. Kandy Mountain’s Kithul Treacle Syrup is made from the sap of the fishtail palm and is harvested sustainably, Sprout! owner Scott Wells says. The product is currently in Market of Choice and other stores locally and abroad. “We launched at the Lane County Food Fair,” Wells says. “We bottle in Springfield at the Sprout! incubator kitchen and work with a co-packer to produce our new ‘stix’ that works also with Glory Bee.” The business has offices at 2852 Willamette St., Suite 180. See

The Tap & Growler is celebrating its first anniversary this week with a “People’s Choice best Fresh/Wet Hop Brew in Eugene Blind Tasting Competition.” The event kicks off what will hopefully be monthly public tasting competitions. Nine local breweries have submitted fresh hop brews for the competition that continues afternoons and evenings through Sunday, Oct. 13. Participants pay $12 for a taster tray of nine entries plus a voucher for a free pint good for Monday, Oct. 14. Breweries participating include Agrarian Ales, Claim 52, Falling Sky, Ninkasi, Hop Valley, Oakshire, Plank Town, Plough Monday and Viking Braggot. Tap & Growler is at 207 E. 5th Ave. 

A free talk on “How Businesses Make Money with Facebook” will be at 6 pm Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Downtown Eugene Public Library, with Nick Wiley talking about exposure, engagement, market research, reputation and sales. Sponsored by LCC Small Business Development Center and SCORE. Call 682-5450.

Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School and the Southtowne Shoppes have paired up to host “Ridgeline Rising,” a fundraising event featuring live music, a silent auction, child-based activities, a beer garden and food from local businesses. The event is from noon to 6 pm Saturday, Oct. 11, at Southtowne Shoppes in south Eugene. Music by Mood Area 52, The Sugar Beets and others. Contact

The 32nd annual Lane County Home Improvement Show is this weekend with 225 exhibits featuring home and garden vendors and demonstrations. New this year is the People’s Choice Awards for Architecture presented by the American Institute of Architects – Southwestern Oregon. Show attendees will have an opportunity to view and vote for their favorite projects during the three-day show Oct. 10-12. Free with canned food donation requested. See for details.