Biz Beat 10-16-2014

Sweet Potato Pie is closing after 20 years in business in Eugene, first downtown on 11th Avenue and then at 775 Monroe St. next to Sweet Life in the Whiteaker. The store features locally made clothing and natural products and Saturday will be the last day. Owner Elizabeth Thompson says the move away from downtown was expensive and foot traffic in the Whiteaker has been bad. She has kept the store going over the past five years by working full-time jobs around town. Find updates on the closing and fixtures that are for sale on the store’s Facebook page or email 

CruiseOne, a travel agency, is adding new jobs and opening a new storefront this month at 1132 5th St. in Springfield. Owner is Gary E. Smith who teaches small business management full-time at LCC. Smith says he “hopes to bring the advantages of top-volume production partnerships and exceptional pricing to the local market as well.” The company provides employee travel benefits to Fortune 500 and top technology firms including Apple, Microsoft and Intel. The official ribbon-cutting will be Oct. 23, but visitors to the business the week of Oct. 20 can get discounts and sign up for a cruise giveaway drawing. See or call 349-0036.

Dandelions Flowers & Gifts is organizing “Bras for a Cure,” a bra-decorating contest to raise money for the Oregon Cancer Foundation and aid local cancer patients. The deadline for entering decorated bras is Saturday, Oct. 18. Bras will be on display Oct. 20-31, and the “Reveal Party” will be Tuesday, Oct. 21. Entry fee is $10 and votes are $1 each. Dandelions is at 1710 Chambers St. Call Shirley Lyons at 485-1261 or visit

Claim 52 Brewing is now serving up its handcrafted beers at the Sprout! Regional Food Hub, a community building operated by NEDCO that includes the year-round farmers market, pop-up restaurants and commercial kitchen. Sprout! is at 418 A. St. in Springfield; the new space faces 4th Street and is named The Abbey to reflect the historic nature of the building, as well as the brewery’s focus on European beer styles like Kolsch, Weiss beers and Belgian ales. Hours will be 4 to 8 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 3 to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

SunWorks, a Eugene-based manufacturer of solar food dryers owned by Eben Fodor, is looking to win a grant from Mission Main Street, and the grant is based in part on community support. It’s easy to make a vote of support through Facebook at or Fodor says he’s just 89 votes short of the 250 votes needed to get to the next step. Twenty grants will be awarded of $150,000 cash, a laptop computer, a trip to meet with small business experts and customized market research. Deadline to vote is Oct. 17.

The American Water Works Association Young Professionals are hosting a talk by Karl Morgenstern of EWEB on EWEB’s efforts to promote conservation in the McKenzie River watershed at a meeting from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, at the LCC Downtown Campus, 4th floor. Call 514-3001 for more information.

Beginning farmers and ranchers are invited to Oregon’s first “Farmers Rising” weekend of learning, networking and socializing for farmers and ranchers across the state, beginning Friday evening, Oct. 17, at Two Rivers Farm, 89060 Old Mohawk Rd. in Springfield. Email or call 359-8987. 

The Greenlane Sustainable Business Network is celebrating its fifth anniversary with an event from 5 to 8 pm Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Sprout! Marketplace, 418 A St. in Springfield. $5 for members, $8 for non-members. See