Salt & Paper: Ten years and counting

Still thankful after all these years, Salt & Paper owners look forward to celebrating ten-year anniversary on Mother’s Day

By Dave Fisher

It’s been ten years since Dietmar Krueger and Stephanie Simpson, opened Salt & Paper on Laneda Ave. in Manzanita. It was on Mother’s Day 2006 to be exact and to celebrate the couple is offering 20 percent off items throughout the store this coming Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016.

“It’s one big thank you to the community and local artists that have supported us over the years,” said Dietmar.

The business took root shortly after the couple moved to Manzanita. It was the people, their kindness, that prompted the newcomers to move following a vacation on the north Oregon coast.

Photo by Dave Fisher

“We decided to move here almost immediately,” Stephanie noted at the time, and, with them, they brought a plan to open a retail business featuring art supplies, greeting cards, stationery, gifts, crafts, office supplies, outdoor pottery and seasonal plants. Services, such as copy and fax, along with scanning and digital imaging, would soon follow.

Opportunity presented itself when retail space became available following the closure of a Chinese restaurant. After an extensive remodel, the couple – Dietmar with his love of the arts and Stephanie with her analytic abilities – realized their dream.

Ten years later, the two are still very thankful to be in Manzanita, especially after 2015, a year in which the business took a backseat to the needs of Stephanie’s cancer-stricken mom, who lived with them her final months. The 24/7 commitment proved to be a stressful and emotional roller coaster for both Stephanie and Dietmar. If it seemed they were missing in action at Salt & Paper, it was because they were.

“We’re incredibly thankful to our staff and the community for their help during this time,” Stephanie said, searching for the words that seemed to fall short in expressing her heartfelt gratitude. “The community reached out and took care of us.”

“It blew us away,” Dietmar added. “There was so much genuine warmth and support.”

During their leave of absence, store employee Brenda Smith successfully took over the daily operations of the business. Sunshine Erdman, Kerry Allen and Gabe Calkins, in particular, were instrumental in keeping the doors of Salt & Paper open without missing a beat.

Since the passing of her mom, life has slowly returned to normal, albeit a “new normal,” for Stephanie and Dietmar. More often than not, you’ll see one or the other at the store, though Dietmar, an avid photographer, spends more time in his studio ( involved in the creative process. His images are on display throughout the store, but he’s certainly not the only local artist whose creativeness and talent is on display at Salt & Paper. During the past decade, the store has become a show place for local artists; not by accident, but by design.

“We’re totally attached to the local art community and we’re thrilled we can show the works, the creative moments, of local artists,” Dietmar said.

Asked if they would do it all again, the answer was an emphatic yes. The couple is already looking forward to the next ten years.

“You’ll have to drag us out of here,” said Stephanie with a laugh. “It’s everything we dreamed. This community is our extended family and that proved to be so very true during 2015.”

“Altogether, it’s been a real pleasure,” added Dietmar. “Since the beginning, we’ve received so much support.”

Hence the “big thank you” as Salt & Paper, which is open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., celebrates its ten-year anniversary on Sunday, May 8 – Mother’s Day.

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