Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
Local Businesses on the Southern Oregon Coast Featured in the South Coast Shopper
The Oregon Connection House of Myrtlewood
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer

For the past seven years, Stacy Gavette has been the assistant manager at the Oregon Connection House of Myrtlewood, 1125 South First in Coos Bay. Open Mon-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4.  “We specialize in hand-crafted myrtlewood items, and specialty foods such as house-made fudge, locally produced jams and jellies, and Umpqua ice cream. Our number one item made from myrtlewood are our bowls ranging from 2” to 18” wide. We have salad plates and servers, salt and pepper shakers, rolling and pastry pins, and so much more.  We have large items like tables and can also do custom orders like bedroom sets. Probably our most unique item are the myrtlewood putters that we sell.”

    I also noticed that the Oregon Connection is stocked with boutique clothing, scarves, handbags, jewelry, greeting cards, books by local authors, the list goes on and on! But it’s the myrtlewood items that really stood out.  “We have on-site craftsmen who start out doing sanding jobs and then work their way up to be craftsmen.  One of our carvers has been here for 30 years! We also have free daily tours that start with a ten minute video and then people get to walk through our on-site factory and see just how everything is made. You don’t even need a reservation!”

Stacy Gavette, assistant manager of the Oregon Connection House of Myrtlewood, stands behind a delectable-looking array of their housemade fudge.
Stacy also explained about how the Oregon Connection is involved with the Star of Hope, a local organization that provides residential and vocational services for people with disabilities, located at 657 Newmark in Empire. “In 2006 Star of Hope was looking for an opportunity to make more money in order to fund their programs. Each year state and federal funding for these programs gets cut, and Joe and Trish Bennetti, who owned the Oregon Connection, agreed over a handshake to sell their business, which then became the Oregon Connection House of Myrtlewood. Proceeds now go to raise funds for the programs at the Star of Hope. In addition to the store, employees at Star of Hope do recycling, parking lot striping, apartment cleaning and are involved in several other business start-ups. Currently Star of Hope helps out over 100 people in our area.”

Between the Oregon Connection and Star of Hope, 120 people are employed.  At the Oregon Connection itself, they have five craftsmen, three store personnel and an office manager. When I asked Stacy what she wanted people to be aware of about their store, she replied, “I want people to know that our tours are completely free. It’s important to us for people to know they are more than welcome to visit us, take a tour, and fall in love with our local products. We’ve been in business for 85 years, and at this location since 1956.    

    So come visit these friendly people and take home a hand-made Oregon treasure.  Or just browse through their wide selection and enjoy the complimentary coffee and popcorn!   

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