Best Of Necessities stories

Bike n Hike is a local bike shop in downtown Corvallis. 

The Baro Staff

2nd Place Bike Shop

Bike N Hike continues pedaling forward after 30 years of operation

By Mitchell Monge, News Contributor

Bike N Hike has been one of the staple bicycle shops in Corvallis for over 30 years.

The first location was opened in 1971 by Al French, according to their website. Now they have spread across Oregon, and have locations in Albany and Portland.

Bike N Hike offers more than just bicycles for students, although that is a major part of their sales.

“We sell a lot of bikes to students for commuting on campus,” employee Randal Goodman said. “The other niche we do really well is mountain bikes.”

With easy accessibility to trails from Corvallis, this niche has allowed Bike N Hike to stand out in the community.

In addition to selling a variety of bicycles, Bike N Hike has their own repair shop as well.

 “We have a full shop service too,” Goodman said. “We’re capable of repairing bicycles, and getting bikes back on the road.”

Bike N Hike’s versatility has allowed them to stand out in Corvallis. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. From buying bicycles to tune-ups, Bike n Hike has you covered.

 

1st Place Dentist

SmileKeepers welcomes all

By Amy Schwartz, News Contributor

Located in the heart of Corvallis, SmileKeepers Dental is a very family-orientated dentist’s office. The doctors make an effort to be good with kids and their families, especially. SmileKeepers is unique in Corvallis because they take the Oregon Health Plan, which many dental offices in Corvallis do not accept.

SmileKeepers is also unique in having an in-house oral surgeon. The oral surgeon is able to perform extractions so patients do not have to travel out of the area.

SmileKeepers see a large amount of college students from out of state and out of country in their offices. Office manager Laura Lanz takes pride in caring for those students and “taking them under her wing” while they are in her office. Lanz makes it a priority to be their advocate while they are visiting her office and are away from home and at school. SmileKeepers makes it a priority to take care of students when they are away from home, while being in a college town.

 

1st Place Grocery Store

Winco Foods offers low prices

By Joe Wolf, News Contributor

24 hours a day, seven days a week, Winco Foods provides its customers with fruit, vegetables, baked goods, meats and other grocery items. While there are a variety of grocery stores in the Corvallis area, from big box chains to all-organic co-ops, the students of Oregon State University chose Winco as their pick for best grocery store.

Director of Corporate Communications Noah Fleisher offered his explanation for what separates Winco from other grocery stores in the Corvallis community.

“We’re the low-price grocery leader, we have low prices in every aisle every single day,” Fleisher said. “When you combine that with customer service, and with the overall shopping experience—our stores are clean, bright and our employee-owners are friendly—that’s irresistible to customers whether they’re on a big budget or small budget.”

Beyond the price-draw for customers, Fleisher also highlighted the fact that Winco is employee-owned, rather than financially responsible to shareholders as other grocery stores in the area often are.

“That makes a difference for every employee that works for us. We all have a stake in how the company does and how each store performs,” Fleisher said.

Winco’s employee-ownership model has been in use in markets as far away as Utah and Texas, with over 100 stores in operation, according to the store’s corporate website. The first Winco branch opened in 1967 in Boise, Idaho. The Corvallis branch is located at 2335 NW Kings Blvd.

According to Fleisher, even with their wide reach, each Winco location is unique to the city it is a part of.

“We pride ourselves on being part of every community where our stores are, because we hire our employee-owners from the community,” Fleisher said. “So they have an impact in the stores and in the communities themselves.”

 

1st Place Gym

Dixon gives students opportunities to stay active

By Rosie Morehead, News Contributor

Located centrally on campus, Dixon Recreation Center is a welcoming, inviting space for students and community members to escape and develop a healthy and happy lifestyle. Its main purpose is to be a fun workout spot for students, although Dixon offers much more than that.

Dixon hosts a wide variety of special events and experiences for students, from intramural games to After Dark roller skating to kayaking classes.

One of the lifeguards at Dixon, Aoife Burke, describes Dixon as a unique place because of the numerous activities that you can do.

Dixon offers an unlimited amount of exercise equipment, classes, programs and activities for all ages, and offers trainings. Dixon has very flexible hours that work with any busy schedule, and memberships are offered to the Corvallis community.

Dixon Recreation Center also includes the outdoor facilities, encompassing three sand volleyball courts and the Student Legacy Park soccer fields.

Burke explains why she loves working at this facility.

“I love working here mostly because of my co-workers, some of my best friends have been my co-workers and people that have really been there for me when I’m down. I like the whole community, everyone is doing their own thing, which is cool,” Burke said.

Dixon Recreation Center is open Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight.

 

1st Place Housing Complex

The Retreat offers a luxurious living space close to campus

By Joe Wolf, News Contributor

Many Oregon State University students have recently been searching for a place to live. From residence halls to Greek houses, to family homes and apartments, there are a variety of options available to students, depending on their budgets, preferences and needs. The 2017 winner for ‘Best Apartment’ is The Retreat, located on 700 SW Chickadee St.

The Retreat offers a luxurious living experience, according to Resident Services Manager Lacie Landers.

“Our apartments are very spacious—they all come with their own bathrooms and full-size washer and dryer,” Landers said.

Landers added that The Retreat’s amenities are one of the apartment complex’s best features.

“No other apartment complex in Corvallis offers tanning beds, a golf simulator, a 24-hour gym and a pool. Our pool and hot tubs are open all year round,” Landers said.

To learn more about the amenities available, as well as pricing and floor plans, The Retreat’s office is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, noon- 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-5p.m. on Sundays. Beyond the perks of the complex itself, forging connections between the residents is something The Retreat’s management encourages, according to Landers.

“We do resident events, we try to do one once a week,” Landers said. “We try to make it feel more like a community, rather than another apartment complex.”

1st Place Laundromat

Coffee and clean clothes

By Delaney Shea, News Contributor

Campbell’s Laundry and Coffee Bar, located at 1118 NW 9th St., with additional locations at 5262 SW Philomath Blvd. and 2525 NW Kings Blvd., offers a combination of services that could cause some people to do a bemused double-take. But it’s true, they serve up coffees and have washers and dryers available from 5:30 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays, and from 7 a.m. to midnight on Monday through Friday.

What started as a family-run laundromat has grown into a popular combination laundry and coffee bar, which functions as a place to not only drink coffee and carry out the necessary task of doing laundry, but also to socialize. Even with these changes, the laundromat is still run by the same family that opened it.

“Campbell’s Cleaners & Laundries was established in 1972 by Gary & Liesel Campbell (my parents). Upon graduating from the business school at Oregon State University in 1995, I joined the business full-time and have now taken over and run all day-to-day operations. The 9th Street Laundromat was re-located, doubled in size and had the coffee bar added in 1996,” Tammy Thompson, president of Campbell’s Cleaners and Laundries, said via email. “Our goal is to keep an immaculately clean, well-maintained, modern and safe facility that appeals to families, women looking for a safe place to get their laundry done and students. A card system (as opposed to quarters), free wi-fi, several study areas, cable TV and a coffee/refreshment bar were all added to make the laundry experience more fun and manageable for busy lives!”

Jess Wygant, a Campbell’s Laundry and Coffee Bar employee, said that her job is a fun one, and the environment is one where the employees are cross-trained. Wygant herself knows how to both make coffee and do some maintenance on the laundry machines. According to Wygant, part of what makes the business special is its significance to the community.

“It’s a family business, it’s local, there’s a lot of regular customers that’ve been coming here for years,” Wygant said.

Wygant thinks the coffee is good, and appreciates that it’s cheaper than Dutch Bros., with most drinks around $3. The brand they use is Longbottom Coffee, which is based out of Hillsboro, Oregon. As for the washing machine rates, Thompson says, “We have machines priced for all budgets, from single load to mega washers up to 60 lb. capacity!” Additionally, Thompson is in the process of adding a credit card acceptance system for the dryers and front-load style washers at the Timberhill location on Kings Boulevard.

The sign outside the laundromat says ‘Campbell’s, Oregon’s Classiest Laundry and Coffee Bar.’ Wygant believes the sign speaks the truth, and that the stated classiness comes from the fact that the staff is cleaning throughout the day.

“We like it to be nice and clean, and have somewhere for people to come here and hang out and not be scared to do their laundry. There are some pretty sketchy places out there,” Wygant said.

Wygant sees some people come in to just grab a coffee, some come in to just to do laundry and some to do both, but something she sees in most people is socializing. The fact that Campbell’s Laundry and Coffee Bar offers so many services to patrons may be the source of their popularity.

“A lot of people, when they come here, there’s lots of socializing, like they come here on a regular day and run into a lot of people,” Wygant said.

1st Place Mechanic

Les Schwab Tire Centers go the extra mile for customers

By Tiffani Smith, News Contributor

Founded by Les Schwab himself, Les Schwab Tire Centers have been providing automotive repair, maintenance and inspections for customers for 65 years.

The business was established in 1952 in Prineville, Oregon after owner and creator Les Schwab bought out an OK Rubber Welders tire shop in Central Oregon.

Les Schwab provides services beyond tire sales including brakes, shocks, batteries, alignments and any other services that can help repair or maintain the suspension systems on a vehicle, according to Craig Hendrickson, the manager of Corvallis’ Ninth Street Les Schwab branch.

Les Schwab is also known for their customer service and best tire value promise, according to Hendrickson.

“When a customer has a need, they come to us and we are honest with every customer,” Hendrickson said. “We hold our integrity very high. Like our slogan says, ‘If we can’t guarantee it, we won’t sell it.’”

As a part of Les Schwab’s customer service, employees are known to run out to customers as they arrive to help them, according to Hendrickson.

“We don’t get everyone, but we try to get every customer that we can,” Hendrickson said.

Locations also provide customers with fresh-popped popcorn for their waiting time during repairs and inspections. Les Schwab is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are two Les Schwab locations in Corvallis located at 2119 NW Ninth St. and 2220 SW Third St.