Fourth-generation Cashmere native Melissa McClendon returned home in 2010 planning to open a winery. Once here she realized the Wenatchee Valley already had a bountiful crop of fermented grape purveyors, so she adapted her business model, opting instead to put her fermentation skills to use by establishing a brewery and adding a restaurant to the mix.
"I'm trying to get through the first year. We had a huge overhead to get through to open. We're dragging through that now. It's still hanging over us. By October, we'll be able to see. I think we're going in the right direction. It feels like we're knocking it out of the park."
She did seek some expert advice, talking to SCORE counselors several times who helped her put together her business plan.