I grew up in the food and beverage industry. I went to college, then dabbled in broadcasting and advertising. I founded P’Chelle International® and realized the power of food and beverage manufacturing as an economic development tool. Join me on my journey!

Ranch Café

My maternal grandparents owned and managed a restaurant, the Ranch Café, along Highway 99, just outside Toledo, Washington. The Ranch Café served simple, traditional American food. The exterior design was also simple. The interior more so…vinyl, chrome and linoleum.

Left image – Ranch Café; Right image – My grandmother and mother

Ranch Café

Multi Flavors

My parents owned an ice cream store in Everett, Washington, called Multi Flavors. The front multi-colored neon sign prominently displayed “Multi flavors” on the left side, while the right side featured “$1.69 Gal” on the top, “Ice Cream” on the bottom. When they were forced to increase the price, they sold the business.

Left image – Multi Flavors; Right image – My mother

Mac’s Drive-In

Inspired by Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame, my parents purchased Mac’s Drive-In, a fast food restaurant in Lynnwood, Washington. I worked my way through high school and college as a fry cook, milkshake maker, dishwasher, onion slicer, and janitor. All went well until Mr. Kroc, unaware that he was my parent’s inspiration, opened a McDonald’s down the road.

Image – Mac’s Drive-In

The Rest Of My Story

My career path temporarily wandered from this family business tradition. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communications from Washington State University, I went to work in sales for KEPR-TV, Pasco, Washington and then marketing for KIRO-TV, Seattle. Later, I worked in business development for Sandeno Simmons, a Seattle based advertising agency. There I was exposed to the magic of manufacturing. It inspired the creation of P’Chelle International®, initially specializing in export trading, eventually economic development consulting, all of it in manufacturing.

It became obvious that economic development had become tradition-bound and static. It needed a different perspective, a different model. I believed, and still do today, that manufacturing provided the best model, especially in an industry with many current and potential niches, core and supportive. But which industry? With a little head scratching, much observation and research and reflecting on my family’s business history, it became crystal clear…..food and beverage. Welcome home, Gary.

Over the past two decades, I’ve had the opportunity, with the help of incredible public and private partners, to create some of the coolest food and beverage economic development projects to dot the surface of this good earth. I am blessed!