Business Bits: The Real Deahl Gift Store

St. Helens, Oregon –  The Real Deahl Gift Store is the real deal.  This new business opened January 29th, 2021 at 254 N. Columbia River Hwy, St. Helens, OR next to neighbors Wayne Martin Flooring, and Walt’s Produce.  Owners, Ben Deahl and Shauna Lewis, turned a house into a Columbia County art boutique that carries garden products and a variety of artisan items from oil paintings, pottery, macrame, cards, earrings, and more handmade items.

Shop Tuesday – Sunday between 10 AM -7 PM.  Find more information on their website and follow their Facebook Page for events and new items.

Welcome to Columbia County!  #shoplocal #beyondtheburbs #spendbetter #keepitlocalcc




Two Sisters Open Two Little Libraries

Two local sisters created two new little libraries during the pandemic, The Turquoise Table Library in Scappoose and The Baldwin Book Corner in St. Helens.  They are both a little different, but each was inspired by their love of books and wanting to make a difference in their communities.

Molly Walter, Scappoose citizen, shares that she started  The Turquoise Table Library because “The decision was two-fold:  First, as a lifelong learner and avid reader, I’ve had a dream of having a little library in our yard, ever since I first heard about this movement over a decade ago. My husband Josh surprised me with the library, made by my father-in-law, for my birthday. It’s a small way we can give to our neighborhood and encourage our kids to participate with us. Stewarding this library has brought us so much joy! Second, inspired by the book The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell, we painted the library turquoise and added a matching reclaimed picnic table to our front yard. Schell’s book discusses the idea of being present, inviting others into the conversation, and building a community around a table, and in our case also a library.” She calls it being “front yard people.” “For us, these brightly colored items in our yard aren’t ours – they belong to our community and we have the privilege of hosting them.”

Her sister, Hannah Baldwin, St. Helens resident, thought about starting one for years.  Hannah explained, “I first noticed the concept of a “little neighborhood library” when visiting family in Des Moines, IA about 13 or so years ago. I thought the idea was such a fabulous way to give back to the community. After that, I started noticing them more and more in Portland and even some in Columbia County. I dreamed of one day starting my own but never had pushed myself to do it. Molly diving into her project gave me the jumpstart I needed. I put a library on my Christmas wishlist for my husband in 2020. We set out to create the vision I had in my head and just a few weeks later, Baldwin Book Corner was born. Baldwin Book Corner is a pretty “typical” little free library in the simplest sense. We offer adult and children’s books of all varieties. I plan to put in cookbooks, magazines, and maybe even some games for all to enjoy. We get a lot of people running and walking dogs on our street, so I outfitted the library with a leash hook, water bowl, and a jar of dog treats. If you come by, you will most likely be greeted by the barks of Moo, our 15-month-old Olde English Bulldogge.”  Hannah wanted to make sure to thank her big sister Molly “for always being there to encourage me. Not only in this project but in all things in my life. I have fond memories of us reading together as kids, particularly the book All the Pretty Horses by Susan Jeffers.”

The Turquoise Table Library differs from other little libraries because it has a turquoise picnic table.  Molly mentioned that “It’s a community space, not just a library. All are welcome to come to sit, read, talk, and be known. We are anxiously anticipating the drier weather of summer so we can enjoy the table even more!”

The libraries are for their neighbors to enjoy and both encourage stopping by to take a book to read, bring a book or a friend, enjoy the space and share the libraries with others.  If you are on Instagram, follow and share your experiences @theturquoisetablelibrary and @baldwinbookcorner.

You can learn more about the Little Free Library organization by visiting There is even a map that shows registered libraries around the world.  Baldwin Book Corner charter # is 116690 located at 35144 Alder Street, St. Helens, OR and The Turquoise Table Library charter # is 113263 located at 52186 SE Tussing Way, Scappoose, OR.

Another way to plug in #beyondtheburbs

Business Bits: Get Your Paint On

Scappoose, OR –  Do you look at those paint event pictures and think, maybe I could do that?  If you do, you are not alone.  Paint events have and will continue to be a hot craze.  Local artist and business owner, Hope Wirta, Art of Hope Studios, offers paint events online and onsite for both individuals and groups.

Hope provides a variety of options to explore your paint creativity.  You can choose to socialize with a paint event with friends or to stay at home socially distanced.  You can test out your skills during one of her free Facebook live events, or join an online subscription or an onsite event to meet like-minded crafty people.  Hope also offers private events in-studio.  You can view more options for paintings on her website any past painting can be turned into an event.

Want to support local artists?  The new business platform, Patreon, offers the option to pay a monthly fee to participate in events varying from $3.00 to $10.00 with three different levels of benefits go to her page to learn more.

Hope Wirta started her business like many entrepreneurs while working a corporate job.  She spent two years hosting paint events and selling her artwork before she turned her part-time business into a full-time career as an artist and teacher.  Her Patreon profile states, “I love helping new painters overcome the fear of putting paint on a canvas and relaxing as they find their own style of art.  I hope to make painting a creative outlet for you to enjoy and have an easy step by step style of teaching.”  You can follow her YouTube Channel to engage with her teaching style.

Photo Courtesy FB page Hope Wirta The Trouble with Being Me




Christmas In July

Columbia County, Oregon- Merchants’ Toy N Joy is hosting Christmas in July, an online Virtual Auction July 19th- 25th to support citizens in need during the upcoming 2020 Holiday Season.

Toy N Joy typically fundraises with a gala in December to support CRF&R’s Volunteer Association’s Toy N Joy, Kiwanis Holiday Hope, and the Columbia Pacific Food Bank.   Together these organizations give away holiday food baskets and toys to families across the CRFR district which serves Rainier to Warren, Columbia County.  This year with a generous donation of local gift cards from businesses across Columbia County by Jeff Kemp, Pacific Stainless, with a challenge to #payitforward the organization decided to host a virtual auction, Christmas In July!

It’s easy to participate.  Sign up now to get the updates on the auction at

Follow the Facebook Event Merchant’s Toy N Joy Christmas In July


Beyond the Burbs- Outdoors Nob Hill Nature Park

Nob Hill Nature Park has a new entrance from the walking path along the Columbia River downtown St. Helens (old venner plant property down by the Dockside Resturant).  You can also use the entrance across from the St. Helens Public Works building over by the National Guard Armory.  This is a great place to explore natural paths and small hills.


Business Bits: CCB (Columbia River Bistro)

St. Helens, Oregon-  Columbia County Bistro opened February 19th at 4:00 PM! You might recognize Chef Kayleigh Stano her from her younger days at Columbia County Brewing (CCB). You’ll find the old mac daddy on the menu with other gluten/allergy free homey northwest food.  CCB is located at the former Big River Bistro at 305 Strand Street, St. Helens. Open Wednesday-Saturday 4:00 PM- 9:00 Last Seating. Follow their Facebook page for more details! Welcome to Columbia County, Columbia County Bistro..#beyondtheburbs

2020 Valentine’s for Vets CCB catered the event
Sample Menu on Opening Day

Beyond the Burbs- Outdoors

Updated CZ Trailhead offers a place to ride your horse, to hike, run or just a quiet place to stop and rest. Check out your community just beyond the burbs! #beyondtheburbs #columbiacountyoregon

CZ Trailhead

Updated CZ Trailhead offers a place to ride your horse, to hike, run or just a quiet place to stop and rest. Check out your community just beyond the burbs! #beyondtheburbs #columbiacountyoregon

Posted by Beyond The Burbs – Faces, Places and Happenings of Columbia County on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Beyond the Burbs – Outdoors

Enjoy Your Community!
Do you have kids at home this week? Take them for a quick walk, play some disc golf or watch the river from a bench. McCormick Park is a beautiful place to spend time with family or for some self-care. #beyondtheburbs

Enjoy Your Community!Do you have kids at home this week? Take them for a quick walk, play some disc golf or watch the river from a bench. McCormick Park is a beautiful place to spend time with family or for some self-care. #beyondtheburbs

Posted by Beyond The Burbs – Faces, Places and Happenings of Columbia County on Wednesday, January 1, 2020