Recession Putting Fledgling Yakima Businesses Through Growing Pains - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Recession Putting Fledgling Yakima Businesses Through Growing Pains

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YAKIMA--Many businesses have growing pains in the first months, but what about businesses born during the economic recession?

North Town Coffee Shop opened in July, before the stock market soured.  With plenty of competition for coffee drinkers, getting a base of customers was a challenge.

"I think it was definitely intimidating at first," Manager Ruthie Simmons said.  "What we found after we had opened is that people wanted a place where they could come and sit and stay."

Simmons says business was good at North Town.   Then, the economy went south.

"You start to think, 'Oh no, people are going to cut back, people aren't going to want to come in anymore," Simmons said.

One downtown restaurant is hoping that big slices makes for big profits.  Russillo's Pizza & Gelato reopened last month after shutting down in late 2007.

While they didn't plan to start up in this economic climate, co-owner/General Manager Mike Bastinelli is thinking positive.

"Even though we're in a recession, people still want to get away and have a good time and that's what we have to do."

Not all national troubles have made it to Yakima, Bastinelli said.

"That's perception versus reality," Bastinelli said.  "If you look around town, some are doing well."

Over at North Town, Simmons agrees.

"I think it was just the mindset really," she said.  "That was the hardest part [to overcome] because we still were having customers come in."

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