Business Notes for Jan. 8

HRD vodka best-seller in Oregon

A vodka produced by Hood River Distillers was the best-seller by volume for the past year in Oregon.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission reports HRD Vodka sold nearly 249,000 gallons. Number 2 on the list is Fleischmann’s Royal Vodka with about 176,000 gallons.

The list of top distilled spirits sold in the state was released Friday, covering the period from December 2012 through last November.

The commission says spirits produced by Oregon distillers made up 16 percent of the total volume. The state has 55 local distillers.

Although HRD Vodka was number 1 by volume it was only number 6 in dollar sales. That top spot went to Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 at $13.7 million. HRD Vodka was sixth on the dollar sales list at $9.1 million.

Tortilleria LaCascada opens on 12th

Enrique Ortega and partners opened Tortilleria La Cascada at 1021 12th St. on Dec. 30.

The new store, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, makes fresh flour and corn organic tortillas in the Nixtamal style, a process of grinding based on the Aztec method of grinding the corn or grain in volcanic stones.

Ortega and his crew have imported specialized equipment from Mexico that employs unique limestone grinding stones. Ingredients list: corn, water, flour “and a trace of lime.”

The store is holding a grand opening event Saturday. LaCascada products are also found in some local stores and restaurants.

Ortega and his wife, Maria, also own Gorge Taxi Service.

Pita Pit restaurant opens on the Heights

National pita sandwich chain Pita Pit opened its new location at 1769 12th St. on the Heights in the Hood River Shopping Center this past Sunday. Cheramy Rovianek, who owns the business along with her husband, Doug, says the eatery specializes in “Lebanese style pitas” that use “fresh and healthy ingredients,” but breakfast pitas are also served. The business began accepting employment applications back in late November 2013 and now employs approximately 20 people.

Pita Pit is open Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. Credit cards are accepted. Call 541-436-0600.

Chamber plans Jan. 24 membership event

Chamber of Commerce celebrates Jan. 24 with a “Great Gatsby” themed annual Membership Appreciation event, 6 p.m. at Columbia Gorge Hotel. After a one-hour social hour with wine, beer and “heavy hors d’oeuvres” courtesy of the Chamber, an awards and recognition session will take place; key honors are the Business of the Year and the Don Benton Community Service Award. (Nominations are accepted through Jan. 17 for both awards.)

There will also be a no-host bar, and dancing will follow, to the music of “Don The Apparel.”

Curves offers Jillian Michaels workouts

Curves of Hood River today announces it is now offering Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels, total body workouts that feature the Curves Circuit strength training machines in conjunction with functional bodyweight-based exercises. They are designed for women at every fitness level and include simple modifications for each movement.

Metabolic conditioning exercises will be done in between each strength machine within the Curves Circuit, all within a 30-minute class The Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels will be showcased on a large-screen TV, set to upbeat music.

Contact Curves of Hood River at 541-386-6600 or or visit the club at 1108 12th St., Ste. B.

Gorge Innoventure offers workshops

Gorge Innoventure of Hood River hosts regular brown bag workshops on business topics. Learn more at

Upcoming classes are:

n Jan. 14 — Sococo Virtual Office

n Jan. 22 — “Nine Ways to Organize Your Business in 2014” with organization consultant Meagan Spears of Disorder2Order

n Feb. 5 — “How to Get on the First Page of Google,” with Scott See of Hammock and Associates LLC.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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