JOSEPHINE: Homemade Takeout Food

Traci, Josephine cook, prepares to roast brussel sprouts with preserved lemon.                                 Video: Rustic studio in L.A. /posted on Josephine site

A made-in-the-kitchen small business revolution is occurring in Capitol Hill and neighborhoods across Seattle. Josephine, an Oakland, CA-based startup which recently expanded to Seattle in 2016, believes in empowering home chefs to reach their local community, while supplying good meals to neighbors. This blog post happened because of a glowing comment from a current Josephine customer, Jordan L., in Capitol Hill. He enthusiastically recommended their service (see his referral below).

From customer Jordan L.

The two who started this business, Charley and Tal, named it after meeting initially at the warm, welcome home of a mutual friend’s mother Josephine, who invited them over regularly. This spawned discussions over meals about the value of home-cooking and whether we were losing that connection in our world.

 

A reoccurring comment about the Josephine service is that it connects neighbors to other neighbors; sometimes people you wouldn’t meet in your day-to-day, busy life. Customers come pick their food up in a chef’s warm, welcome (and safety-certified) kitchen, after signing up for free at the Josephine site.  After entering your zip code on the site, you will be able to see where chefs are located in your area. Once a week, members receive a newsletter showing the week’s food offerings from different kitchens, and how far they are away from your location.

Weekly Food Offerings near Capitol Hill (varies weekly). Photo: Josephine

This method requires meal planning on your part, since it’s not a delivery service, but many people say the homemade food quality is excellent. Chefs often have repeat customers. The choices are vast: ethnic dishes (that might not be available at restaurants in that neighborhood), vegan, gluten-free, baked goods and American comfort food, to name a few.

Community at cook Akiko’s home. Photo: Josephine / The Seattle Times

“We provide healthy food options, where the money stays in the community,” says Simone Stolzoff, Director of Communications, at Josephine. “You can buy food that reflects individual cooks’ culture; the most authentic representation of what they would feed to their own families.” Dishes are served a la carte, and cooks set their own prices, typically ranging between $8-12 per full meal, according to Stolzoff. In the Seattle area, including Capitol Hill, the local network extends as far north as Lynnwood and as far south as Tacoma.

Cook Shui Zhu’s creations. Photo: The Seattle Times / Josephine

Those approved to cook for Josephine decide what they want to cook and how often, and carry a WA food handlers licence as certification. They pass a safety inspection from Josephine, and two Masters of Public Health are on staff to check-in with new cooks before ever posting their offerings. Mark Bittman, of PBS and cookbook fame, also sits on Josephine’s board. Small business owners receive 90% of the revenue, while 10% goes to Josephine for maintaining the website, marketing home cooks’ meals, and creating a credit payment process for them.

It isn’t always smooth sailing. Although meeting standards for food safety, they have run into problems with government regulation, previously receiving “Cease-and-Desist” orders in California. But legislation continues to be developed and proposed.

A May 19th, 2016 NPR article mentions that Willard Middle School in Berkeley, Calif., has a student-run operation (with supervision) which has partnered with Josephine for the past 3 years. To date, it has brought in over $100,000 in revenue to the school, and is very popular with the locals.

Willard Middle School uses the produce from its school garden to create meals through Josephine.  Photo: Teresa Chin/Youth Radio on NPR.org

As Simone Stolzoff commented upon Josephine’s mission, “More than anything, it’s about connecting people and bringing them together.

 

How tall is Capitol Hill in Seattle?

Volunteer Park SeattleThe highest point on Seattle’s Capitol Hill is 444.5 feet above sea level near the water tower (of course) in Volunteer Park.  How does Capitol Hill compare with other Seattle neighborhoods when it comes to height?  How about 5th behind High Point/Delridge in West Seattle (512 feet), Greenwood (yes, Greenwood) at N 145th St which has conflicting information (492 or 475 feet), Queen Anne (456 feet), and Maple Leaf (455).

According to Wikipedia, Capitol Hill also has half of Seattle’s 12 steepest streets.  The eastern slope just below the arterial on 23rd has most of the steepest street. Roy (21%) and Ward (19%) both between 25th and 26th a long with Highland (18%) and Lee (18%) between 24th and 25th.  The western slope also has their steep streets with Boston (19%) between Harvard and Broadway and Roy (18%) between Melrose and Bellevue.  The Seattle DOT has different grades for these streets although they admit the information may be out of date.  Nonetheless, both agree Capitol Hill has many of Seattle’s steepest streets.

Why did we say “of course”, when we said the highest point in Capitol Hill was by the water tower?  We could explain it, but this water tower article does a better job than we ever would.

Picture above of Volunteer Park Water Tower By Steven Kevil (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Capitol Hill Real Estate – 2016 in Review

Capitol Hill HomesCapitol hill real estate, like Seattle real estate, continued to be strong in 2016.  Capitol Hill home market in 2016 seemed uninterrupted from 2015.  Prices were up in total ($983,591 average vs $981,161) and cost per square feet ($460 average vs $439), days on marketed decreased (25 vs 32), and the number of sales increased (221 vs 204).

Capitol Hill condos still attracted Seattle buyers in 2016 like they did in 2015.  While the number of condos sold reduced (349 vs 365) nearly all other numbers improved. Median sales price ($399,000 vs $355,000) and average price per square foot ($552 vs $492) went up.  The numbers of days on market tightened with condos staying on for only 18 days in 2016 versus 23 days in 2015.

Maybe the most astonish number for the previous two years is both the Capitol Hill homes and Capitol Hill condos on average sells for over list price.  In 2016, the average Seattle home on Capitol Hill sold for 103.1% of list price in 2016 and 103.6% in 2015 and the average Seattle condo on Capitol Hill sold for 104.2% of list price in 2016 and in 2015 it was 102.7%.

The Capitol Hill real estate market is similar to Seattle and the surrounding counties.  The overall real estate market in the region (area covered by Northwest Multiple Listing Service which serves 23 Washington State counties) saw an 8.1 increase of sales in 2016 when compared to 2015 with inventory at a record low for most of the year.  For the 23 counties, the median sales price increased 8.9 percent from $310,000 in 2015 to $337,500 in 2016.  Condos, which make up a smaller share of the market, were actually up 12.6% while single-family homes increased 8.7%.

Inventory was tight throughout the year, there was an average of 1.86 months of inventory in 2016, compared to 2.4 months in 2015.  King County was the tightest with only 1.1 months of supply.  A balanced market is generally considered to be between 4 and 6 months of inventory.

2017 seems to be taking over where 2016 left off.  Low inventory remains and prices remain strong.  As always, to maneuver the market, reach out to your local real estate agent to navigating the Seattle real estate market.

These statistics were gathered from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, but were not compiled or published by that organization.

Pictured: Capitol Hill Home sold in August 2015 for $2,550,000.

November Real Estate Report!

Like the rest of Seattle, Capitol Hill real estate market continues to be very strong. This past month (November), Capitol Hill had 37 sales. While not a lot of sales, the details are interesting. Last month, the traditional Seattle home was listed for $849,880 and sold above asking price: $1,136,000. Another home was listed for $1,375,000 and sold for $1,510,000. With limited inventory, buyers are competing and raising the prices even higher than asking.  The median average sale price has gone from $447,500 (November 2015) to $567,500 (November 2016). The average highest price has jumped by $204,000 and lowest going up by $55,000. A couple sales can change the average quite a bit, for example Capitol Hill had several small condos sell in, what a difference a year makes!

 

Capitol Hill Real Estate Report – October 2016

capitol hill real estateAs with the rest of Seattle, Capitol Hill real estate continues to perform well.  In October of this year, there were 13 Capitol Hill homes sold for an average of $926,000 and 28 Capitol Hill condos for an average of just over $446,000.  The highest price in October was $1,500,000 for a home on 16th and Republican and $1,150,000 for a condominium on the 700 block of Belmont Ave.

The Central Seattle area (between I-90 and the Montlake cut and I-5 and Lake Washington) saw the average price of homes up from October 2015 of $882,720 to $990,258 in October 2016 while condos rose from $507,567 last October to $593,872 in October this year.  The number of sales of area’s homes decreased from 83 in October last year to 64 this year, whereas the number of condos sold rose from 52 to 79.

While prices of real estate on Capitol Hill and in Central Seattle are significant, they are still dwarfed by other local areas.  For example, the average price on Mercer Island this October was just under $1.5 million and the Bellevue area west of 405 was nearly $2 million.

North Capitol Hill Home New to the Market!

klosh1115-60

This quintessential North Capitol Hill Tudor sits privately above the street on coveted 22nd Avenue East, one of Seattle’s finest blocks. Generosity and flow of space are the key elements making this home both luxurious and functional.

The expansive but private front porch is a room of its own–a great spot for breakfast or an evening read. The large, sun-filled living room boasts classic Tudor-style details: original stained glass and leaded windows, beamed ceilings, and a wood burning fireplace framed by a substantial mantel and built-ins. Off the living room is a cozy study with a gas fireplace.

Perfect for entertaining, the spacious dining room is conveniently open to the living area, kitchen, and breakfast room. The chef’s kitchen is well equipped with a commercial range combo–6 burner gas cooktop, double oven, broiler, and griddle–plus ample counter and storage space, counter eating, and a cook’s desk. Just off the kitchen and breakfast room, a decked garden space is lush with mature shrubs, trees, and vines.

The 2nd level features the bright and spacious master suite with walk-in closet, finished sunporch, and full bath; two more bedrooms, one with in-suite bathroom; a stately office with gas fireplace; a 3rd full bath; and hall closet space.

The 3rd level is complete with two large bedrooms, both with a pair of built-in single beds; a full bathroom; craft/work room; large storage room; and another large closet. In keeping with this home’s spacious overall feel, the basement level hosts a sizeable recreation room warmed by a wood burning fireplace; a huge, open laundry area with laundry chute and closet; and, of course, plenty of additional storage space.

Nearby shops and restaurants, parks, excellent schools (both private and public), 10 minutes to downtown, this home meets all your needs and more. Make this your forever home.

City Recommends Community Meetings to Discuss Further Pike/Pine Street Closures

East Pike

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) released its comprehensive report this week detailing last August’s experimental closure of East Pike Street to car traffic. Ultimately remaining reticent, the city is recommending more community discussions before moving forward with the project.
While SDOT is far from abandoning the project, which attempted to address issues of pedestrian congestion, aggressive crowd behavior, and LGBTQ visibility and inclusivity in the nightlife core of Capitol Hill, the city is approaching the concept of pedestrian-only streets very carefully. Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce director Sierra Hansen approves of the city’s decision to adding, “That’s exactly what we had been calling for…[to] get all the diverse perspectives at the same table. We want to foster a conversation between critics and supports.”
A further conversation between supporters and critics is likely a good idea, as the project is controversial. SDOT’s survey of the neighborhood’s residents and businesses found 66 percent were in favor of continuing pedestrian-only weekend nights on East Pike street, with 57 percent in favor of expanding the pedestrian-only zones to other times. However within those numbers, there is a split between how residents view the project and how local business owners view the project. 70 percent of residents surveyed approved the project while only 48 percent of businesses did. Additionally, just 44 percent of businesses wanted to expand it, while 66 percent of residents did. Comments regarding the street closure SDOT collected via a survey reflect this divide. One support for the project stated, “I felt safer and more connected to the community.” While a critic argued, “The space created felt like a big dark void. The police presence made it feel like a pen. And the side streets were abused as Parking lots by limo vans, etc.”
According to the report, SDOT will soon announce the date and time of an upcoming stakeholder community meetings on the street closure project. While the project remains controversial, the issues on Capitol Hill that inspired its implementation still need to be addressed. EcoDistrict director Alex Brennan argues that the “Issues [on Pike/Pine] with sexual harassment, gay-bashing, a lack of visibility for the queer community and the arts community, those issues aren’t going away.”

The Gaffney House Hits the Market

1604 17th Ave Gaffney House-5The Gaffney House, facing east on the corner of 17th Avenue and Madison Street, has just been listed for sale by Ewing and Clark Inc. The current owner, Full Life Care, a not-for-profit organization, has owned and operated a memory care home out of the property for the last 12 years.

“For persons living with dementia,” says Nora Gibson, Full Life Care’s executive director, “our small-scale assisted living is a fantastic model. But the reality is it’s cost-prohibitive for us to continue at this location. We’ll invest the property’s equity into our other memory care home in Columbia City and our adult day health centers throughout King and Snohomish counties. We are committed to providing fiscally-sound solutions for the long-term care needs of our most vulnerable populations.”

1604 17th Ave Gaffney House-2Prior to the establishment of Gaffney House in 2004, the property had served many purposes. In the 20th century it had numerous incarnations: hospital, mental health facility, a venue for weddings and other large parties. At one point, it was even configured into a warren of non-profit arts organizations. Most recently, the stairwell was encased, a large elevator was added, and extra-large bedrooms were re-sized.

Gibson emphasizes that Gaffney House will continue to provide high quality of care during the sale. “We expect the process to take many months,” she says. “And our residents’ quality of life will always be our paramount concern. When the sale approaches, we’re committed to helping families make a smooth transition for their loved ones.”

“Our residents and their families have loved what we’ve accomplished at Gaffney House,” Gibson says. “And it is at a very special location in the heart of a mixed-use area. It’s even conveniently sandwiched between two incredible markets: Trader Joe’s and the Central Co-op. Like Gaffney House, I’m sure a new use will develop from the sale that will be of great benefit to the Capitol Hill community.”

1604 17th Ave Gaffney House-3The stately 1906 house was originally built for Caroline Kline Galland and was completely renovated in 1990 and again in 2003. The elegant and palatial property sits atop Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s most dynamic & vibrant neighborhoods. The Gaffney House is equipped with handicapped and elevator access to all four floors, two full staircases, fire sprinklers, fire rated doors, & other life safety improvements and is currently approved for 16 residents, while operating as Full Life. This property provides a unique high profile investment opportunity in a NC365′ zone.

For more information about Full Life Care programs, contact Doug Harkness at 206.224.3757. To inquire about the sale, contact Ewing & Clark, Inc.: Tom Graff at 206.295.1445 or Jane Powers at 206.322.2840.

Just Listed! Stunning North Capitol Hill Tudor

954 17th FrontJust listed, this North Capitol Hill home is lovely in so many ways. This stunningly updated and cared for Tudor sits on a pristinely landscaped corner lot, anchored by an 80+-year-old Atlas Cedar. This home checks every box: formal and sophisticated entertaining spots; beautiful and functional eat-in kitchen with attached family room; and chef’s kitchen fully equipped with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. This home features beautiful hardwood floors and leaded windows throughout; designer fabric window coverings; and Barbara Barry fixtures.

Hardwoods continue on the upper floor, and a full bath serves three comfortable bedrooms with generous closet space. It is easy to take respite in the master suite with its soft grey walls. A walk-in closet and full bath, adorned in Carrera marble and two pedestal sinks, in keeping with the homes era, complete this grown-up space.

The garden is serene and private. Landscaping by Beers-Withington, it is completely in touch with its environment; the native plantings designed to create a purposeful and tailored effect with a smidge of whimsy. There are three cedar decks: one directly off kitchen/family room for outdoor dining, one tucked privately along the side of the house to escape the heat and nap in a hammock, a third at the lawn’s edge to catch the last rays of sunlight.

For more information or to make an appointment to see this fabulous home, or to learn more about Capitol Hill real estate, please contact the listing agent: Kristine Losh.

The Details

Bedrooms: 4+ | Bathrooms: 4 | 4,050 sq. ft. | Year Built: 1928

Available for $2,100,000

   Bathroom    954 17th Living Room

KLosh954-17thAveE-71

3rd annual Bite of Greece Seattle, May 29th – May 31st

10924228_824020597690690_2799304422795667153_oThis weekend the 3rd annual Bite of Greece Seattle, takes place from Friday, May 29th to Sunday, May 31st. This food bonanza and street festival takes place in Capitol Hill and will be the mecca of all things Greek.

From souvlaki to baklava, you will find the most authentic and delicious Greek cuisine around. They will also have music and dancing too! You don’t want to miss this… or else you might be saying “Opa!”

Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption
1804 13th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Friday, May 29th 4 -10 pm
Saturday, May 30th 11 am – 9 pm
Sunday, May 31st Noon – 6 pm