For more than 100 years, the Granary Building has played host to a handful of businesses in downtown Stanwood.
But the historic wood building has rarely seen an upgrade — until now.
“We don’t even know the last time this building has been renovated,” owner Chantel Keller said last week. “It’s a cool building. We want to preserve the history.”
Keller, who bought the foreclosed building from a bank eight years ago, is in the midst of a multi-phase renovation that will include upgrading the exterior, repairing the foundation and updating the interior.
“We’re trying to restore stuff as we go,” she said. “We’re preserving flooring where we can, and we’re trying to get it on the (State or National Registers of) Historic Places list.”
Originally called the People’s Union Building, the first business was a general store and meat market. It became the Granary Building at some unknown point, though it appears no grain was ever stored there, Keller said.
Soon, however, it will display historic artifacts and photos throughout, and become home to two of Keller’s restaurants.
The 35-year-old businesswoman and Camano Island-native has owned and operated Jasmin Thai Cuisine and Sushi in the building for the past 18 years. Next month, she plans to open Mammoth Burger Company in the building — a fast-casual family-friendly eatery featuring homemade craft-style burgers, wine and 20 beers on tap.
“We don’t have many places here to get a burger and a beer,” said Keller, who also owns and operates Rockaway Bar and Grill on Camano Island. “I think this will add to the appeal of downtown. We need more life down here, more community feel. Not just eating and leaving.”
Stanwood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Elaine Traversi said the business community is excited to see investment in downtown.
“I’m thrilled that the history of this building is being appreciated, preserved and repurposed,” Traversi said. “We have so many wonderful shops down here already, so Mammoth Burger will fit right in.
“There is so much potential with the Amtrak Station being right there, so if we can get the empty storefronts filled with fun businesses, not only will it get our locals excited but the out-of-towners, as well.”
Between Keller’s three eateries, she will boast 50 to 100 employees, depending on the season.
“The three restaurants work well together,” said Keller, who has worked in the local restaurant industry for 20 years. “Between the three, I can provide more full-time work with some benefits. I can offer more of a career than just a job.”
For more, search for Mammoth Burger Company on Facebook.