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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

Alums stay local on Garfield Street

CORNERING THE MARKET: Don Jacobson ’01, saw a need for a rental store and opened Garfield Street DVD—a block from campus.

By Noreen Hobson '99

When graduation day at PLU comes,
students scatter to points near and far.
Some join the Peace Corps, land jobs in New York City or are found just off Park Avenue South.

The Garfield Street neighborhood, just beyond the shadow of Harstad Hall, has been an integral part of PLU for many decades. The merchants on the street provide a variety of services necessary to the university community. From the Post Office to the restaurants, every shop can count Lutes among their customers.

One of the newest additions is Garfield Street DVD, owned and operated by Don Jacobson '01. After working at an independent film rental store, he saw a future in an enterprise he enjoys.

Choosing a location, Jacobson realized that this neighborhood was in need of the service he could provide. "There are no other video stores near PLU." The week he was contemplating setting-up shop a sign popped-up in the Garfield Street window and the choice was clear. His DVD rental and sales store was born. And how's the new business doing? "Pretty good so far. We're paying our bills," Jacobson said. Sales and rentals are even better than he expected, which allows him to bring in more DVD's without going into the red.

"I know a lot of people around here and I want to hang around with people I like," Jacobson expressed while sitting in front of the large TV at the counter of the store. Lutes who spend time on the street echo his sentiment.

Just across the street, PLU Northwest hosts a variety of events and provides items from Scandinavia, the Northwest and PLU. Some alumni sell their art, including Julie Ueland '79, who returned to the neighborhood in order to sign and create works for shoppers at an open house just before Christmas.

Restaurants like Marzano, From the Bayou and Tuscany, neighbors on the street, keep a fair supply of alumni employed as well. Kevin Roy, owner of From the Bayou is always pleased to have good employees to hire from the university. He has employed about a half a dozen graduates in the restaurant's four-year history. Marzano's story is similar with both students and alumni working there.

For Sarah Cunningham '00, her job at Tuscany affords her the ability to fulfill other interests including working for AmeriCorps and the chance to see familiar faces. "There are a lot of people I wouldn't see if I didn't work here," she said, "and leaving this little nest is really hard."

At the Northern Pacific Coffee Company, formerly an audio rental store, at the corner of C Street, tables and posters replace the boxes that used to sit at the store's perimeter. The shop welcomes people to the PLU thoroughfare and keeps inviting them back, even after graduation. Stephen Minor, the shop's owner, has employed many PLU graduates, but is pleased that NPCC maintains a loyal fan base within the community. He notices that alums who stay in the area have made only a slight change-getting their regular morning coffee on their way to work, instead of on their way to class.

Pacific Lutheran University Scene
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