Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Ins and outs of Fremont small-business scene

Lazy Cow Bakery’s impending demolition, Charlie’s Queer Books embraces community
Seattle Pacific University senior and Lazy Cow Bakery employee Rae Perez poses for a portrait at Lazy Cow Bakery on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Seattle. (Rio Giancarlo)

Finding a sense of community and fostering connections outside of a person’s room in a dreary Seattle winter can be difficult. For Seattle Pacific University students, third places – community spaces available to all – can be found just across the canal, in Fremont.

Lazy Cow Bakery – partnered with the mutual aid group Casa de Xoloitzcuintle – opened its doors in Fremont only a year and a half ago. They run many campaigns to provide community members with food, housing and an inviting place. 

Rae Perez, SPU senior social justice and English double major, feels that they have found a healthy working community that aligns with their values in working at Lazy Cow. 

“It’s not just a third place for people to come and have conversations and feel like they are part of a community. This is specifically a space that is politically engaged,” Perez said.

Perez said that it is important that a company is able to back up its values with work in the local community. Their community work and standout vegan pastries may be subject to relocation shortly – Blueprint Capital LLC, a developer company, has plans to demolish the building. According to Perez, when that demolition will happen is unclear. 

“There has just been no open communication with Blueprint Capital, which is the developing group that has bought the property and has plans to demolish the property,” Perez said. 

Blueprint Capital bought the properties on the corner of Fremont Avenue North and North 35th Street for $17.4 million, according to a Real Change News article published in October of 2023. The lease for Lazy Cow Bakery was originally not scheduled to terminate until 2026, but the bakery is attempting to raise funding for relocation.

Third places are a much-needed but often neglected part of a thriving, comfortable community, providing people with a place to relax and meet new people where they are not required to spend money. Alexis Fejeran, senior English major, expressed the importance of having third places where people can be themselves completely and not feel the need to hide any parts of their identity. 

“It’s where you can feel comfortable in your own skin and identity,” Fejeran said. 

Unsurprisingly, Lazy Cow Bakery is not the only Fremont business with this mission. In November of 2023, Charlie’s Queer Books opened in Fremont. Charlie Hunts, co-owner and proprietor, set out with his wife to provide a homey atmosphere for all community members. Hunts and his wife bought one of the beautifully refurbished homes in Fremont to become their bookstore.  

“We were always hoping to provide a community space for queer folks that is different from nightlife, and can be all ages all the time,” Hunts said. 

Fejeran was ecstatic to hear of a queer bookstore so close to campus. 

“It was very cozy in a way that doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. When I was down there looking for books, the owner was very friendly and helpful, giving me recommendations,” Fejeran said “I was able to explore the store in the way it was intended.”

When canvassing neighborhoods for the perfect place to put down roots for their business, Hunts recounted Fremont’s welcoming feel. That, with the desire for collaboration with other businesses, made Fremont perfect for the Hunts’ plan.

“It’s kind of poetic that it ended up being a house,” Hunts said. “Sometimes found family is all you got, and sometimes other community members are all we have with each other; maybe home isn’t the most safe place.”

 

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Rio Giancarlo, Chief Photographer
Rio is a sophomore visual communication major with a minor in photography. Rio manages a team of photographers and illustrators to supply content for the greater SPU media groups. Before he took his current position he worked as a staff photographer, mostly covering sports. When not working for The Falcon he works for the SPU athletic department and as a freelance photographer. In his free time you can find him skiing, or wishing he was skiing. 
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