Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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March 9, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
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March 9, 1994
 

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Wednesday, March 9, 1994 Mercer Island Reporter By Jane W. Nelson Special to the Reporter Last week hundreds of Island- ers experienced an inevitable ill- ness - Tuk Withdrawal. Its symptoms were frequent trips to the southend QFC, veiled excuses to say goodbye one last time to an Island institution. Tuk Tada, much admired and respected manager was turning in his feath- er duster for golf clubs and may- be a hammer. Tada, who wound up 30 years with QFC and a lifetime in the grocery business on March 5, ex- pects that with those tools his new life will be, “a different kind of fun.” He’s got his priorities straight — like “improving my golf game three-fold”; baby sit- ting the grand kids; doing volun- teer work; and even working his way through a list of household projects. AS MANAGER at the south- end store for 25 years, Tada, al— ways called Tuk by everyone, was everybody’s favorite guy — friendly, accommodating, a mas- ter of customer service. He knew his customers by name, went out of his way to honor special re- quests and never hesitated to in- terrupt whatever he was doing to escort a bewildered patron to the proper shelf. He’s been the touchstone that has given the store its reputation for being a kind of village center, a place where people see their friends, exchange gossip and game scores, promote favorite causes or even small business ventures. He was an on—the-floor highly visible manager, out there with his troops lending a hand wherever he saw a need. In a store with a stock of 18,000 items and scores of employees, it was usual to see him, a small duster tucked in his hip pocket, checking and arranging shelves. Often on his way out the door at the end of the day, coat and briefcase in hand, if he saw grow— ing lines he would stop to check or bag groceries, speeding custom- ers on their way who were just as intent as he had been on getting home on time. QFC’s CEO, Dan Kourkoumelis, said “Tuk has set a standard for QFC customer ser- vice which is second to none and wle are proud to follow his exam- p e.” IT ALL came naturally. He’d grown up working in his father’s grocery store on Seattle’s Beacon Hill. Under his tutelage, he learned the meaning of the ser- vice that has been the most distin- guishing characteristic of his ca- reer. “I used to ride my bicycle to get people’s orders, then go back to the store, fill them, and deliver them on my bike,” he recalled. “My dad said, ‘In a small busi— ness you depend on your custom— ers. They keep you alive, so you try to give something back.’ And now,” he laughed, thinking of a recent QFC innovation, “we’re back to that with our Express ser— vice.” One of seven children, Tada watched his father build his dec- ades old business a second time when the family returned to Seat- tle after internment in Idaho dur- ing World War II. Tada chose it as his life’s work. “That’s all I knew,” he said modestly. When he started, the chain had just five stores. Faster than he could find room for a new product on his shelf, he became manager of the West Seattle store before moving to the Mercer Island store in 1969. Before they opened the 14,000 square foot store, there was a little remodeling, but nothing like what would happen 20 years later when bulldozers, pneumatic drills and hydraulic lifts dug, chipped and installed their way to a 20,000 square foot expansion all while Tada and his staff con- tinued business cheerfully and as usual. ALTHOUGH the remodel has been the biggest change shoppers have seen there in two decades, Tada fingers the installation of scanners as the single most signif- icant advancement for store man- agement. Besides speeding the check-out process, it almost total- ly automated inventory control, making it easier for a central warehouse to tailor a delivery to the needs of a particular store. The merchandise may keep changing, but Tada’s customers have not. They still want the best, he said, but now they want it healthy and fast, preferably with somebody else doing the prepara- tion. And how did he feel about non- traditional departments such as the deli and the video depart- ments coming into his store? “Whatever brings in the custom- Floral workshop, auction plannedwat MI Beach Club By Mary Lou Willison Mercer Island Reporter The ninth annual floral work- shop and auction benefitting the Bellevue Art Museum will be held at the Mercer Island Beach Club Wednesday, March 16. Sponsored by the Bellevue Art Museum and its volunteer organization, the Gallery Guild, the event will be- gin at 9:30 a.m. with speaker Marianne Binetti, a syndicated gardening journalist. . Binetti, whose column appears in the Journal American, will speak on “Carefree Gardening: Shortcuts to Accenting Gardens.” Binetti writes for more than 20 newspapers in western Washing- ton, and has recently written a low maintenance gardening guide that will appear in the March Women ’5 Day Gardening Special. Her first book, Tips for Care- free Landscapes, was chosen by the Book of the Month Club and is now in its eighth printing. Her new book, Shortcuts to Accen'ting Your Garden, is full of week end projects, design ideas and quick fix ups for the gardener who wants an attractive yard without spending a lot of time and money. Binetti, who has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University, appears as a regular guest on the “Gardening in America” television show with Ed Hume and also answers gar- dening questions on KVI radio. Following lunch, a live auction will be held, and Annette Keyser will demonstrate “The Art of Ar- ranging.” Keyser, who studied art at Western Washington Universi- ty, runs her own business, Anto- nia, which specializes in Keyser’s freeze dried botanicals. Her cus- tom designs include English-style garden wreaths as well as fruit and vegetable baskets. A floral arrangement made by Keyser during the luncheon will be offered for the auction. Among other items to be auctioned are flowers for a year from Molbak’s and a wine-filled wine rack. The cost for the luncheon and program is $26 and reservations must be made in advance. Call Carol Schroll, 883—1180, for reser- vations and information. The Mercer Island Beach Club is lo- cated at 8326 Avalon Drive on Mercer Island. To subscribe Call 453—4240 Your Headquarters for Women In Sports a‘INc SHE SALE All Regularly Priced Shoes, 1 0% OFF Until March 17 Univefsny Village Crossroads Village 522-2113 641-9696 Mercer Island Chiropractic 1., ., . Dr. Dionne Hersh-Matthies Serwng Since 1984 Did you know... More and more people are looking for a preventive or “wellness” approach to health? A 1982 Gallup pole showed 81% of the population has taken steps to improve their health through better nutrition or exercise. Chiropractic fits perfectly into this wellness approach to health. 2448 761h Ave, S.E. Suite 106, Mercer Island (by Cale Italic) Andrea Marchese Tuk Tada, a familiar face at the southend QFC, was known to bag or check groceries even if he was on his way out at the end of the day. He recently retired as the store’s manager. ers, that’s fine with me,” he smiled, adding, “You have to grow with the business.” And sometimes you have to be ready for the unexpected. Tada chuckled about the day it took him a couple of seconds to figure out what the man wanted whose wife had sent him to the store for a box of “Shoot.” Actually, it was the laundry soap, “Shout,” he was after. But power outages are the worst. Before the remodel in-. stalled emergency generators, Tada relied on the good will of his customers and the knowledge of his checkers. He handed out grease pencils and people marked the price on each item as they shopped. But last winter’s storm was “horrendous” said Tada, re- calling that the generators could keep only a few lights on and the ' NEW '94- ACCORD tiuge inventory to choos 0 Come see 8: t IS HERE! fr st drive one today! ALL NEW Car. Same OLD Price! Resort/ Cruise Casual Cotton Sets - LOUBELLA Pants & Blouses Running Suits - Jewelry, Belts, Purses & More Tine La , Tasfiions BELLEVUE, on the corner of NE Isl & 102nd Ave NE 451-0181 scanners going, but weren’t meant to power refrigerators and freezers. SHOPPERS aren’t the only ones who will miss Tada. Marlene West, who has been at the south end store almost aslong as Tada, said, “He’s a very understanding person. You can go to Tuk with a problem and he’ll always find a way to work it out. He gives ev- eryone a chance.” West also told about the in- store code known only to employ- ees. An avid cribbage player, Tada and Jim Garl, the meat de- partment manager, have a stand- ing engagement every day at lunch — three games of cribbage. When one makes a clean sweep, a cryptic announcement, likely un- noticed by anyone but insiders, New play at Village Theatre Tickets are on sale for You Can’t Take It With You, which opens March 10 at Village Theatre in Issaquah. The production will continue through April 24 with performances on Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $12 to $18, are on sale through Village Theatre’s Box Office 392-2202. e om, more arriving daily. I PRICED m FAST! N 1~800~954—4999 l .10 N ll. 83d) l\‘lunr l‘Vl'l .lm-‘) pm ' S.“ ‘) .un—R pm, Sun 1 I .Im»()_ pm SCI'YlCC C l’m'ts I\'lon»$at null) pm comes over the PA “get out the broom.” Garl said that just before Tada’s retirement the running to- tal of games was lightly in Tada’s favor. But he had an explanation, “He’s a lot luckier than I am, but I have the real skill,” he joked. Gar said he’ll miss their games, but he’ll miss Tada the most. “He’s just a neat guy a real sweetheart.” While Tada may miss those daily cribbage games, he can trade in his duster for golf clubs knowing that he’s turning over a booming business to his succes- sor, Don Christensen. He paid at- tention to his customers, provided old-fashioned neighborhood ser- vice and values along with the best in new ideas. The greatest compliment, he said, “Is that peo ple say they like the atmosphere in the store.” Mcher Island Covenant Church In Evangollcll Protestant Church Winter Worship Schedule 8:00. 9:30 (1 11 am - orshlp Services 9:30 8. 11 am Sunday Bible School Classes for adults and children Nursery Provided lntnnls "vouch K106019011." AI Johnson, Interim Pastor Ralph Fry, Assistant Pastor Steve Sprunger, Youth Minister Carolyn Hansen, Dlrector 01 Christian Education LeAnn F . Music Coordinator Cemplc B’nai Comh 6195 - 92nd S.E.. Mercer Island 232—7243 A Reform Congregation Religious Schools Classes Pre-SchooI-High School Sun., Tues, Wed, Thurs. James Louls erel, Fiabe David Serkln‘PooIe, Cantor Worship Frl. 8:00 pm; Sat. 10:00 am St. Monica’s Catholic Church 4315 - 88th S.E., M.|. ............... ..232-2900 Saturday evening 5:00 Suhday mornlng 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 am Rev. John Bowman I The Congregational Church of ‘ Mercer Island (United Church of Christ) 4545 Island Crest Way ....... .. 232-7800 BRUCE VAN BLAIR, minister 10:30 am. Worship Service Nursery/daycare provided Youth Fellowship EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH i 4400 86th Ave. SE ................. ..232-1572 SUNDAY v Holy Eucharist 8 am. 8. 10:00 am. Midweek Eucharist Wednesdays 9:80 am. 6 pm. The Rov'ds Ray D. Green, David H. Jackson William D. Boyd Robert L. Poovey. Music Dlrector I, repertoire, she regularly per— ? a. m} an “saunas-la 8501 SE 40th Concert at church set The Bel Canto Consortium and the Mercer Island Reporter will present the Pacific Cham— ber Orchestra with guest sopra— no soloist Anne Bergsma in a performance on Mercer Island tomorrow evening, March 10. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 8501 SE. 40th. Bergsma received her bache- lor and master of music degrees in vocal performance from the University of Washington. She has studied with a number-of outstanding teachers and coach- es, including Leon Lishner,f Capr- ol Webber, Marianne Weltm’an and John Wustman. ’ ‘ Currently residing-in Seattle, Bergsma frequently performs in the Northwest, and recently made her European debut in a performance in Heidelberg, Germany. A specialist in perfor— mance of Twentieth Century forms works by contemporary American composers and was a featured artist in the 1991 Marzena Festival of New Music in Seattle. The Pacific Chamber Orches- tra was founded in 1985 by its Music Director and Conductor, Lauren Anderson, to serve as a touring orchestra available for regional tours and perform- ances in communities not regu- larly served by orchestral mu— sic. The Mercer Island concert precedes the orchestra’s tour to Oregon where they will perform two concerts on the campus of Western Oregon State College in Monmouth. The first summer concerts of the orchestra were sponsored by the Mercer Island Arts Council and the group has continued to perform here. Admission for to- morrow’s concert is $10, or $7 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For further information, call 728-2787. W 1"“ (tine Vflh'm '3 ‘fimuynm-nl A CHANGE OF SEASON Now acce ting Sprlng Clothing Open hursday nghts tn 7 3033 78th., Mercer Island - 232-6299 Come as you are. Contemporary Christian Music Join us for breakfast at 8:00 and informal , worship at 8:30 Traditional Worship at 11:00 "Trial and Denial” 5545119145 , . All are welcome 3605 8411i Avenue Southeast (‘3 :rl-‘N’S fig . 232-5595 I . . ('hunli stall: lldlt‘ brwall, Jim Davis leif Holland, Julie (iuslivsun, 11th Ann Bigger» ‘ CHRISTIAN SCIENCE First Church of Christ, Scientist Island Crest Way oI SE 47th 10 am Service 8. Sunday School 8 pm Wednesday Child Care Reading Room MonnFri. 10 ram-5 pm, Thurs. 7-9 pm I 50110 om-l :30 pm 1 7829 SE 27111 232-5850 I HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH 232-3270 ru‘srry Carr} Wlu't'lrlmi r Access Worship Schedule 0:00am, - Worship Eucharist in the Chapel 10:15 am. - Worship Service ‘ 9-10 am. Sunday School I all ages Paul A. Fauskc, Pastor Woody Carlson, Pastor