When Both Ways Café moved into its space on Genesee near Lake Washington 12 years ago, the place was in pretty rough shape. Owner Dick Wall says, “There was another restaurant in here before us and it was pretty ugly.” Anyone who has been in the space since then can attest that Wall’s investments have paid off in Both Ways current charm and to-die-for biscuits.
But when a convection oven started to fail, putting those biscuits at risk, it was clear that something needed to be done. Long-time customer, and approved Community Power Works Contractor, Jason Lear with Batt + Lear saw this as an opportunity for Wall, and suggested that he look into the Community Power Works for Small Business program. According to Lear, the program offered, “A real cooking benefit by helping to defray costs of the new equipment, a real energy benefit by including efficiency measures for the building, and a real upfront financial benefit by offering incentives and financing to help pay for it.”
It didn’t take much for Wall, already environmentally and commercially savvy, to see the big picture. “The incentives are awesome,” Wall said. “This is a low profit- margin business and we really have to watch all of our expenses, so we appreciate any help that we can get.”
During the upgrade, Both Ways replaced its biscuit oven, converted to innovative, programmable LED lighting, and installed external solar-powered lighting to address safety on the corner during the restaurant’s off-hours after lunch and through the night.
One of the surprise benefits came through the installation of a new energy-efficient exterior door. Wall said, “The new door is larger so we can get more stuff in and out. It’s sealed well for efficiency.” He said, “The window in it lets the light in and it’s great to have a view from the kitchen.”
Through participation in the Community Power Works for Small Business program, Wall was able to defray 56% of the total cost of the upgrade project, and is projected to save over $400 a year in energy expenses. Best of all, it was easy. “It was a painless process for me,” Wall said. “All I had to do was show up. And we really appreciate (Batt + Lear) handling all of the paperwork.”