Neighbors Helping Neighbors: HomeStreet Bank Supports YWCA

HomeStreet Bank Family Village YWCA Issaquah Highlands
YWCA Family Village Issaquah

YWCA Family Village Issaquah

Known for being a good neighbor, HomeStreet Bank focuses its community efforts on meeting housing and shelter needs in the communities it serves. The bank supports a variety of charitable organizations that help individuals and families with emergency shelter and affordable housing—organizations such as the YWCA Family Village Issaquah (FVI), which is adjacent to Grand Ridge Plaza.

Today, many East King County residents face the possibility of homelessness due to factors including medical emergencies, layoffs and increasingly high rents. At FVI, working families, people with disabilities and seniors pay rents at a reduced-market rate, enabling them to live in a community they otherwise could not afford. Supportive services are also offered to everyone at the 146-unit apartment village.

For the past two years, HomeStreet Bank’s Grand Ridge Plaza branch has worked in partnershipHomeStreet Bank Family Village YWCA Issaquah Highlands with FVI to lend a helping hand to its neighbors. HomeStreet recently donated $5,000 to FVI’s child and youth services program; a donation that will make an impact in areas of education, youth development and programming.

HomeStreet Branch Manager Srini Anandakumar and Customer Service Supervisor Autum Paschich announced the donation at FVI’s Cultural Festival, a follow-up event to the national YWCA’s Stand Against Racism campaign. FVI shared that the grant will support summer camps, homework clubs and tutoring, and after-school programs. These programs are tailored to youth and offer opportunities to have fun and learn, while building self-esteem, confidence, and social-emotional skills.

YWCA Family Village Issaquah

YWCA Family Village Issaquah

This summer, HomeStreet is celebrating the second year of its Vote Your Heart giving campaign, an online contest where the public votes for competing local organizations to decide where HomeStreet should allocate charitable donations. In 2016, HomeStreet donated $159,000 to 26 charitable organizations that focus on shelter, housing and community building.

“Through the Vote Your Heart campaign, HomeStreet Bank has the opportunity to raise awareness of the work local non-profit organizations are doing in our communities,” said Mark Mason, HomeStreet’s president and CEO. “This campaign is great because it provides an opportunity for the public to have a direct impact on our community donations.”

For 2017, HomeStreet ran the campaign in Puget Sound, Eastern Washington, Portland, Hawaii and California. Three organizations competed in each region, and every organization received a donation. The prize amounts were $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $3,000 for third place. The three organizations chosen for the Puget Sound region included Food Lifeline, Vision House and Neighborhood House.


Ben & Jerry’s Goes Mobile

Ice Cream Food Truck Ben Jerry's

Ice Cream Food Truck Ben Jerry'sMark Mullet is at it again. As if three ice cream shops (including Ben & Jerry’s at Grand Ridge Plaza), a Zeeks Pizza restaurant, and a seat on the Washington State Senate were not enough, he’s beginning yet another venture. Mullet—a longtime Issaquah resident—has debuted a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck.

Available for catering birthday parties, office gatherings, sports tournaments and even weddings, the ice cream truck will be the perfect add-on to private events. Wherever you are, Ben & Jerry’s will serve up your favorite flavors in cups, cones and sundaes—turning a gathering into an ice cream extravaganza.

How did the ice cream truck come to fruition? Mullet, who also owns Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops inIssaquah Ice Cream Grand Ridge Plaza Kirkland and Bellevue, often receives requests to bring Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to special events. “This made us realize that having a scoop truck raises a catering event to a higher level and leads to more repeat business,” explained Mullet, who credits business partner Jonathan Stebbins for championing the truck idea.

“Jonathan spent countless hours on Craigslist and eBay looking for an affordable truck,” said Mullet. “He even kept us from getting scammed by a Craigslist fraud who listed a truck for sale for $4,000 that Jonathan had seen on eBay for $35,000. The fraud simply copied their pictures into a fake listing. We eventually purchased a converted a mail truck from people in Graham, WA.”

Ben Jerry's Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaIn addition to taking Ben & Jerry’s on the road this summer, in fall 2018 Mullet is adding a new Zeeks Pizza to the Metropolitan Market shopping center in nearby Sammamish. This will be the first “delivery hut” that Zeeks has opened: pick-up and delivery only; no dine-in. He will also continue his work representing the 5th Legislative District communities of Black Diamond, Maple Valley, Issaquah, North Bend, Carnation, Snoqualmie and parts of Enumclaw and Renton at the Washington State Senate.

The Ben and Jerry’s ice cream truck is available for catering anywhere on the Eastside. See for information or call 425-229-0939.

Thanks to Nina Milligan, editor of Connections News, for contributing to this article.


Issaquah Highlands Dental Group Donates Dentistry

Issaquah Highlands Dental Group We Serve

Issaquah Highlands Dental Group We ServeWhether it’s a beautiful sunset, reunion with friends or a family celebration, there are many reasons to smile. Making people smile is every dentist’s goal, and one that Dr. Eric Miller at Issaquah Highlands Dental Group takes to heart. Since opening at Grand Ridge Plaza in 2015, the practice has spread smiles by donating dental treatment to local residents on its annual We Serve Day.

During its upcoming We Serve Day on August 19, the practice will provide free dental services to people who have not been able to see a dentist regularly or who cannot afford treatment. After years of living in pain and discomfort, some patients may need advanced procedures such as root canals and crowns, while others will simply benefit from cleanings. The team will work with patients to alleviate dental fears and anxieties about the appearance of their teeth, helping to restore their oral health and overall well-being.

“My staff and I strive to provide an environment for patients from a range of backgrounds to have accessDentist Issaquah Highlands Serve Day to dental care,” said Dr. Miller. “The annual ‘We Serve Day’ allows us and other clinicians in the office to provide access to those existing patients who need a helping hand and smile again.”

We Serve Day is a nationwide initiative of more than 490 dental practices. Each year, dental care teams serve more than 2,200 patients, providing more than $4 million in donated dentistry. For its We Serve Day, Issaquah Highlands Dental Group has partnered with Issaquah-area organizations, such as youth centers, nonprofit organizations and churches, to identify individuals in need of basic dental care. Patients will receive pro bono services ranging from exams and digital x-rays to extractions and restorations. Now that’s something to make everyone smile!

We Serve Day Issaquah Highlands Dental SmileAbout Issaquah Highlands Dental Group
Issaquah Highlands Dental Group is home to two general dentists, as well as an oral surgeon, periodontist and endodontist. Open Monday through Friday, Issaquah Highlands Dental Group offers early morning and evening appointments, and provides a broad spectrum of general dentistry for patients ages three and up. To learn more, visit


Caffe Ladro Showcasing Paintings by Pallavi Joshi

Pallavi Joshi Issaquah Artists

Caffe Ladro Pallavi Joshi Issaquah ArtistLook up and you’ll see a transformation at Caffe Ladro of Grand Ridge Plaza: the space is awash with dynamic, new artwork by Issaquah artist Pallavi Joshi. Known for its support of local artists, writers and musicians, Caffe Ladro is exhibiting Joshi’s paintings all month, covering its high walls with abstract artwork.

A self-taught artist, Joshi uses use a variety of techniques to create her paintings. One of her favorite techniques is pouring acrylic paint directly onto the canvas and then tilting the canvas to complete the painting. Another favorite is the “dirty pour” in which she layers acrylic paints in a cup, turns the cup over the canvas, and lifts the cup off the canvas. Both techniques offer different layers of colors in a way that is indescribable.

“Most of the paintings on display at Caffe Ladro are from my depiction of my travels to Hawaii,” she explains. “The new artwork also reflects my inner persistence, resistance and flexibility. It is my way of breaking out of the box. I believe art is subjective and should be enjoyed by all ages. I paint to evoke a reaction from the viewer, whether favorable or not. It is that connection that I make in that moment with the viewer that gives me complete satisfaction of communication.”

To learn more about Joshi’s creative process, Caffe Ladro invites the community to a paintingPallavi Joshi Issaquah Artists demonstration on Saturday, August 12 at 2 pm. Joshi will offer a step-by-step guide to her creative process, and will answer questions while also creating a new work of art. Caffe Ladro will share its brand of artistry by treating everyone to complimentary samples of its house-made pastries, cookies, coffees and teas.

Joshi lives within walking distance of the coffee shop and is inspired by landscapes, nature and travel—everything that involves color, and black and white. “The color wheel, which is an abstract illustrative organization of color hues around a circle showing the relationship between primary colors, as well as secondary colors and tertiary colors, are also an inspiration and fascinate me,” she explained.

Currently, Joshi is experimenting with new mediums and techniques, and sometimes uses the Liquitex pouring medium to increase the viscosity of acrylic colors. In recent years, she dabbled in charcoal, pencil and pastel while earning a Diploma in 3-D Animation & Visual Effects. Yet, her affection and fascination have led her toward abstraction, and the paintings on display at the coffee shop showcase this passion.

The next time you’re enjoying your favorite brew at Caffe Ladro, be sure take a moment to enjoy Joshi’s marvelous paintings.


Make it at Home: Dr. Lisa Wada’s Ready-for-School Smoothie

NaturoMedica Issaquah Naturopath Smoothie Recipe

Naturopath Dr. Lisa Wada NaturoMedica IssaquahSchool bells across the Eastside will be ringing soon as the back-to-school rush begins. For many families, the start of the school year can be stressful and hectic. Eating a healthy breakfast can become a daunting task.

For healthy back-to-school breakfast ideas, we asked Dr. Lisa Wada of NaturoMedica at Grand Ridge Plaza. A naturopathic physician, she specializes in pediatrics and maternity care, and makes this tasty Ready-for-School smoothie for her kids.

“This high-protein, nutrient-dense vegan smoothie has just the right punch to get your little ones ready to learn,” explains Dr. Wada. “Ripple Pea Protein Milk is a great non-dairy, low-allergen milk alternative found at specialty grocers. This delicious smoothie satisfies my kids while also taking their food sensitivities into account.”

Smoothies are easy to make and portable, making them a great on-the-go option for a bus ride or walk toNaturoMedica Issaquah Naturopath Smoothie Recipe school. Adults love this recipe, too.

Ready-for-School Smoothie
Makes 2 servings


  • 3 cups Vanilla Ripple Pea Protein Milk
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted almond butter
  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp. flax meal (flax seeds that are ground to break down the hard outer shell)
  • 3 pitted dates (soaked overnight in warm water)

If your child is sensitive to sugar, or if you want to reduce sugar consumption, use unsweetened Vanilla Ripple milk and reduce the dates to one (1).


  • Strain dates and discard water.
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend on high until smooth.
  • Split between two glasses and serve.

NaturoMedica Naturopath Seattle Grand Ridge PlazaAbout NaturoMedica
NaturoMedica at Grand Ridge Plaza is a full-service naturopathic medical clinic that is home to seven licensed naturopathic physicians. The clinic offers naturopathic healthcare, acupuncture and IV (intravenous) therapy. NaturoMedica doctors can provide primary care or work with an established physician to address health concerns. The clinic also has a retail dispensary, which is open to the public and stocks vitamins, supplements and healthcare products. NaturoMedica is located at 1220 10th Ave NE. To learn more, call (425) 557-8900 or