In 2011, Zed and Miko Ruhlen purchased Hood River Hobbies with the intention of expanding its offerings and growing the business. Their goal was to create a hobby shop in the Gorge that met the needs of hobbyists of all ages. In addition to providing a more diverse offering of hobby products including games, rockets, models, radio-controlled (rc) vehicles, hobby tools and paint, kites, trains, arts and crafts, toys, and more, Zed and Miko have also expanded the space to include room for classes and events. Hood River Hobbies now offers classes in rocket and model building, rc instruction, birdwatching, gaming events and more. They sought a MCEDD loan to purchase their initial inventory and provide working capital. Since then, they have expanded their special events, increased and diversified their inventory to appeal to a broader customer base, and supplemented the previous focus of the shop with other areas of their own expertise. For more information, check out their website www.hoodriverhobbies.com.
As a service to the regional business community and as a strong part of our economic development strategy for the region, MCEDD manages several business loan programs that provide an accessible, affordable source of capital for projects that create and/or retain jobs.