In honor of Valentine’s Day, Wren & Willow is thinking of all things sweet. From baked goods to chocolates, the office has been filled with goodies. We are even planning a new cookbook on this theme (scroll to the bottom to read more). All of these treats have reminded us of our office building’s sweet storied past!

In 1917, an entrepreneur from Wisconsin named Albert Fugina opened a confectionary and soda parlor at 5104 ½ North Pearl Street. For being a merchant of sweets, “Big Al's” reputation was anything but sweet; he showed distaste for children and had a sour disposition.

While the candy and soda parlor in the front of the building is an important part of the building's story, it is what happened in the back of the building that made Big Al's mark in history. Sparked by prohibition in Washington State, Fugina opened a speakeasy behind the candy and soda parlor.

A century later, Wren & Willow occupies this remarkable building, and being the designer and historian that she is, Laureen Skrivan took the opportunity to highlight the building’s story into the design. "The history that each building carries is so unique and should be embraced."

Candy jars, with a constant rotation of sweets are located in the entry area of the office. Amongst the colorful jars, a photo of Big Al Fugina sits with his sharp eyes watching guests go back for seconds.

"Big Al" Fugina

Love Birds: Our Team Member's Story

With the success of our last cookbook, we decided to create our next in the series: One-Hundred Sweets by Wren & Willow which promises to be full of sinfully delicious and tempting recipes. We want this book to be full of sweets and treats from the Wren & Willow family, so we want to hear from you! Please submit your favorite, most crowd-pleasing, most calorie-loaded dessert recipes (what New Year's resolution?). You will get one entry in our giveaway for each recipe, so send us as many as you like. (NOTE: This contest has ended)

We have plans to try the recipes you submit, so we bought a commercial grade, stainless steel Hobart stand mixer. It just goes to show that if we are going to do something around here, we are going to do it BIG!