Biz Buzz, July 27, 2014

Nick’s Surf Shack, at the intersection of 15th Street and North Avenue, hosted a grand-opening party Saturday that included a live radio broadcast and a dog- adoption promotion, during which many homeless pets found new homes.

Proprietor Randy Grimes is so psyched up about his Hawaiian puka sandwich recipe he can describe the creation in loving detail, proudly listing each and every improvement he has made to the traditional Hawaiian recipe.

The sandwich is renowned on Oahu, where it was said to have been invented before spreading to the other islands, the West Coast and, now, thanks to Grimes, Grand Junction.

It starts with Grimes’ secret roasted garlic and lemon sauce containing a variety of herbs. Grimes declined to elaborate on the ingredients, of course.

The sauce is slathered over soft bread spiked on a special toaster Grimes designed himself. The spikes leave holes where all the delicious ingredients go, like ground beef or two different kinds of sausage.

The toaster cooks a sandwich that is soft and warm on the inside, and crispy on the outside, he said.

A puree of fruits that includes mango and Palisade peaches combine for a tangy relish that can be included in the sandwich. Other options include habanero peppers for extra hot, jalapeno for hot, or roasted peppers for spicy.

Wasabi is also available, he said.

Meatballs with marinara is another choice to fill the puka, as is tuna, Grimes said.

The idea for the restaurant came from the many visits Grimes and his family make to the islands to visit relatives at Christmas time or at family reunions.

Grimes said his favorite part of the business so far is watching the reaction he sees on people’s faces when they take their first bite.

ColoradoBiz Magazine, a statewide business publication, named Grand Junction’s Cranium 360 one of Colorado’s top three marketing agencies in 2014, company officials announced.

Since its inception in 1988, the Top Company Awards competition selects businesses that display “innovation, dedication to excellence and sustained success,” a magazine spokesman said. “The magazine recognizes small, independent companies and multibillion dollar businesses under the same criteria: the ability to differentiate themselves in a saturated market and to deliver lasting value to clients and consumers.”

Each year, the magazine chooses three finalists from 13 market categories including manufacturing, health care and technology from 100 applicants located around the state.

Cranium 360, 700 Belford Ave., now stands as a top three finalist in the advertising and public relations category, company officials said.

“We are very excited to be recognized as one of the top three marketing agencies in Colorado,” owner Matthew Breman said in a press release. “We really focus on the quality of services we offer and the value we bring to our clients. Competing with agencies in larger markets while living on the Western Slope is sometimes challenging, but we thoroughly enjoy all the Grand Valley has to offer.”

Kannah Creek Brewing Co.‘s next monthly firkin fundraiser is Aug. 4. The brewers will hand-tap a firkin keg at 5 p.m., with all of the firkin sales going directly to Artability, the brewer said.

Artability is an outreach program started in 2009 by The Art Center of Western Colorado. The program started with 30 students per month and now serves more than 200 students per month. 

The program serves community members from Strive, SLS, Ariel, Audessey, the Center for Independence, Able and the Riverside Community Center

“The concept of ‘Art for All’ is implemented in the Artability Program through art classes designed for individuals with mental, social, physical challenges, as well as providing art-making programs for our youth population,” executive director and curator Camille Silverman said in a news release.

Last month’s firkin fundraiser for the Riverside Educational Center raised $446. Next month’s fundraiser is Sept. 1. It will benefit the Suicide Prevention Foundation.

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