History of The Country Store and Farm, Vashon

History |  Practical Quality  |  Timeless Tradition.

Founded over 50 years ago, The Country Store & Farm has a rich history of tradition that evolves with contemporary times and needs. In 1971, Vy Biel became the third owner of the store then situated at Island Center in the historical building that now houses The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. At the time, a mural covering the south end of the building featured a cartoon of three old timers sitting around a pot-bellied stove beneath a "Country Store" banner. Painted over long ago, the image remains on T-shirts available in the store.

In 1978, Vy's rent was increased so she decided to build on land she had purchased a few years before: ten lush acres just a half mile south down Vashon Highway. The land encompassed both rich planting acreage and the headwaters of Judd Creek, one of two salmon-bearing creeks on Vashon, serving as a beautiful example of the Puget Sound environment. Vy quickly broke ground, working as the general contractor, partnering with her sons Mike and Jim, and local carpenters to build what is now the familiar landmark building across from Vashon Island High School.

Vy's commitment to finding the highest quality items, both timeless and practical, generated a loyal following. Her entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit expanded the store's business to include a thriving mail-order catalog business, now evolved into this website serving customers near and far. In January 2013, Vy's younger son, Mike Biel, returned to Vashon to manage the business and continue to build upon Vy's legacy.

Mike continues to work the land carrying on old traditions and introducing new ones. Vashon used to be known for its u-pick strawberry patches, giving name to its annual Strawberry Festival. Today, The Country Store & Farm is home to the last remaining u-pick operation drawing visitors from all around the Puget Sound to harvest blueberries. A u-pick strawberry patch is maturing and should be open to the public next season.