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Business Briefs: Axis Design, pastry cafe coming to downtown

Axis Design to renovate downtown building

Axis Design Group architectural firm recently purchased downtown Gresham-based Whitney Architects and plans to renovate a vacant building at 52 N.W. Second Ave., to help accommodate the combined workforce of 13 as well as future employees.

Whitney is now part of Axis, which will maintain its primary office at 11104 S.E. Stark St. in Portland.

Tim Brunner, president of Axis Design, arranged with Whitney Architects founder Bill Whitney to absorb his business after he retired. Whitney’s three employees currently work in the Kohler Building at Third Street and Main Avenue that Whitney designed in the early 1990s.

Brunner, a Gresham resident whose company designed high-profile renovations at Riegelmann’s Appliances, Gresham Ford and Weston Kia, plans to start renovating the Second Avenue building, former home to Studio 52 hair salon, this month.

He is enthusiastic about being part of what he considers an increasingly vibrant downtown Gresham.

“We’ve always been kind of a bedroom community, and I think it’s time for us to arrive,” he said. “There are great opportunities for development in downtown Gresham.”

Pastry cafe set to open in former yarn shop space downtown

In other downtown news, the Amour Cafe and Patissiere is set to move into the space at 20 N.W. Third St., formerly occupied by Littlelamb and Ewe, a knitting and yarn shop that closed last October.

Gresham Realtor Sue O’Halloran says the pastry-oriented bakery and cafe will likely open sometime in early July.

O’Halloran noted that the local inventory of small buildings — those of less than 500,000 square feet — for sale has shrunk significantly. “Things have been selling,” she said. “We’re getting to the point where there’s not much available anymore.”

Business focuses on organic grooming supplies for men

Branden Rockriver, who has made handcrafted, organically produced men’s grooming supplies for friends for years, has started his own business, Rockriver Hair Supply, located at 1520 S.E. 162nd Ave., Unit 1.

Rockriver specializes in organic, non-toxic versions of products such as pomade, beard balm, beard oil, mustache wax and shaving supplies.

“Making handcrafted, healthy alternatives to every-day grooming products is exciting work,” Rockriver said in a news release. “But being able to make people look good, feel good and smell good while removing toxic chemicals from people’s daily routine is what gives us the most pride.”

To order Rockriver’s products and for more information, visit www.rockriverhairsupply.com.