Home Bright Gems The Three Tree Point Store: Restoring a Neighborhood Landmark (Part 3)

The Three Tree Point Store: Restoring a Neighborhood Landmark (Part 3)


By Joseph Riverson.

Throughout the interview with Three Tree Point Store owner Nelle Reichert, there were beloved neighbors and visitors coming into the store with broad smiles and expectant visages as they entered through the doors, enjoying the beautiful summer morning. Many came with their children, and one after the other, each patron satisfactorily walked away with a beverage or food of some sort. Quite a few sat on the chairs and tables out front, delightfully enjoying the sumptuous meal and beverage they had in hand, along with each other’s company.

As observed and attested to, the Three Tree Point Store boasts a menu that carries a wide variety of uncommon and delectable feasting’s, using fresh and often local ingredients. “Attention to the quality of food, along with healthier options to treats, including sodas and candy; they all have a healthy nature to them, and I like that” said Rob Halpin, long-time resident whom we spoke to earlier in part one. “I can go to the store and know that I will find healthy food options. Among my favorites in the morning are the breakfast sandwiches,” Rob added. The food selection, edible arrangements and choice of delicious mouthwatering options should come as no surprise upon getting to know Nelle.

“Many years ago, my mom was a chef at the famous Labuznik restaurant in downtown Seattle. It is also where she met my dad. Growing up, we had fresh pasta, big scallops, and these intricate rolled-up sole filets with baby shrimp inside. Because my siblings and I were introduced to a wide range of foods, we developed a sophisticated palette from a young age. I have always loved cooking food and serving people. I especially have an affinity for planning menus. Prior to opening the store, I entertained my friends at our home nearly every weekend by organizing and hosting brunches, planning dinners, and cooking intricate meals. Eventually, friends asked me to cater special events, which I loved doing! I remember the first recipe I ever made was a Martha Steward recipe. My mom was always busy shuttling my brothers to swim practice, and I’d be at home. When I would get hungry (because I didn’t want to eat pop-tarts), I remember one such occasion, I made this pasta with fresh mozzarella, amazed to discover that the heat from the pasta melted the mozzarella perfectly. I paired it with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, and I was so blown away when my mom returned, ‘I was like, mom, the heat of the pasta melts the mozzarella!’ Nelle recalled amidst laughter as she reminisced about her youthful innocence in experimenting with menus and ingredients. She added with a glint in her eye, “So it’s been a lifelong dream to have something like this.”

Her love for cooking and planning menus has led to her having many signature creations on the Three Tree Point Store’s menu. A local favorite is the “French Ham and Fig Jam Pressed on Brie Sandwich.”

“I love reading food magazines, visiting restaurants, meeting other people in the industry, and seeing what they are doing and learning from them. In the future I hope to spend more creative energy on cooking and baking, but for now  I’ve been focused on running the business side of things,” stated Nelle.

Throughout all this, Nelle’s husband Todd and her family have been extremely supportive.
“I have four children, and they inspire me. With three little girls in particular, I want to be a role model for them, showing them that it’s possible to run a business that I’m passionate about, and still be their mom and a wife, while providing for them all the various aspects of a very prosperous home life, family culture and community environment,” Nelle expressed with a voice full of hope and faith.

“One of the best things about the store is handing a child an ice cream cone; that soft serve ice cream every child loves. Being able to have a place where my kids can come and make those special, authentic childhood experiences, along with the desire to make an impact in their lives, is what drives and inspires me to succeed,” Nelly revealed.

An observation Nelle has made since opening is, “this area is growing and it’s like its own city. I have no idea how many times I talk to people, and they say, I never knew this was down here. It’s incredible to share with them that there’s this little piece of unmatched beauty right here in Burien. It’s like you’re on vacation when you’re down here,” Nelle said happily as she gestured to  the surroundings.

Indeed, it is. The breezy beach air, open spaces to walk upon and the green scenery adds to the “calm and collected” feeling one gets when visiting this part of town. An ambitious go-getter with a solid grasp on culture, business, and what makes her customers happy, Nelle shared, “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. But I don’t think I would have embarked on this journey if it was not for this place and the history of this building. My vision was to make this a destination for the community, a place where people can leisurely visit and get to see old and new friends and neighbors, where they’re not so harried like in the major grocery chains, rushing to get errands done. Our store has a more relaxed and inviting atmosphere, so you can actually have a conversation instead of a quick meet and greet,” And she has absolutely accomplished this, as many of the neighbors and customers would agree.

With plans to expand in the future, Nelle stated, “I want this to be a place where people can create long- lasting memories for their kids and also relive their own childhood. I get a lot of older customers that are so happy and thankful that the store is open again. I love hearing their stories of what it was like when they used to come here in their childhood. Looking ahead 20 years, I hope to see the same children that visit the store  with their parents, come back as adults with their families, sharing the fun memories they had here, and creating new memories together.”

As we concluded our conversation, Gem of the Sound asked Nelle what the one thing was she would like readers to know about herself and this journey she’s embarked on with Three Tree Point Store. After a pensive pause, and her voice low and full of emotion she shared, “It’s been a lifelong dream, and it’s my life’s privilege to make this a reality. I always wanted to do something like this, and I can’t believe my dream has come true, that I get to live my dream. And I’m thankful for the community, the city, the Manolas, my family, and everything that’s come into play to make this a reality. Thank you.”

“It’s a general store, but also a very specific store”……. the quote by David Rose is indeed correct. But more than that, Three Tree Point Store is a place where friendships are made and deepened, neighbors are acquainted and phone numbers and invitations are exchanged, community is built, and generations are connected. This is MORE than a store, it’s a “Family!”

When visiting this side of Burien next, we recommend you make it a point to visit Three Tree Point Store located at 16957 Maplewild Ave SW, Burien, WA 98166.

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