Employee Samantha Holbrook (left) hands Cordelia Toretta, 3, a fish plush toy at Monkey Fist Market in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Employee Samantha Holbrook (left) hands Cordelia Toretta, 3, a fish plush toy at Monkey Fist Market in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Nautical-themed gift and convenience store opens at the port

Monkey Fist Market gives boaters, walkers and Port of Everett visitors a place to stop and shop.

EVERETT — When the restaurants at the Port of Everett are closed, it’s tough to find a cup of coffee, chips or even a bottle of water.

Watching the boats bob one day at the south end of the marina, Everett resident Khristina Hernandez took note of the scarcity.

“There needs to be concierge service for boaters and a little convenience store here,” Hernandez told a walking buddy as they followed the concrete path that hugs the Marina Village waterfront.

After a few inquiries here and there, Hernandez leased a storefront and was up and running.

In October, she opened Monkey Fist Market, a combination convenience store and nautical-themed gift shop, at 1724 West Marine View Drive, just east of Anthony’s HomePort Restaurant.

On the shelves, boaters and strollers will find candy, soda, protein bars, soup and canned goods, along with shampoo and soap and other onboard necessities.

“We’re working on getting our beer and wine license,” Hernandez said.

And about that name: A monkey fist is a type of knot sailors tied to add weight to a heaving line. Old salts say it resembles a monkey’s bunched paw.

In picking a name for her venture, Hernandez wanted a moniker that evoked the waterfront’s traditional history and highlighted the selection of creative, whimsical gifts.

Puzzles, toys, greeting cards, coasters, potted plants, plus scarves, gloves and hoodies stock the gift section.

Mermaids, starfish and sea tortoise figurines complete the nautical theme.

Monkey Fist also carries the work of some half-dozen local artists, including Hernandez’s mother, Kathie Sutter. Mom’s macrame plant holders and mandalas — check out the tree of life design — decorate the walls and windows. Other handcrafted items include original paintings, fountain pens and repurposed jewelry.

“This is the first time I’ve run a retail store,” said Hernandez, who moved to Everett 11 years ago and opened Sol Food, a pan-American restaurant in downtown Everett.

Hernandez is searching for a new sit-down style home for Sol Food. In the meantime, she’s opened an express version of the eatery in downtown Everett at 1805 Hewitt Ave.

Hernandez also runs Marimba Cleaners, a commercial linen service.

Monkey First Market owner Khristina Hernandez (left) and employee Samantha Holbrook. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Monkey First Market owner Khristina Hernandez (left) and employee Samantha Holbrook. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Business has been slow since the store opened in the fall, Hernandez said, but the promise of warmer weather, boating season and the arrival of an armada of dog walkers has her psyched for spring.

“Once the sun comes out for real, we’re going to be very busy,” Hernandez said optimistically.

Got Fido on a leash and need of a hot cup of coffee?

“You can bring your dog in to the store,” said Hernandez, the proud owner of Stevie, a nine-pound Chihuahua-terrier mix.

Planning on a visit? Here’s how to navigate the front door. The store’s back door, which faces the parking lot, is locked. Walk around the building to the waterside and there you’ll find the main entrance.

Monkey Fist is open Wednesday through Saturday. Check hours on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/MarinaMonkeyFistMarket.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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