Welcome to Jim’s Blog! I am Jim Williams, Founder and Co-Owner of The Public House of Yakima (PHY). In this space, parked on our newly revamped and updated website, you’ll learn, hopefully monthly, a little bit more about PHY, the craft beverage industry, our staff, and basically anything that is rolling around in my head that I feel needs to be shared (I’ll spare you most of the thoughts, though!) Everybody buckle-up, here we go!
I think it’s natural that I begin with some introductions and background. Here are a few tidbits about me and my beautiful family.
- I grew up in Tieton, WA and graduated from Highland High School (Go Scotties!) in 1992 (yep, the gray hairs are completely natural).
- While attending Highland, I met the love of my life, Kristin. Kristin graduated from Highland in 1995 and we made a move to Cheney, WA to attend Eastern Washington University (Go Eags!), both studying education.
- 25 and a half years ago, Kristin and I were married on a very hot August day at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and we danced the night away with family & friends at the newly built Apple Tree Golf Course Clubhouse.
- A couple of months after graduating from EWU in 1999, we made the trek to sunny Las Vegas, NV to begin our teaching careers where we stayed for 2 years before moving back home, where we belonged.
- Kristin and I were hired to teach for the West Valley School District on the same day in 2001, (Kristin continues to teach for WVSD).
- In 2004, I received my master’s degree and principal’s certificate from Heritage University (Go Eagles!) which I quickly used as an assistant principal at Selah Junior High (Go Spartans!).
- Also in 2004, Kristin and I welcomed our first child, Jillian, to the world. Shortly after, in late 2005, our son, Garrett, arrived and our little family was complete! Jillian is currently studying Kinesiology at the University of Utah (Go Utes!) and Garrett is a Junior at West Valley High School (Go Rams!) To this day, Kristin, Jillian, and Garrett are why I do what I do, every day.
- Fast forward to 2007 when I made the first of two big career moves and joined my father in-law’s business of growing, packing, and shipping apples at Columbia Reach Pack. I worked in the fruit industry for almost 11 years, and this is when my love for the craft beverage industry began.
- Kristin and I spent the next decade plus dragging our kids around to breweries and wineries all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond, enjoying so many great venues producing outstanding craft beverages and food!
- In 2018, I noticed an opportunity in West Valley to marry the beer and wine industry and The Public House of Yakima was born! I searched high and low looking for the perfect spot to open this new business idea until Kristin came home one day and said, “let’s take a drive and look at that old antiques store.” I did not sleep that night (or many nights after) thinking of the possibilities that existed in that great property.
- I spent most of 2018 doing demolition and reconstructing the property on Tieton Drive. Lots of literal blood, sweat, and tears were lost during those nine months, though I couldn’t be prouder of the final product.
- We opened the doors to PHY-West on February 12, 2019, and quickly realized that we had successfully filled a need in the craft beverage industry, especially in West Valley.
- After celebrating our first year anniversary, well, COVID.. you all know that story! Instead of crying in our beers (literally), we chose to use our “down time” during COVID to expand our business and be ready when things calmed down a bit. I split my staff into “beer growler pourers” to work with my brother, Rick, inside and “special projects gurus” that spent time outside with me. The result is the outside patio area that has become a focal point to our business.
- After an outstanding “re-opening” after COVID, I was approached by a local developer about expanding my business to the other side of town. I spoke with Kristin that night after dinner and spent another few sleepless nights considering if this was the right time to be expanding. Like I normally do, right or wrong, I jumped in with both feet and PHY-East was born on September 1, 2021.
Both businesses continue to thrive, and I am super excited and extremely grateful for the opportunities presented to me! I feel the support daily from my family, friends, staff, and community. One of the things I cherish most about opening PHY West and East are the new relationships that I have developed with both new and old friends. Thank you all for your continued support of PHY. Kristin and I are truly blessed to live in such an outstanding community!
Posted February 17, 2023