Opening of a nautical-themed gift shop and convenience stores at the port

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

Watching the boats float past the south end of the marina one day, Everett resident Khristina Hernandez took note of the rarity.

“There must be a concierge service for boaters and a small convenience store here,” Hernandez told a walking companion as they followed the concrete path that runs along the Marina Village waterfront.

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

In October, she opened Monkey Fist Market, a nautical-themed combination convenience store and 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 preserves, as well as shampoo and soap and other onboard necessities.

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

And about that name: A monkey fist is a type of marine knot tied to add weight to a heaving line. Old salts say it looks like a monkey’s bundled paw.

In choosing a name for her business, Hernandez wanted a moniker that evoked the traditional history of the waterfront and showcased the selection of creative and whimsical gifts.

Puzzles, toys, greeting cards, coasters, potted plants, as well as scarves, gloves and hoodies fill the gift section.

Mermaid, starfish and sea turtle figurines complete the nautical theme.

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

“This is my first time running 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 looking for a new seated style home for Sol Food. In the meantime, she opened an express version of the restaurant in downtown Everett at 1805 Hewitt Ave.

Hernandez also runs Marimba Cleaners, a commercial laundry service.

Khristina Hernandez (left), owner of Monkey First Market, 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, a boating season and the arrival of an armada of walkers from dogs got her excited 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 a hot cup of coffee?

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

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

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

Janice Podsada; [email protected]; 425-339-3097; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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