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There’s no hiding success of grassland camo gear

Fri., Nov. 24, 2006

Mike “Sparky” Sparkes is making a business of hiding in the grass.

A full-time Spokane firefighter and the founder of Sparky’s Firehouse Subs, Sparkes also has created a line of camouflage clothing designed to make hunters blend into grassy settings.

M2D Camo’s brand, called “deception camo,” is geared for grassy hunting areas, which attract mule deer, pheasant and other animals, he explained.

Selections include hats, pants, shirts, vests and waterproof parkas, priced form $42.99 to $104.99 and available through Sparkes’ Web site,

The company recently opened a shipping and receiving center at 5805 E. Sharp to help accommodate a growing number of orders.

Sparkes said his online store has been operating since early fall and has gotten about 250 orders.

Controlling inventory flow is challenging, he said, because everything is custom-made by a company outside the area. Because he can’t afford to order large quantities, the business vacillates between being able to immediately fill orders and having to ship within a few days.

The avid hunter developed the clothing after noting that much of the camo gear that’s currently on the market is more appropriate for forests than grasslands, he said.

“They don’t truly blend, that’s my opinion,” Sparkes said.

Clothing that blends in the forest makes hunters look like moving tree stumps against the backdrop of yellow grasses, he explained, adding that looking like a stump places hunters at a disadvantage because wildlife instinctively know that trees don’t move.

So he worked with a local fabric designer to come up with a dimensional print that’s a grass pattern in shades of yellow. Since grass sways in the wind, he said, hunters can move around a bit without tipping off the wildlife.

Spokane Valley store adding gas pumps

Fred Meyer at Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road is building a 10-pump gas station.

Melinda Merrill, spokeswoman for Portland-based Fred Meyer, which is part of The Kroger Co., expects the gas station to open around the first of the year.

Customers can qualify for discounts on the per-gallon price by making store purchases.

Merrill said Fred Meyer started adding gas pumps to its stores six years ago.

When construction is complete, the Spokane Valley Fred Meyer store will be one of 43 locations in the 128-store chain that offers gasoline.

Beutler & Associates open Liberty Lake office

Century 21 Beutler & Associates has opened a real estate office in Liberty Lake.

Debbie Dyche, a broker with more than 30 years of real estate experience, will oversee operations at the office, at 1328 N. Whitman Lane.

This is the fourth office for Century 21 Beutler & Associates, which opened an office in downtown Spokane earlier this year.

Fill up and hors d’oeuvres

CaPear Inc. A Catering Company will soon share space with the Zip Trip mini-mart on 10th Avenue and Maple Street.

The business, expected to open within the next couple weeks, will offer catering for parties and special events and made-to-order hors d’oeuvre trays for pick-up or delivery.

Local chefs Debbi Collins and Jennifer Witting, formerly of Delany’s musicafe, the restaurant at Hannah’s Garden Inn in South Spokane, are the owners. For information, call (509) 624-0224.


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