Caffeine + fun t-shirts at Union Square Deli

“ I’m sorry for things that I said before I had coffee.”

We have all been there. in fact, Jeff calls me ‘grumpy grumperson’ before my first cup of coffee. He even brings it to my bedside in hopes of a happier Kerry. So a t-shirt about coffee withdrawals is brilliant. Maybe I should wear it, that way I can just go about my morning with no hurt feelings. Sadly, the shirt already has a home with Amberly Schmeltzer at the Union Square Deli in Union, Washington, where she sports a variety of funny caffeinated shirts. It’s her “thing” and quite frankly, why would I steal that from her? She has fans, loyal customers and tourists lined up to see her smiling face and infamous t-shirts. So I met up with the coffee fashionista to snap some photos and learn more about Amberly’s t-shirts, impeccable service, quality food, specialty coffee and her witty sense of humor of course.

“Amberly is fun to be around, she can dish out the teasing yet take the constant jokes and jabs from the community table” comments Rich, local retiree that doesn’t miss a day supporting the Deli and its staff.

Amberly is one of several exceptional employees hired by Jaime Taylor, owner of the Deli for 16 years, which offers pizza, sandwiches, coffee, Olympic Mountain ice cream and other casual fare. “I am proud to have an enthusiastic team who treats every customer like family and friends. Positivity is our way of paving through challenging times.”

I can certainly relate to Jaime’s sentiments. Owning Hood Canal Events, an event planning and recreation company based out of Union, I have also experienced some rather challenging changes as well. Yet here we are, both giving it our best in the hospitality industry, all in the name of tourism. As a result, I started blogging about local businesses, unique things to do, and off-the-wall stories about our residents. Tune in for my next blog about John Sundsten, historically known as “Iron Finn,” to learn about his Hood Canal journey, love for our area and the intriguing photographs he shares on social media.

It is with great pleasure to announce that the Union Square Deli is our first Traveler Approved business. It means the Deli is safe, fun, clean and OPEN with high service standards. It’s a solid referral with the goal of helping businesses prosper and continue with their success story. You know, “gotta keep on keepin’ on.” I especially enjoyed my double Amerciano and gluten free pizza with pesto and veggies while writing this blog. Note the menu covers an array of other favorites like Big John’s Club, The Barge Pizza, Breakfast Calazone and much more. Stop in to see Amberly and her t-shirts along with the rest of of the amazing crew that makes the Deli such a great place to frequent. If you see Amberly, tell her the Traveler sent you and that you are excited to see her next shirt design!

The drive thru at the Deli is quick and convenient!

Union Square Deli is open daily 10am-6pm/Fri-Sun 9am-8pm and located at 310 E Dalby Rd, Union, WA, 98592. Hours are subject to change – but managers are quick to inform directly or on social media of any changes. Hit the drive thru or enjoy in-dining with the standard Covid regulations in place – social distancing and masks required. PH: 360-898-3344 (DELI) or W:

 “Be the Traveler Concierge,” was founded when I decided to serve as the area’s concierge. I love creating memories, curating menus with local chefs and restaurant owners, managing vacation rentals and keeping the community connected. And it’s my passion, wholeheartedly. What does “Be The Traveler” even mean you ask? The name refers to a natural phenomenon witnessed every spring—the figure of a “Traveler” with a walking staff making his way across Mt. Washington with its community at heart. It is actually a rock formation that is visible only for a few months every year, and most notably from the Union view of Mt. Washington. The Traveler appears when just the right amount of snow has melted as summer approaches.

There are a variety of oral myths and legends about The Traveler’s return retold through the generations by both the Native and Western populations living along Hood Canal.

Hood Canal Events, owned by me and my partner Jeff Nunnemaker includes the Traveler in its logo with the desire to embrace the best of Hood Canal’s lodging, dining, farm fresh produce, activities, art & music, community and unique ways to spend your time while visiting. As such, we find ways to communicate the best of the best in the surrounding Hood Canal region. So when you see our “Traveler Approved,” stamp and blog, it’s an endorsement from the concierge desk to help tourists, out of town relatives and passerby folks find what they are looking for while exploring Hood Canal and its beauty.