OSO, Wash. — There’s something to be said for the way business is done in a small town.
“Everybody relied on each other and took care of business themselves, which I feel, is apart of Oso’s character,” says Bonnie Rose of Rhodes River Ranch.
After a deadly landslide in 2014, businesses struggled, even Rhodes River Ranch, which is one of the most popular spots in the valley.
“The hardest part was making sure that people knew we were still in business. We all needed to stay connected and see what can we do to help each other. I would say, 'You need to go shop over at Carrie Snow’s little boutique over at Mystic Mountain. Or you need to go to Fruitful Farm and check out Aaron's flowers and organics,'” says Rose.
Around these parts, taking care of business means taking care of each other.
“It’s how it is out here, it is a community and that mudslide made it go further,” says Carla Hall of Fruitful Farm.
Things are flourishing, but the nursery’s growth isn’t without hardship.
"Oh there is so much hope! I am telling ya there is,” says Carla.
Despite the struggles, the family business remains rooted along SR-530, more connected than ever to fellow businesses.
“We had to come together to stay afloat and, in a way, that really strengthened the relationships. There’s been ups and downs, but if something doesn’t work, we just try something else. You don’t give up,” says Aaron Hall.
Over at Mystic Mountain, Carrie Snow says things are really starting to look up.
“Oh I love Oso. We have been here since October of ’93. I’m looking forward to another busy year this year. It was tough for the first two three years, people just didn’t want to come up here. And I can't blame them, they didn’t know, ya know, if something might happen again like that,” says Snow.
“The more businesses we get going in here it's just going to help everybody. Everybody will help one another if they need it. It’s just a phone call away, that’s all it is. The Rhodes River Ranch is fabulous. I love that place. I send everybody over there,” says Snow.
Each establishment is so unique and woven so deeply into this valley. And the people who run the businesses are cut from the same cloth.
“It has become a fabric of caring and looking out for each other. It’s amazing. It warms your heart, that’s for sure,” says Rose.
“I think the people connection is a key: the community. That’s the bottom foundation, and then the business is just on top of all that, you know. It’s the people,” says Carla Hall.
“We’re the best kept secret in the valley, you should come see us in Oso,” says Rose.