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Jody Hall of Cupcake Royale is heading to Washington D.C., and it’s not to try to woo President Obama away from his Fran’s. Hall wrote in an e-mail that she was one of the small business owners chosen for a roundtable with Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform. Hall is making a push for public health insurance, and speaks from the perspective of a small business owner who actually offers it. Here’s some of what she wrote on the CR blog:

We have 51 employees here at Cupcake Royale, and as a company, we spend almost as much on insurance as we do on rent for all three stores. That’s pretty nutty. And if things don’t change, it’ll only get worse. Insurance rates continue to climb, (ours just spiked 40% - neat!) and small business owners are being forced to purchase plans with inadequate coverage, or to drop their policies completely, adding to the millions of already uninsured and underinsured Americans. Those who continue to fork it over to private insurance companies are giving out a good chunk of dough in some pretty tough financial times. Clearly, none of this is good for anyone.

Want to learn more? She’ll be representing this group.

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I love CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), where customers pay for a weekly box of whatever’s fresh from a given farm’s fields. I also love gardening, though, and I especially love regular browsing trips through the farmers markets — and there isn’t room in my budget or refrigerator to do all three.

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Mike Davis, former chef at the Salish Lodge, helped establish Walla Walla as a mini-Napa of the Northwest when he opened 26brix in 2004. The restaurant went through redesigns and growing pains, finally closing earlier this year. But Davis, whose food won acclaim, is now returning to the Seattle area to join the team that operates the Purple Cafe & Wine Bar and other ventures. At the Heavy Restaurant Group, Davis will oversee the kitchens of the three HRG restaurants set to open in Bellevue Towers this year: A fourth Purple Cafe branch, a second Barrio branch, and a cafe called Bliss. So, technically, I suppose he’s returning to Bellevue, not Seattle, but I suspect he’ll make it over to our side of the water too.

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