Seattle Business magazine announced its annual Family Business Award winners on Thursday, Nov. 29. Parfitt Way Management Corporation was awarded the Silver in the Small Companies category by the panel of judges which included business leaders and educators from the Seattle area. The award is based on a number of criteria including on-going business success, participation and value of family leadership and contribution to the community.

Parfitt Way Management is not only a family-run business; it is a family of businesses itself. Made up of three separate entities – The Harbour Marina, Harbour Public House and Pegasus Coffee House, Parfitt Way Management is a defining presence on the waterfront of Bainbridge Island.

The company began in 1982 when  Jim and Judy Evans designed and built the Harbour Marina. By 1991 the Harbour Public House was opened just up the hill from the marina. In 2007 Jeff and Jocelyn, in full control of the family business,  purchased the premier espresso house of the Northwest, Pegasus Coffee House, which rounded out the trio of businesses owned and operated by the family. The Pub is housed in the original dwelling of Ambrose and Amanda Grow, who settled in Bainbridge in 1881. As early pioneers, the Grows helped build the town into a bustling center of logging and shipbuilding. The Grows donated the land for the first school and church in the Madrone settlement which later became Winslow.

Currently, Parfitt Way Management Co. (PWMC)  is run by Jocelyn (daughter of Jim and Judy) and her husband Jeff Waite who feel strongly about building on the roots of the community. While applying for permits in early 2003, Jeff realized that there was little understanding of the historical value of the commercial properties along the waterfront. The city proper had moved up the hill away from the waterfront.  PWMC’s efforts have not only brought continued business and life to the waterfront, it is helping to preserve the history of Bainbridge Island through its website, blog and even on their unique menus. Jeff related that local school teachers stop in to pick up the menus for use in teaching local history. Laid out like an old-time newspaper, the quarterly changing menus feature articles ranging from current trends in farming to the history of the island. The Waite’s dedication to preserving the past was recognized in May by the Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation with a Blakely Award, which honors community members who are successful in preserving the Island’s past.

The Waite’s excellent business practices are evidenced by the loyalty of both customers and employees. Most of their employees are long term – including the executive chef who has been with them for over 10 years. The Waites are also committed to establishing relationships and fostering the growth of area farms and local enterprises. Jeff’s working theory is that in today’s cookie-cutter world, it is worth celebrating authenticity and uniqueness. Jeff and Jocelyn’s two children (aged 12 and 15) are already shareholders in the family business. As to whether or not they will someday take the reins, Jeff takes a “wait and see” attitude. In the meantime, the Waite’s dedication to preserving the past while building a future gives the Bainbridge community an award winning family business.

Jocelyn Waite at the podium making her acceptance remarks on stage with members of her family

Jocelyn Waite at the podium making her acceptance remarks on stage with members of her family