The Grey House Café
1130 Bethel Avenue
Port Orchard, WA 98366
360-876-5695 • thegreyhousecafe.com
A GOOD YARN
1140 Bethel Avenue, Suite 101
Port Orchard, WA 98366
For people who love tea and who love to knit, finding a good tearoom is almost as essential as finding a good yarn shop. If you are lucky enough to live in Port Orchard, Washington, you don’t have to look far to find both. A Good Yarn Shop and The Grey House Café, located in two adjacent Victorian-style buildings, are the brainchildren of The New York Times best-selling author Debbie Macomber.
For Debbie, who began her writing career with a rented typewriter on her kitchen table, knitting has always been a huge part of her life. “I’m dyslexic, and I didn’t learn to read until I was 10,” she explains. “I struggled all through school.” Knitting helped her with reading and math skills and gave her a sense of accomplishment, a sense of self-esteem. “It was something that God brought into my life early that really helped me make it through those difficult years.”
Debbie had been a writer for many years, but her career didn’t take off, she says, until she combined her passion for the written word with that for knitting. In 2004, she published The Shop on Blossom Street, a novel set in and around a fictional Seattle yarn shop called A Good Yarn. It was followed in 2005 by A Good Yarn, Debbie’s first hardcover book to make The New York Times best-seller list. To date, she has written 11 books in her Blossom Street series.
Debbie and her husband, Wayne, purchased The Grey House Café. Her daughter, Jodi Banks, now manages it. When the bookstore that occupied the first floor of Debbie’s office building relocated, leaving the Macombers with a huge retail space to fill, Debbie decided to indulge her dream of owning a yarn store. “I gathered together women who really loved to knit as partners,” she says. She chose the name A Good Yarn Shop after the fictional shop in her books.
Today there is a lot of crossover between Debbie’s two businesses and her writing career. The Grey House Café hosts periodic “Tea with Debbie” events, which include copies of her books, and knitting during the teas is encouraged. “When I go to A Good Yarn, I’m inspired by what other people are knitting,” she says. “My creative mind starts working.”
A Good Yarn Shop’s motto is “Where friendships are formed and traditions are taught.” The staff has a combined total of 394 years of knitting and crocheting experience, and the class schedule offers more than 20 different classes, ranging from Beginning Knitting to Pattern Drafting.
Editor’s note: The Grey House Café was previous known as Victorian Tea Room & Gifts and A Good Yarn has permanently closed.