Saying A Long, Slow, Goodbye To An Old Friend
Country Village Shops, Bothell
For thirty seven years the Country Village Shops have stood as a haven for shoppers, a home to dozens, if not hundreds, of locally owned business, a roadside attraction, and a landmark in the City of Bothell. Its time as all of those things is running out though. Yes, you heard me. Before we know it, the Country Village Shops will be no more.
While no official public announcement has been made as to its closing, and no public record has been filed of it having been sold, inside sources indicate that a sale has been confirmed and that the shops will be open through April 2019. Confirmation really isn’t needed though. Slowly but surely shop after shop are finding new homes and moving on, leaving behind empty storefronts that were once so full of life.
There is much controversy surrounding all of this, but that isn’t what this article is about. Instead of focusing on the negavite, I choose to pay homage to the character of the Country Village Shops and to Rod Loveless (now 92 years young), the man behind it all including many memories of running around the shops as a kid and now as an adult (it is more like walking these days).
When Rod purchased the property it was nothing more than a large farm, one he hoped to build boats on with his son. While that would be the reason for the shops trademark pond, that business didn’t exactly pan out. After that he set about fixing up an old farm house on the property which stood near the highway and rented it out to an antique dealer, marking the very first shop to open its doors at what would go on to become Country Village.
Siezing on the opportunity, Rod fixed up and rented another farmhouse on the property. He wasn’t done there though. He began buying up old buildings and moving them onto the property then started using his background in construction to build new buildings and make them look old (that’s my kind of guy). This mix of uniuqe buildings was tied together with a western theme, and chickens, I can’t forget the chickens.
Those chickens, and more importantly the roosters, have been a mascot of the shops for as far back as I can remember. They are all around you as you park your car and walk from shop to shop. The most famous of Country Village’s chickens isn’t of the live variety however, it is a fifteen foot tall plastic foam roaster created by none other than Rod himself.
That rooster has stood proudly at the front of the shops for nearly twelve years, greeting passerbys and letting shoppers know that they have arrived at the Country Village Shops. It isn’t the coolest or most unique thing about them though, that honor goes to some very special, lets call them structures since they certainly aren’t buildings.
If you’ve been, you know exactly what I’m talking about. First, there is the little tugboat, moored in the bond. It might be small but it has been the starting part for more than one local business still alive and kicking in our county, including The Chic Boatique (hence the name) and Elderberry Hallow. Then there are the train cars and cabooses who have been home to businesess like Infused Gourmet Company and Scout 829.
All of these things, the unique buildings and structures, the chickens and roosters, all that Rod Loveless created will surely be missed by many. I for one hope that some of it goes on to find a new home instead of being demolished and eventually forgotten. Either way, one thing is for sure, there will never be another place like Country Village Shops in Snohomish County or anywhere else.
I for one will be continining to enjoy them for as long as the shops continue to stand. More importantly, I will be continuing to show love for all of the local businesses that are hanging in there until the end, as well as the ones that have moved on. I have so many favorites in both categories.
If you have read this far, please do the same. Both need your help and support. Having to move, whenever it is, and having to deal with the aftermath as others leave is difficult. It is harder still for locally owned businesses. So, continue to support them until Country Village is no more, and even after, Visit for the memories as well, and for as many walks amongst Rod Loveless’s amazing creation as you can fit in. Don’t fall vicitm to the old adage, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone.
Faves Hanging In There
Home Inspirations (New, From Everett)
O’Malley & Potter
Town Hall Antiques
Faves Moving On
Chic Boatique – 1st Street in Snohomish
Elderberry Hallow – With Recaimed Heart in Arlington
Garden of Beadin – Considering Lake Forest Park
Quite the Find – Lake Forest Park
Vintage Company No. 7 – Main Street in Bothell
Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. It is all about shopping, eating, drinking, and playing local in Snohomish County. More importantly, it is about the ways that local choices can make your life better. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.
Single issues can be bought HERE and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique and Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island, and Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls.