John Varner has many years of experience in retail management, first with chain grocery stores and delis, and then as manager of a digital graphics company in downtown Seattle. Later in life he became a micro-biologist, specializing in working with the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea fisheries industry in Alaska. He then had a life-changing back injury while working as a scientist on a fishing vessel in Alaska. Now he's traded in working with fish for a comraderie with a barking book-loving beagle. They 'do' like to go trout fishing together around Ellensburg!
Mary Varner has a very different background. She was a full-time working musician for 18 years (part-time for another 4 years) and co-owner of an audio reinforcement business for 14 years. She has made Ellensburg her home since 1984. In 2000, tired of traveling 48 weeks a year, she began Purity Soapworks. She then moved it into the Ellensburg Business Incubator, got the full product line into 45 Longs Drug stores (and many others), and within 3 years sold the business to Lynda Larsen, of Ellensburg. She then worked as the Hall Manager of the CWU Music Department for over 5 years. She is always very happy to get the community involved in events within the business space.