By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff
There’s a new couple in town, and they’ve come a long way.
Robert and Linda Fiore have come from Amsterdam, New York to Chewelah to manage HMC Mini Storage. They traded their upstate New York lifestyle for the laid back atmosphere of Northeastern Washington 2,700 miles away.
Robert served in the Navy and the Army, taking two tours on the USS Midway and also trained dogs in the Army. Linda – a registered nurse for 21 years – was born in Japan but came to New York when she was a child. The two moved to upstate New York in 1987 and are now West Coasters.
The two are excited to be closer to their son, who lives in Eureka, California. They had seen him just twice in ten years because of the distance from New York but now just live a day’s drive away. The main reason for the move, however, was the opportunity to work together as a couple.
“I was a regular nurse and was looking for some thing new,” Linda said. “We decided ‘let’s see if we could work together and found a website that offers jobs for couples.”
They sent out 35 resumes and got a few responses and decided on Chewelah after talking with owner Ed Hayes.
Linda will handle the mini-storage part of the business, while Robert will handle the U-Haul part of the business along with upkeep and maintenance. Their five-year-old dog Lucy will handle the security detail.
The couple said the U-Haul part of the business has been nice for the ministorage. The business had about 50 percent occupancy before adding the U-Haul service and that occupancy has since gone up to approximately 90 percent.
Having moved cross country, what stands out to them the most is all the evergreen trees in the area, and the really slow internet. They also really enjoy how vibrant Chewelah is in terms of businesses.
“I think Chewelah has so much available,” Linda said. “They have all the stores we need and if they don’t we can just go up to Colville or down to Spokane.”
They appreciated how helpful Chewelah Chamber of Commerce’s Sandi Amundson was the first day. They also said they enjoyed reading Chewelah Police Chief Mark Burrow’s Police Blotter.
Linda likes to sew, and wants to sew a lot more once the couple gets accustomed and settled down into the job. Robert likes to be a ventriloquist as a hobby after learning it through online classes. The ventriloquist buddy Billy now gives reporters a hard time when asking questions.
HMC is on Sand Canyon Rd. just off of Highway 395.