SUQUAMISH — After four years as owner of the Coffee Cantina and serving as manger for the Kitsap Community Arts Center, Don Downing is taking his world famous zesty clam chowder recipe and hitting the road.
“My financial resources are completely exhausted and so when it became apparent that KCAC could no longer afford my modest salary, I had no choice but to resign, put the coffee shop up for sale and seek employment elsewhere,” Downing said in a statement.
His resignation is effective Nov. 1.
Downing submitted his letter of resignation earlier this month and is completing the deal to sell the Coffee Cantina business. The Kitsap Community Arts Center, which received its federal non-profit status in August, has returned control of the lease to Downing.
The KCAC has some options on where it can go. If the new owner wishes to continue KCAC sponsored programs, the art center can pay a fee to the Cantina to use the space. The arts center group can also move to another location, but it will continue on for years to come, Downing said.
He urges people to “take a good hard look” at the benefits the Kitsap Community Arts Center can provide and give them the financial support it needs.
As for the Cantina, he wishes the new owner the best of luck with the quirky little business on the Suquamish waterfront.
Downing offered his thanks to the Cantina’s and KCAC supporters.
Downing purchased the business in 1997 and decided, after the Cantina hit troubled financial waters, to start the non-profit arts center in July 2000.
The Cantina is home to the Friday night jam sessions, special concerts and art exhibits, which are expected to contin