Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc.

Gracias Grazie!

italy, italian, food, foodie, tiramisu, dessert, seattle

If you love Italian food, but want to try something more authentic than homemade spaghetti or Olive Garden bread sticks, Grazie is the way to go! Don’t get me wrong, I love Olive Garden and homemade spaghetti, but there’s just something beautiful about fresh ingredients and authentic Italian recipes. Who knew Southcenter had some of the best Calamari and Tiramisu in town?! I’m a fan of Italian food. I love pasta, lots of sauce and typically how fresh everything is. Grazie has all of that and more!

Of course their food is incredible, but we’ll get back to that. The ambiance at this place is fantastic! Romantically lit, adorably decorated. It’s cozy and quaint. This restaurant has all of that and still remains classy and elegant. It’s a great place to go for lunch with a friend or to take your date for dinner! (They’re only open for dinner on the weekends.) On top of all that, they have a great wait-staff. Service was consistently good from all hosts and servers. Grazie is located in Southcenter in the corner of a shopping center in between Car Toys and Men’s Warehouse. I’ve lived here my whole life, and to be honest, didn’t notice it for years. I think that’s part of what makes it so great though, it truly is a hidden gem!

Now let’s get back to the important stuff, the food. Good. So good. My husband got an order of Calamari which he loves. And both him and others who have gone here and love Calamari agree Grazie nailed it. Cooked for a perfect amount of time, great breading, with dipping sauce. Personally, I do not love Calamari, but I did give it a try and if I was a Calamari fan I’m sure there’s would be my favorite. I also got a house salad with italian dressing and mozzarella on top. It was light and fresh! One of my favorite things was their bread and olive oil. Silly considering that was the free stuff. But it was delicious! I’m not sure what all they use to flavor their olive oil but they’re herb and spice mixture was incredible. For the main course my husband ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and I ordered Chicken Parmigiana which was served with vegetables and pasta. His Alfredo was a good flavor and consistency and my Chicken Parmigiana was fried nicely and had a good layer of sauce and mozzarella melted on top. All of it was amazing!

calamari, italian, italy, food, foodie, seattle
pasta, alfredo, italian, italy, food, foodie

Last, but not least, was dessert. We ordered Tiramisu and Cappuccinos. Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! What’s funny about all of this is that my husband likes coffee, but he doesn’t quite love it yet, and everything we ordered for dessert was saturated with espresso. The great part was, he liked it! And so did I. Their Tiramisu was fantastic, well made, beautiful layers, with rich coffee flavor. Well soaked. My husband (who isn’t a huge coffee drinker) even liked their Cappuccinos. Of course, I loved them being the coffee enthusiast I am. Perfect amount of foam, really cool cups and two sugar cubes for sweetener. The espresso was a bit strong and a little bitter, but it was perfect with the Tiramisu. It really balanced out the sweetness. I would highly suggest this pairing. As good as this was, I can’t wait to go back and try some of their other dessert options. They had many other amazing options.

Overall, I give this place two thumbs up! I will definitely go back. I look forward to trying more of their authentic recipes and fresh ingredients. If you love Italian food and want to go someplace local for something fantastic, this is a great choice. All in all I say, Gracias Grazie!

We hope you enjoyed reading Gracias Grazie! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this review and on your favorite Italian restaurants in the Seattle area. Find us on social media and let us know what you think!

Cappuccino

Fall Family Fun

There’s lots to do around Seattle during fall. Farms to visit, haunted houses and Halloween celebrations. Here are a bunch of fun ideas for you and your family to have all kinds of festive fun!

 

October 1-29, 2017 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) – Fright Fest, Rides, haunted house and spooky decorations at Wild Waves theme park.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/117550102277284/
Hours information: https://www.wildwaves.com/park-info.php#park-hours

October 1-31, 2017 – Halloween on a farm, Pumpkin patches, hayrides, and corn mazes on farms all around the Greater Seattle area.
Website: http://redtri.com/seattle/pumpkin-patches-seattle-area/

October 5-26, 2017 (Thursdays 8:30pm) – Campfire: Improvised Ghost Stories, Unexpected Productions at Pike Place Market.
Website: http://www.unexpectedproductions.org/show/campfire

October 6-31, 2017 – Nile Nightmares, Nile Shrine Golf Center
Website: http://www.nilenightmares.com/

October 6-31, 2017 – Fright House Station, near the Tacoma Dome (ages 12+)
Website: https://www.tacomahaunts.com/

October 6-31, 2017 – Georgetown Morgue, Georgetown (ages 12+)
Website: http://seattlehaunts.com/georgetown-morgue/Events.php

halloween, fall, pumpkins, smiley
fall, farm stand, pumpkins, autumn, family fun

October 7-31, 2017 – Zombie Safari Paintball, Thomas Family Farm
Website: https://www.thomasfamilyfarm.com/nighttime-activities

October 13-31, 2017 – Nightmare at Beaver Lake, Sammamish
Website: http://www.nightmareatbeaverlake.com/

October 14, 2017 – Orting Pumpkin Fest, Orting
Website: http://www.tacomaevents.com/pumpkin-festival.html

October 14-15, 2017 – Zoo Boo, Point Defiance Zoo
Website: https://www.pdza.org/calendar?cid=465

October 14-15, 2017 – Cranberry Harvest Festival, Grayland
Website: http://westportgrayland-chamber.org/calendar.php

October 14-15, 2017 – Cranberrian Fair, Ilwaco
Website: http://columbiapacificheritagemuseum.org/cranberrian-fair/

October 15, 2017 – Fauntleroy Fall Festival, Fauntleroy
Website: http://www.fauntleroy.net/fallfestivalcurrent.html

October 20-31, 2017 – This is Halloween, The Triple Door
Website: https://tickets.thetripledoor.net/eventperformances.asp?evt=977

October 21, 2017 – Fall Festival at Occidental Square, Pioneer Square
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/2123385881279370/

October 21-22 & 28-29, 2017 – Halloween Train, Northwest Railway Museum
Website: https://www.trainmuseum.org/index.php/halloween-train

October 28, 2017 – Hilloween, Mitchell Activity Center
Website: http://www.caphilloween.com/info.html

October 28, 2017 – Thrill the World Redmond, Redmond Town Center
Website: http://thrilltheworld.org/redmond/

October 28, 2017 – Haunted Puppy Town, Cascade Kennels
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1929861747335744/

October 28-29, 2017 – Pumpkin Bash, Woodland Park Zoo
Website: https://www.zoo.org/events?cgid=1&ceid=927#.WcwoU8iGOUk

October 29, 2017 – Run Scared, Seward Park
Website: http://www.runscared5k.com/scary-details.html

October 29, 2017 – The Museum of Fright, Museum of Flight
Website: http://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events/3469/museum-of-fright

October 31, 2017 – The Safest Trick-or-Treating Spots Around Seattle, Various locations
Website: http://redtri.com/seattle/halloween-trick-or-treating-seattle/

October 31, 2017 – Costume Carnival, Seattle Children’s Museum
Website: https://thechildrensmuseum.org/programs/costume-carnival/

Thanks for reading “Fall Family Fun”. For more ideas and fun family activities read “Upcoming Events in Seattle: October“. Are these posts fun or helpful to you? Please find us on social media and let us know what you think!

pumpkins, fall, autumn, family fun

You and Your Business: The Importance of Online Reputation Management

I admire small business owners. In fact, I work for one. I’ve heard stories of how Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc. was established, and every day I see the long hours, hard work and smart, quick decisions it takes to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

Small business owners are comprised of a remarkable amalgam of dreams, brains, guts, passion, patience, resilience, sacrifice and flexibility. They contribute to their community by providing employment and internship opportunities, and sacrifice precious time and treasure to local charities. Along the way, positive relationships and reputations are formed that not only serve to strengthen a business’ status in the community but, in turn, aids recruiting top talent and attracting more business – a healthy symbiosis.

Yet, when I consider the years of hard work and sacrifice it takes to build, maintain and grow a business, it alarms me how easily a malicious online review or a few angry sentences placed on social media can initiate a process of unraveling a successful company. It’s called “Virality”, and can damage your company’s reputation before you are even aware the activity has begun.

Virality – The tendency of an image, video, or piece of information to be circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another (The Oxford Dictionary)

Consider a 2009 incident in which a pair of bored Domino’s Pizza employees recorded themselves performing inappropriate acts with sandwich ingredients. The duo posted 5 videos of their activity on YouTube, and sadly before the videos were removed a few days later an estimated one million people had viewed them. Read how Domino’s managed this crisis.

Another crisis occurred in 2015, when musician David Caroll’s guitar was damaged during travel with United Airlines. When the airline refused to compensate him for his loss, Mr. Caroll wrote “United Breaks Guitars”, a song that racked up over 15 million views on YouTube. This cathartic externalization of Mr. Caroll’s discontent with United is widely reported to have caused a 10% drop in the United’s stock (worth around $180 million). Read more about this incident.

The New Rules of Consumer Engagement

These crises illustrate the Age of The Empowered Consumer has arrived, demanding a new respect for customers, as expressed through constant engagement in social media, blogs, forums and website chat applications to understand who they are and what they want from your business. Consumers expect to be heard, and they place high value on what other consumers have to say about your goods and services.

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A study on BrightLocal.com found that 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and 72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review. – Gary Musler, “What Every Small Business Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management”

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Business who interact with their customers socially online, monitor feedback in review sites and develop plans to quickly respond when negative information appears are establishing their credibility, protecting their brand and giving their company a competitive edge in their industry.

Cascade e-Commerce Solutions can help establish and monitor you and your business’s reputation. Call us today at 206-244-9092 or visit us online at https://www.4cesi.com/ .

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Did you know that a good online reputation is only one aspect of a business’s online presence? Master the Digital Domain with a comprehensive marketing strategy comprising SEO, SEM, E-Mail and Reputation Management. Call Cascade e-Commerce Solutions today!

The Best Burgers in the Seattle Southside Area

Burgers. Simple. Delicious. Whether you like yours plain or with everything on them, most people would agree a great burger is a necessity every once in a while. Let me kick off this review by stating a few of the reasons I love burgers.Variety; burgers can have so much variety. You can put anything from a fried egg to bacon, fried mac and cheese, hash browns or peanut butter on them. The possibilities are practically endless.

Convenience; how handy is it to be able to eat your entire entree without using a single utensil? (Handy. Get it?)

 

The sides; I love all the options in sides. To be honest sometimes the sides are my favorite part. Depending on where you go you can get anything from traditional French fries to tempura green beans, onion rings, sweet potato fries or even poutine. There are so many choices when it comes to sides, this should definitely be a factor when picking where to go for your next burger.

I recently visited a new burger joint I have grown quite fond of and revisited a few old favorites. All the photos in this blog post are from Blue Moon Burger. I tried to keep these all fairly local.

Blue Moon Burger – This place is one of my new favorites. I will definitely be going back. They are located on Alki. The only downfall to this place is that Alki can get really busy especially when it’s sunny and it can be difficult to find parking. Other than that, this place was fantastic! They have indoor and outdoor seating with a view of the Sound. It’s directly across from the beach. But most importantly, they have amazing burgers!

I got the Code Blue burger. It had two patties, Cherry wood smoked bacon, cheddar, blue moon sauce and PEANUT BUTTER on a brioche bun. The combination of flavors with the cheddar, peanut butter and bacon was incredible. The fact that the bacon was Cherry wood smoked made it some of the best tasting bacon I’ve ever had. Between the bacon and the peanut butter, it’s my new favorite burger.

With my burger I got Garlic Parmesan fries. Those were also great. I need to go back to try their onion rings, waffle fries, tots and curry fries. Don’t be mistaken, it does not say curly fries, which is what I thought. Much more interesting than that, they have CURRY FRIES.

My husband likes a much simpler burger. He got the Double Cheeseburger Love with regular fries. His burger had two patties, two slices of American cheddar, ketchup, mustard and pickles on a brioche bun. I’m pretty sure he ordered it without pickles though. He loved it, and their fries.

Overall, we love this place!

Dick’s Drive-in – This is definitely a local favorite. Great burgers, I LOVE their fries! (I order tartar sauce with mine.) These guys are inexpensive and they’ve got really good milkshakes. Dick’s used to be cash only, but within the last year or so, they changed that and I am grateful. There are a couple locations to pick from, but my favorite is the one in downtown Seattle near the Seattle Center. You can stop by Dick’s Drive-in and then mosey on over to the Seattle Center to check out the fountain, science center, Space Needle, see an IMAX movie, etc. Dick’s keeps things pretty old school, which is part of what makes them so great. I think one of my favorite things about this place is how simple they keep their menu. It’s pure.

Five Guys – Five Guys is another chain that originated in Arlington, Virginia. But again, I figure I’ll review it based on our locations as it is still a favorite to many in the area. First off, peanuts. Peanuts everywhere. (So if you have a peanut allergy, just stay away from this place.) When you walk into Five Guys there are boxes and boxes of free peanuts shaping their order line. One reason Five Guys is so good is because they cook their fries in pure peanut oil. They grill their burgers and they have lots of topping options. In addition to their regular fries, they also have Cajun fries.

The Habit Burger Grill – This place is so good. The Habit Burger Grill is a chain that originated in Santa Barbara, California. I’m reviewing our local location because chain or not, I love it there. Fun fact, before they opened the location in South Center my husband and I got to go there for free. They were doing this sort of a test run before their grand opening where they let a small group of people eat there for free. That was a great first introduction. Since then, my husband and I have gone back many times.

We love it there. Their main specialty is their Charburger. (Charbroiled goodness.) Whether you stick with the original Charburger or you venture out into other varieties like their Roasted Garlic Portabella Char or their Teriyaki Charburger, the Charburger is the foundation to all of them. My husband usually gets the Double Charburger and I change it up almost every time. I love the Roasted Garlic Portabella Char and the BBQ Bacon Charburger. They also have great sandwiches and salads.

One of my favorite things about this place is their sides. They have French fries, sweet potato fries, side salads and onion rings, all of which are fantastic, but what I find the most interesting is that they have tempura green beans. I’ve had them, and they are definitely good. My favorite thing is still probably their onion rings, but the tempura green beans are definitely worth trying.

Zippy’s – Zippy’s is a small local burger joint located in White Center. They’ve been around for quite some time and they’re a favorite to many in the area. Zippy’s has been recognized by many foodie apps and reviewing sites including Zagat, Urbanspoon, Tastemade, Yelp and more. Their burgers are great. They have multiple options for size and variety. Sometimes I like to go with the Lil Zip so I don’t over-stuff myself. They also have their original size and another giant burger that if you eat all of it, you get a free t-shirt. They have really good onion rings, fries and tots. Their garlic mayo is AMAZING. I could eat that on everything and I practically do. Another fun thing about Zippy’s is that they only have bottled beverages. And they have a few arcade games.

All of these places are worth trying if you haven’t been before. As everyone’s taste in burgers varies, I have heard many different opinions about which of these places is the best. The answer changes based on who I ask. So it’s important that you try them out to see which one is your favorite. When you decide, let us know! Also, make sure to tell us about your favorite local burger joints. You can let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Website Redesign Challenge: Spacewall West

CeSI’s (Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc.) latest redesign challenge came from Spacewall West. The company, which manufactures and sells slatwall and accessories, was looking to simplify and enhance the ordering process for both current and prospective customers of their West Coast manufacturing plants. Spacewall West also wanted to improve their product display layout to better show all options, including product color, orientation and groove spacing.  Finally, they desired a modern, updated site, with a fresh color scheme and a navigation structure that assisted customers in quickly finding products by plant location.

WHERE TO BEGIN?

As a starting point, CeSI reviewed the existing Spacewall West websites to determine aspects that worked well, such as a prominent, good-sized header image of an installation of some of their products, an easy to find Resources list, Testimonials, and a Photo gallery. CeSI also looked at a number of the company’s competitors’ websites to identify best practices for serving customers’ needs and facilitating action. This research led CeSI to design navigational aids to help customers quickly find products, place orders and easily locate contact information. A blog or “In the News” section was added so that Spacewall West could connect directly to their customers to respond to service needs and questions and to share the latest news about the company, as well as showcase new products and options. Furthermore, a shopping cart was implemented so as to significantly optimize/streamline the ordering process and assist the customer in organizing product selections (with price review) prior to placing an order. Apparel Store Wall Next, CeSI’s comprehensive keyword research methods revealed a need to not only retain, but to enrich Spacewall West’s resource listings. This information was very popular among customers attempting to learn more about products and materials in order to apply that knowledge to a purchase. CeSI’s customer-focused design and development protocol called for attention to making a website easier to access and utilize for both Spacewall West AND their customers.  This objective was achieved through building the new website in Silverstripe – a powerful software, combining “an intuitive Content Management System (CMS) with an extensible framework”. This allows Spacewall West to update the website’s content with little or no knowledge of HTML, the basic language of the web. It also means the website can accommodate Spacewall West’s entire inventory in both West Coast locations (Seattle and Los Angeles).  In addition, CeSI used Silverstripe to implement a design that adapts the layout according to the device being used to view the page – known as Responsive Design. So, whether Spacewall West’s customers view the website on a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile phone, they can have a more pleasant viewing experience and quickly navigate the website, selecting products and placing orders.

CONCLUSION

As a result of CeSI’s redesign implementation, Spacewall West received a new customer-focused website with a modernized color scheme and navigation system, an updated product layout structure and enhanced ways for their customers to place orders or to otherwise interact with the company. These changes will improve the experience for their current and prospective customers, a key aspect of website revenue generation. Along with these improvements, Spacewall West will be able to easily update their website without having to know complex programming languages.

BEFORE

Old Website

AFTER

New Website

What the Client Has to Say

“I could not be happier and more satisfied with Elizabeth Paulsen and her crew at Cascade E Commerce. From the beginning of the bidding process, she was very thorough and clearly wanted to gain the best understanding of our products, services and client base. Once we started actual work on our website, I was amazed at how quickly she and her staff came to understand our product line. She has been able to explain to me, a non-techie, exactly what she has done and why. As we got closer to completion of the site, we were both so excited about the look and feel of the website. I know she really cares about our success. I would highly recommend Cascade Ecommerce Solutions for website development.”

Sue Waller, Sales and Marketing Manager, Spacewall West