We hope you will visit our Wine Bar & Shop in the scenic town of La Conner. Washington Sips is a family operation consisting of Mike & Kathy Hanson, our daughter Jessica, and my brother Gary Bust. Besides loving (and even liking) each other, we all share a love of Washington wine, wine tasting, and the congeniality when chatting and sipping some of those great wines.
Gary and I grew up in Skagit County, in the small town of Sedro-Woolley – which is a metropolis compared to La Conner. Though we each moved away for several (okay many) years, we both had longings to return to beautiful Skagit County. The opportunity came up first for Gary, who was able to work remotely with his San Antonio-based employer. He chose to move back to Washington in 2008, and La Conner in 2009.
Mike, Gary, and I were already involved in an online wine business, but decided to start looking for a physical location as well. For years Mike had a dream of owning a bar, and Jessica contributes the restaurant experience needed. The spot in La Conner was just too great to pass up – so the dream begins: To bring you the best of Washington’s boutique wines along with some tasty food served in a casual atmosphere by us – the Hanson’s & the Busts. Stop by to say hello, then Sit, Sip & Enjoy.
Who We Are
Mike & Kathy – We have been together for 35 years during which we raised two gorgeous daughters (not biased at all), along with dogs and cats. We have always lived in South King / Pierce County, but I always wanted to move back to Skagit Valley. Mike always wanted to have his own bar – maybe a sports bar – but living life itself seemed to keep our dreams in the background. Between jobs, soccer tournaments, dance competitions and getting both girls through college, our dreams stayed just that for many years.
Our love of Washington Wine started when the girls were very young. Along with 2 other couples who also had young children, we discovered we could have a nice long weekend getaway to Eastern Washington, taste a LOT of wine, and not break the bank. So the journey began, and 24 years later here we are. My dream of being back in Skagit County is a reality, as well as Mike’s dream of owning his own bar. We are both excited and terrified to embrace this new phase of our lives.
Jessica – I graduated from the University of Washington in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health, which is obviously the perfect degree for operating a Wine Bar. Ironically, although the degree won’t be of too much help, the 3 years I spent working in restaurants while earning the degree probably will. I worked as a server in an italian restaurant for two of those years and that is where I really developed my own personal taste and love for wine. I cannot wait to share my experience and passion for wine with the community and take on this next phase of my life!
Gary – Like Jessica, my background as a PHD in Physics is perfectly suited for a wine bar. Remember, Physics not Chemistry, so don’t expect me to explain the wine making process. As Kathy said earlier, we both wanted to someday be back in the Skagit Valley area, and I can’t think of anything better than sharing a love of wine and visiting with you at the bar.