The “Burton Store”

street view of Burton Store

You might wonder why the title of this blog has quotes around the name that most islanders have know and use. The reason why is that the beloved Burton Store’s actual name is Harbor Mercantile. That fun tidbit aside, everyone calls and knows the little shop as the Burton Store. The one stop shop for many has been standing since 1907 and officially opened in 1908.

For many who’ve lived on Vashon since the 80’s, Sandy Mattara was the owner and face of the place where you would run and grab you fix of candy as a kid. After 40 years Sandy finally decided to retire back in 2018 and turned the keys over to a new owner. It’s a joy to everyone who calls Vashon home that we’re lucky to have had such awesome ownership and that the business will continue.

close to original photo of Burton Store
Recent photo of Burton Store

Jensen point


Vashon is full of amazing views and spots to take them in. One particular spot that everyone should visit as soon as possible is Jensen Point. A fantastic little area on the east shore of the Burton Peninsula, Jensen Point offers more than just a view. There’s a spot for kayaks or canoes to take off, a boat ramp, picnic tables, small beach for a walk and parking for you vehicle.

If you’re still asking why you should visit Jensen point, go ahead and take a look at the view 

Burton Auto

burton auto garage

Down in the little town of Burton, right next to the coffee stand there’s a business that’s been going for around thirty five years. That business is Burton Auto. I remember as a kid our family driving through Burton and seeing the Burton Shell. My memory is hazy and not totally clear on the time line but I know there used to be a gas station there. What I’m not clear on is if it was always an auto shop. Nonetheless, they been running for thirty five years or more now and have been a strong business with a great reputation.


Burton Auto also five years ago invested in installing solar panels on their roof five years ago. You can read about it at Artisan Electric’s website. According to the page, they were the first island business to invest in solar. It’s great when our community and businesses invest in making commitments to taking care of the environment.

An honorable mention

burton coffee stand

Vashon Island has more than once been mentioned in what could be considered “big time” news. However, it’s a pretty awesome moment when our little coffee stand gets a mention. In an article by the New York Times talking about Vashon, one of paragraphs goes into detail about the Burton Coffee Stand. You can read the article here. The entire portion is quite an honor to read given the kind words used to describe our stand. One sentence in particular that stands out, “If Kathy or the regulars see someone they don’t recognize, they’ll often sweep them right up into the conversation, as they did with me the first time I visited.” – Ethan Todras-Whitehill, New York Times March 30, 2012