Meet Terrilyn Johnson, Chuck Russell-Coons, Jerry Haener, Emily Paine, and Lucy Wilma, the owners of Beneath the Streets in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Beneath the Streets has been giving walking tours of Seattle’s Pioneer Square since 2013. As experienced tour guides, the five owners wanted to create a smart, concise, and diverse tour of Pioneer Square and its storied underground. Beneath the Streets believes in encouraging each guide to bring in aspects of history they like, which allows for a one-of-a-kind experience for people to learn about and discuss early Seattle history.
Get to know more about Beneath the Streets in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in & why?
Pioneer Square is where it all began for our modern city. Walking the streets and seeing all walks of life, amid the beautiful architecture, while also ever mindful of the Coastal Salish people who lived here first, energizes me and allows me to see humanity, develop and maintain compassion. and see beauty everywhere. I can feel the energy and the history.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
Supporting small businesses keeps families afloat, makes communities unique, reduces the carbon footprint, and brings people together.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
I don’t know, maybe taking people on tours of Seattle’s underground? : )
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
We are an ownership of five. The majority of us our women and another majority group identifies as queer. We love supporting and highlighting other small businesses in the neighborhood during our tour and promoting the community, encouraging people to explore this wonderful place.
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
Rojos: a plant-based taco and burrito place.
Open Books: because poetry shops are awesome!
All of the local coffee shops ( so many to choose from!)
Señor Carbón: yummy food!
Bad Bishop: amazing cocktails and super nice owners!
The Underbelly: has cool owners, excellent cocktails, cool space.
The Merchant’s Cafe: oldest bar!
The Central: ‘nuff said!
OHSUN Banchan: super cool Korean food place & awesome owner!