Thurston Green Small Business of the Year: Treasure Chest

The Thurston Green Business designation is a coveted award, given annually to over 100 deserving businesses. And among those winners, a select few are honored as the best of the best – the small, medium, large, and municipal “business of the year.” This year’s winners are true champions of sustainability, and they’ll be recognized at the upcoming April Thurston Green Business Forum on April 12. We’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on these remarkable businesses in this issue of the VOICE.



Congratulations to Treasure Chest, the Thurston Green Small Business of the Year!



In 1979, Forest and MaryJo Koch started the Treasure Chest, a family business that sold unique furniture ranging from new to antique. Operating out of Olympia, WA, Frosty, as he was commonly known, used his experience running a dairy farm and leading a lumber mill to run the business with precision. The Treasure Chest grew in popularity, and a second location was opened in Lakewood. They were forced to leave their Olympia location due to a bus station construction project. Frosty spent his last years teaching his youngest son the ropes, and the Lakewood location thrived for 31 years before losing their lease. The Treasure Chest has now returned to its roots in the Olympia-Lacey Area as of November 11, 2020.

“At our Treasure Chest, we’re on a mission to keep furniture out of the landfill and preserve the environment,” said Steven Koch. “We do this by recycling used furniture and home decor items and we’re always finding ways to breathe new life into even the most damaged items. Our commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there— we’ve even retrofitted our lights to reduce energy use.”

With every sale they make, they’re doing their part to reduce waste and promote a more eco-friendly future. It’s not just a job for Treasure Chest, it’s a passion. They invite the community to learn more about their business and to join them in their efforts to stay green and make a difference one piece of furniture at a time.


How has COVID-19 changed your business’s sustainability efforts?

The pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink their sustainability efforts, and ours was no exception. But in the face of adversity, we found new ways to promote recycling and reduce waste. With more people struggling financially, we’ve become a valuable resource for those looking to buy and sell furniture at affordable prices. Our commitment to sustainability has also empowered people to keep items out of the landfill by reselling and recycling them.


Where have you been the most successful in your green business practices? What have been the biggest challenges?

At our company, we’re proud of our commitment to green business practices. Our success has been driven by a few key initiatives that have helped us reduce our environmental impact. For instance, we’ve worked tirelessly to get building owners on board with water-saving toilets, and have advocated for less frequent use of sprinklers. We’ve also taken a hard look at our cleaning practices, and have transitioned to more eco-friendly products. And when it comes to energy use, we’ve retrofitted our lights to energy-saving options and keep our heaters at a lower, more sustainable setting. But despite our efforts, there have been some significant challenges along the way. For one, changing the minds of building owners and convincing them to adopt green practices hasn’t always been easy. And while we’ve made strides in reducing energy use, we know there’s always more that can be done. But we remain committed to our mission of sustainability and will continue to find innovative ways to reduce waste and promote a greener future.

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