New couple hopes to have positive impact on health, culture in coastal community

Britta and Joe Luciak moved to Gearhart from Vancouver, British Columbia, in February to help take care of Joseph's grandmother. The couple plans to open their own business in January 2016.

Joseph and Britta Luciak moved to Gearhart in February and feel right at home in the friendly, coastal community.

Coming from Vancouver, British Columbia, where Joseph was born and raised, the weather and culture are similar, making the transition easy for the couple. Also, Joseph visited the area frequently growing up, as his grandparents lived in Gearhart.

“I do feel connected to this town,” Joseph said.

Britta, who was born in Berlin, Germany, does not have the same memories or family ties, but she traveled a lot growing up and feels she “can call any place my home,” as long as she is with her dog and husband.

The couple moved to the area to take care of Joseph’s grandmother. Joseph currently works for local contractor Timothy L Beatty Builder.

Britta, a freelance graphic designer, still works remotely for the family’s business in Canada until she gets permanent residency in the United States.

The Luciaks are due to launch their business, Oregon Mold Medix, an indoor mold consultation, inspection and remediation company, in January 2016. The couple believes it will provide a much-needed service in the area. The couple hopes, in particular, to help that demographic and low-income families, who tend to be disproportionately affected by the problem. Joseph said if one in 10 of their remediation projects could be done for a low-income family, then they can have a “fairly significant impact with our effort.”

“I don’t think those goals are that ambitious,” he added. “We all live here because we love the air outside.”

They are excited to get the business off the ground.

“By this time next year, I think we will be able to say we have had a bigger impact,” through both their business and charity work, Britta said.

They enjoy living in a small, tight-knit community. The advantage of having good neighbors was evident when, during the summer, By the Way owner Linda Goldfarb temporarily closed her shop to help the couple look for their missing basset hound, Columbo. She located the dog on U.S. Highway 101 near the Sons of Norway Field.

“It’s nice to not just be anonymous in the big city,” Britta said. “Here’s it’s so much closer knit.”

Joseph agreed.

“This place is so neighborly,” he said. “When we walk down the street, I wish the locals would start to adopt the nod, because my arm gets sore from constantly waving at people.”

When not working, Britta and Joseph share time outdoors with Columbo, going outside during storms, hiking and camping. They also enjoy watching documentaries.

In Vancouver, Britta and Joseph managed bars, dance clubs and live music venues. They volunteered with the Access to Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides children in British Columbia with instruments and music education opportunities. Joseph recently resigned his post as chairman of the foundation. After heavy involvement at a community level with performing arts and community service, Joseph said, they “haven’t really been culturally stimulated yet down here.”

“We’re really looking to get involved in any sort of capacity,” he added.

They feel Gearhart is a good place to be and to raise their first child, due in March.

“We’ll give it a good shot here for a while and see how it goes,” Britta said.

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