- Associated Press - Monday, May 19, 2014

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Watch out, Dawg.

The Cougar is on the prowl.

Washington State University has set up shop in downtown Everett with a barrage of crimson and gray Cougar paraphernalia - on the Husky side of the Cascades.

It’s a sign of more “Wazzu” power to come as the Pullman-based university extends claws westward with educational programs in an area where the University of Washington has held sway.

Shoppers loaded up at the weekend grand opening of WSU Connections, 2809 Colby Ave.

“I’m really proud of the education I received and show it in my gear,” said WSU alumni Nicole Kennedy of Mukilteo. “It’s a little harder being on the west side as a Coug. There’s a lot of purple. We get a lot of flak for being Cougs.”

That’s changing as WSU takes over administration of the University Center of North Puget Sound in Everett this summer. Plans are in the works to design a new $10 million, 95,000-square-foot center on the Everett Community College campus.

The Colby Avenue shop is a smaller version of the downtown Seattle flagship store, which sells WSU tricycles and toothbrushes, branding irons, gnomes, athletic apparel and more.

“It’s more of a boutique,” manager Dave Walsh said of the Everett location.

The building, formerly a flower shop, is sleek and stylish, with brick walls, flashy graphics and bottles of wine.

A cooler brims with fat cans of cheese.

Husky fans might think that’s a lot of Cheese Whiz.

Not hardly. Not that there’s anything wrong with Cheese Whiz.

The crumbly cheese, made at the WSU Creamery in Pullman, is $28 for a 30-ounce can. The land-grant college’s creamery makes about 250,000 cans a year in various styles in brightly striped tins. The big cheese is the sharp white cheddar, Cougar Gold, named for professor N.S. Golding, who helped create the canned wonder about 75 years ago in what was revolutionary packaging at the time.

“The cheese turned out so good they’ve continued doing it the same way ever since,” Walsh said.

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