Bellingham chocolate company founder earns Woman of the Year award

Ariana Lee, co-founder of Bija Chocolates, was named the 2018 Whatcom Women in Business Woman of the Year.

Lee worked with her husband to found Bija two years ago. The Bellingham-based company works with women-owned cooperatives in the Dominican Republic and Peru to source cacao. The company also partners with organizations like Girls on the Run, Lydia Place and other groups that support women and girls.

Other finalists for this year’s award were:

  • Abby Franklin, Loving Space Preschool
  • Colleen Haggerty, Our TreeHouse
  • Kathy Herndon, VSH Certified Public Accountants
  • Heidi Ludeman, Ludeman Capital Management, Inc.
  • Chantee Ziemkowski, Alcoa

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