Business births, June 2009



Owners: Travis and Alycia HoGlin

Opening date: May 4

Address: 3130 Howe Place Suite 102

Square footage: 2,300

Phone: (360) 223-2051

Web site:

photo by Isaac Bonnell

Alycia and Travis HoGlin have opened CrossFitX, a cross-training program that focuses on overall fitness. “It’s like having a personal trainer without the cost,” Alycia said.


Upon first entering CrossFitX, you can tell this isn’t your typical gym or boot camp fitness studio. There are no treadmills, no ab machines and no mirrors. Instead, there are medicine balls, dumbbells, pull-up bars and a lot of open space.

“It’s kind of back to the basics,” said Travis HoGlin, who owns the business with his wife, Alycia.

The whole space is tailored to the principles of CrossFit, a national workout program that focuses on overall fitness rather than training for specific sports. The idea, Travis said, is to become equal parts gymnast, weightlifter and sprinter — a balance of agility, power and speed.

“Fitness systems over the years went toward isolating specific muscles. But when are you ever going to use just your quads, without using your hamstrings or your glutes?” Travis said, adding that CrossFit is like training for all of life’s activities. “CrossFit doesn’t really bulk you up, it makes you trim. If you want the hulk experience, this might not be right for you.”

CrossFitX also operates differently from most gyms. Each day Travis crafts a “workout of the day” with a warm up, strength training and a cool down. The drills vary from day to day, but each workout is no more than one hour long. Gym members are coached through the exercises and trained in proper lifting techniques.

“It’s kind of like having a personal trainer without the cost,” Alycia said.

These short workouts are high intensity, Travis said, and the real benefit of CrossFit comes with consistency.

“Three days a week is about the minimum to see benefits, but that really depends on what people are doing outside the gym,” Travis said.

Opening the gym has been a long process for the HoGlins, who are also both mortgage advisors with The Bank of the Pacific, but they are happy to finally be open. Fitness has been an important part of their lives and now they get to share the knowledge they have learned.

“I’ve done a lot of different regimens throughout the years and there is nothing that has benefited me as much as CrossFit,” Travis said.



Owners: Cheyenne and Kamea Black

Opening date: Feb. 1

Address: 314 E. Holly St. Suite 206

Phone: (360) 220-1800

Web site:

photo by Isaac Bonnell

Cheyenne and Kamea Black are hoping to convince coffee-drinking Northwesterners to try the joys of tea with their new business, Sip-T. The mother/daughter team makes their blends by hand and sells at the farmers markets in downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven.


Coffee may be king in the Pacific Northwest, but Cheyenne Black and her 17-year-old daughter, Kamea, aren’t interested in coffee. They’re tea drinkers to the core. And they hope to win some converts to their cause: really good tea for everyday drinking.

“Drinking tea doesn’t have to mean sitting in a tearoom with lace and cups you’re afraid to break and extended pinkies,” Cheyenne said.

Basically, you don’t need a degree in “teaology” to enjoy good tea. If you’re not quite sure what kind of tea is right for you, Sip-T has 14 types of teas, nine of which are unique blends like almond chai or passionfruit and goji berry tea. Cheyenne said she is working on releasing one new tea a month.

All of the ingredients are organic and fair trade, Cheyenne said, and the teas are blended by hand in the company’s downtown office.

Walking into the blending room is an olfactory sensation unlike any other. Aromas of clove, hibiscus and cardamom — just to name a few — are unavoidable, and the intense tea smell lingers long after leaving the room. It can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared for it, Cheyenne said.

“We wear masks when we blend tea,” she said, adding that she and her three daughters often spend hours experimenting with new tea blends. “We brainstorm recipes and taste and taste and taste. It pleases the alchemist in me.”

The Blacks sell their tea at the downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays and at the Fairhaven market in the Village Green on Wednesdays. Sip-T is also available in Northwest Gifts off of Meridian Street, and you can order teas from their Web site or over the phone.

While retail orders are picking up, Cheyenne said she hopes to expand her wholesale accounts this year.

“We are really hopeful to move more into the wholesale market and we’re also pursuing co-ops around the region,” she said. “But being at the market, we get to stay in touch with our customers and hear what they like.”


Mi Casa Taqueria

Owners: Ken and Angelica Selvidge

Opening date: May 2

Address: 505 32nd St. Suite 102

Square footage: 800

Phone: (360) 656-5554

Web site:

photo by Isaac Bonnell

Ken and Angelica Selvidge opened Mi Casa Taqueria on 32nd Street, behind the Sehome Shopping Center. The Selvidges have owned Mexican restaurants in Jalisco, Mexico and in Hawaii.


Bellingham’s newest Mexican restaurant already has a tried-and-true business model.

Ken and Angelica Selvidge first opened their taqueria five years ago in Spokane. After two years there, the couple moved to Hawaii and opened shop.

“We did very well in Hawaii — we had a good following with the college kids — but with the economy, tourism really started to drop,” Angelica said, adding that personal reasons brought them back to the mainland.

The menu is what has really propelled the business, said Angelica. The restaurant specializes in traditional tacos and carnitas served with homemade corn tortillas. Another favorite are the mulitas, which consist of meat and melted cheese sandwiched between two corn tortillas.

“Our food is prepared fresh every day and we make our own corn tortillas every day,” she said.

Before opening the Bellingham restaurant, the couple also opened a restaurant and bar last year in Angelica’s home state of Jalisco, Mexico. Here they tried out new recipes and kept a family tradition going.

“My mother had a restaurant in Jalisco since I was 13, so I grew up in restaurants,” she said. “We’re food people — we like good food.”

Mi Casa Taqueria is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

— Isaac Bonnell

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