Old World Deli
Owners: Anna and Chris Adams
Address: 1140 N. State St.
Phone number: 738-2090
Startup date: June 13
Square footage: 950
You say ham, Anna and Chris Adams say pancetta.
At the Old World Deli, the married couple stocks hunks of gourmet meats and slabs of redolent cheeses, a line of wine bottles and a chalkboard menu full of old-world sandwiches. Pancetta, artisan salami and pastrami are just a few of the meats available inside their large glass deli case — the heart of the Adams’ new eatery on State Street.
The two bon vivants had each done their time working in and around restaurants — Anna as a server at various local establishments after getting her degree from Fairhaven College, and Chris as the grandson of a Los Angeles restaurateur, son of a food service company president, and student in the American Chef Federation program, as well as a local restaurant manager.
After they married in August 2005, they considered their next steps. Should they get professional jobs and buy a home? Was that even possible?
“In this town, there are no jobs, so it was either buy a house or open a business,” Chris said. The idea was to create enough income through their own endeavor to eventually afford a home inside the city limits.
Like most ardent foodies, the couple had tossed around restaurant ideas like pizza dough since they began dating, and because they knew how much work could be involved in fine dining, they finally settled on a deli — a good entry into the restaurant business.
Bellingham, in fact, lacked a good old-world-style deli, they said, and after doing lots of “homework” in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, they decided to use the San Francisco-style deli as their model, giving it an Italian bent. This includes bringing products to Bellingham that are hard to find, like Serrano ham, prosciutto and thick-cut pancetta. With a resurgence in the popularity of cooking, the Adamses wanted to offer their hungry customers cooking-magazine ingredients they couldn’t find anywhere else in town, Chris said.
The process of opening the deli hit a glitch when Anna found out they would be charged a $7,000 traffic-impact fee by the city, a charge she said was not included in any of the handouts or online guides provided by the city during the permitting process. The charge was a one-time fee associated with the space’s change of use — it had previously been a jewelry store. With a startup budget of about $21,000, an extra $7,000 was a lot for the Adamses to stomach, especially for a deli they imagined would attract mostly foot traffic.
The fee was finally mitigated to $3,000 after the city agreed to reclassify their shop from a high-turnover restaurant to a specialty retail store.
Since the deli opened, Anna said, business has been incredible, and the two are already thinking of expanding. They’d like to do more catering events and add more retail items, such as pasta, tomato products and more wine so that customers can stop in and round up everything they would need to make dinner.
In other words, from here on out, the Adamses expect to have la dolce vita, and eat their pastrami, too.
Owner: Laurie Grey Shultis
Address: 1201 Cornwall Ave., Suite 103
Phone number: 671-0298
Startup date: May 14
Square footage: 373
After having five kids, Laurie Grey Shultis knows how to carry a child.
The owner of Portable Kid experimented with several types of baby carriers, including slings and pouches, while rearing her brood. She eventually became an autodidactic baby carrier expert, and decided to share her knowledge with other mothers through a home-based business.
Four years later, her husband noticed a small space available for lease on Cornwall Avenue, next to Eva salon and fronting on Chestnut Street, and suggested his wife turn her home-based business into a storefront there.
The Portable Kid store was soon born with the slogan, “Keeping families together naturally,” and now Shultis sells an expanded inventory of baby-carrying accoutrements after opening her doors on Mother’s Day. Her focus is on cloth slings, pouches and wraps, which are easier on babies’ and mothers’ postures compared to mainstream carriers that hold babies in front of the chest. She buys most of the carriers from work-at-home mothers-turned-entrepreneurs across the country.
She also sells cloth-diapering supplies, nursing bras, reusable travel equipment and toys, and a line of car seats made by Britax, which she said is one of the safest-rated car seats around. One of her goals is to offer sturdy products that can be reused from child-to-child.
So far, Shultis’ biggest challenge has been getting customers to find her store. She did some advertising when she opened and plans to send out a postcard to past customers of her home-based Portable Kid business letting them know she now has walls. One of the nice things about having a physical store is that customers can try on and experiment with the baby carriers before buying them, instead of pointing and clicking to buy them online.
Her future plans for the store involve expanding her merchandise to offer consignment baby carriers, as well as becoming more of a resource center for parents by adding a lending library, a gift registry and a play-date calendar.
After all, any store goes through some growth spurts in its adolescence.
Owners: Jen Josephson and Judy Baughman
Address: 436 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 103
Phone number: 671-3351
Startup date: June 27
Square footage: 2,100
Jen Josephson and Judy Baughman are a mother-daughter duo who want to help women learn how to fly — metaphorically that is — through a focus on health and nutrition.
After Josephson graduated from Trinity Western University with a major in business and a minor in human kinetics, she wasn’t sure how her life would shape up post-college until her grandfather saw a commercial for Butterfly Life on CNN. He thought the business concept sounded perfect for her, and after visiting the franchise company’s corporate headquarters in San Ramon, Calif., with her mother, she was convinced as well.
So was Baughman, her mom, who went with Josephson on the trip for moral support and came home as a co-owner of the business and a Butterfly Life representative for the British Columbia market.
The two were impressed with the company’s commitment to a holistic approach to women’s health, offering 30-minute exercise and strength-training programs as well as an optional eight-week nutrition and weight-loss program.
“The product basically sold itself, and the people were incredible,” Josephson said of the visit.
“We’re not salespeople, so it is nice to have a product that sells itself,” Baughman added. Their joy at working together and their shared vision is evident in they way they talk about their business — the two typically finish each other’s thoughts and mirror each other’s enthusiasm for their new endeavor.
So far, working as a mother-daughter team has been a joy for both of them, and allows them to see each other more often since Josephson lives in Langley, B.C., with her husband and Baughman lives in Snohomish. Josephson manages most of the day-to-day operations and Baughman commutes north to be at the store about two days a week.
The biggest challenge for the two was the build out of the space, which is located in Bakerview Square. When they first decided to lease the space, it was barely a shell, and the process of building it out into its final form, while fun, was a challenge.
But any of the challenges have been outweighed by the rewards of connecting with clients and working in a team environment to achieve their fitness goals.
“It’s just been great to find a business for women and by women,” Baughman said. “It’s a women’s business — it’s all about us.”