Fairhaven shop to open up and say 'Cheese!'

A new artisan cheese shop, Quel Fromage, is moving into the 12th Street Village at 1200 Old Fairhaven Pkwy., Ste. 101.
   Owner Rachel Riggs Vidal said the shop will feature more than 120 artisan cheeses, about 80 percent of which will be European imports. Vidal said she will also sell some specialty foods, as well as cheese accouterments such as specialty crackers, bread, cheese knives and boards. Customers will be able to sample all of the cheeses available, she said. The shop will also serve Parisian-style sandwiches with Avenue Bread and Cafe bread and a choice of any of the store’s cheeses for $5.
   Because artisan cheese shopping can sometimes be an intimidating experience, Vidal said all purchases will come with a receipt giving the cheese’s correct pronunciation, phonetic spelling, origin, type of milk it’s made out of, whether it’s pasteurized, and recommended wine and beer pairings.
   Vidal currently lives in San Diego, where she has been a salon owner for the past 20 years, and is moving to Bellingham Sept. 1. She and her husband discovered Bellingham while on their honeymoon and decided to relocate here.
   Vidal said she hopes to open the shop in October.

Harbor Mall’s business switcheroo
   Three businesses in the Harbor Mall, located along Coho Way at Squalicum Harbor, are moving and expanding.
   Grinstad & Wagner Architects are moving to Fairhaven’s 12th Street Village, located at 1609 12th St., a project the firm designed, architect Fred Wagner said. The firm will be fully moved into the new space by Sept. 1, he said.
   The firm has been at its current 900-square-foot location in the Harbor Mall since 1994, he said. The new space will be 1,800 square feet.
   Wagner said he liked the idea of being located closer to many of the firm’s recent Fairhaven projects.
   Another Harbor Mall business, Fuller Verret Professional Building Design, Inc., is expanding into an adjacent suite, said co-owner Todd Fuller. After the expansion is complete at the end of August, the building design business will occupy suites 2, 4 and 6 of the Harbor Mall and will grow from 1,200 square feet to 1,800 square feet.
   Fuller said the firm will expand its green building design services, as well as offer 3D renderings and interior design services.
   Heintz Marine Service, also a Harbor Mall business that previously occupied the suite Professional Building Design moved into, has relocated to ste. 10 in the building, said owner Mike Heintz.

New mobile visitor info center hits the streets
   Whatcom County Tourism has launched its mobile information center, a retrofitted van with colorful, iconic images of the Bellingham and Mt. Baker region. The mobile information center will serve as a traveling visitor center and make appearances at local and regional festivals and events.
   The mobile information center made its maiden voyage at a conference at Western Washington University Aug. 5-6, and it will be on site at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden Aug. 14-19. The tourism bureau is currently establishing a schedule of future locations for the center.
   “The mobile information center will allow us to reach visitors by bringing information to them,” said tourism bureau president John Cooper. “We’re excited to have additional opportunities to connect visitors with local businesses and attractions.”
   The mobile information center was a community-wide project, involving the efforts of many local organizations and businesses. The original Dodge Ram van was donated to the tourism bureau by Hampton Inn of Bellingham. Airporter Shuttle/BelAir Charters completed a mechanical check of the van, and the Bellingham Technical College automotive collision repair technology program repainted the exterior. Wayne’s Detailing and Jerome’s Upholstery refreshed the interior of the van, while Good Eye Design designed the exterior wrap that was installed by Signs Plus. The Silver Reef Hotel Casino and Spa was a financial contributor.

Opportunity Council’s executive director announces retirement
   Opportunity Council executive director Kay Sardo announced this month she is retiring at the end of the year after 11 years of service, according to a press release.
   Sardo said the board will begin a search in the coming weeks for a new executive director to continue the focus of the organization and assure a smooth transition.
   The Opportunity Council is a private, nonprofit, community-action agency governed by a volunteer board of directors equally representing the private, public and low-income sectors of Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties.

Attorneys form new partnership
   Dean Brett, Bill Coats and Rand Jack, formerly of Brett & Daugert, recently announced the formation of a new law firm, Brett & Coats, Personal Injury Attorneys.
   While Brett & Daugert provided a full spectrum of legal services, the new firm will focus on what it does best, Brett said.
   “The insurance claims process can be frustrating, especially for someone who has been seriously injured,” Brett said. “We are dedicated to delivering maximum financial recovery in a prompt, cost-effective, and caring manner.”
   Brett is a former president of the Whatcom County Bar Association and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Jack, a graduate of Princeton and Yale Law School and a retired Fairhaven College professor, has worked part time with Brett on personal injury cases for nearly 30 years. Coats, a former assistant attorney general and public defender, has 10 years of litigation experience.
   Brett & Coats specializes in assisting accident victims, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and railroad collisions with brain, spinal cord, disc, burn or other major personal injuries. For more information, visit www.WashingtonInjury.com.

Wood Stone begins major expansion
   Wood Stone Corporation is beginning work on a major expansion that will add a new 52,500-square-foot manufacturing building. The expansion is expected to provide up to 30 new full-time manufacturing jobs.
   Wood Stone is constructing the new facility alongside the building it leases from the Port of Bellingham at the Airport Industrial Park. Wood Stone is the world’s largest producer of stone hearth cooking equipment, and it has been a port tenant since 1994. Currently Wood Stone employs nearly 50 workers.
   In June, the Port Commission approved a 40-year land lease for the property and, as a condition of the contract, the port agreed to install necessary improvements to the site.
   The port selected Tiger Construction for the $815,295 site improvement project to construct paved roadways, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, underground utilities, signage, street and site lighting, landscaping, irrigation and storm water drainage. Tiger Construction will begin work on the project in September.
   The port will finance its costs through a low-interest loan and grant from the state Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB). The CERB funding was approved for this project because of its economic significance to the state.
   Wood Stone hired Dawson Construction to construct the new building, which will cost about $4 million and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
   Last month, the Port of Bellingham’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) issued $3.4 million in industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) to Wood Stone to provide the local company with low-interest financing.
   Industrial revenue bonds are tax-exempt financing that provide low-cost debt to manufacturing and process facilities.
   The Port of Bellingham’s IDC acts as a conduit for this tax-exempt financing. Neither the port nor local taxpayers provide the actual project funding; borrowers secure the financed funds through a lending institution. The port’s IDC can issue IRBs anywhere in Whatcom County.
   Also last month the port’s IDC approved issuing $6,125,000 in industrial revenue bonds to Hemplers Food Group LLC to assist with the construction of Hemplers’ new 34,000-square-foot-food-processing facility in Ferndale.

Chiropractic clinic to open in Fountain District
   Kurt A. Fuhrmeister will open a new clinic — Fuhrmeister Chiropractic, PS — at 2616 Meridian St. on Sept. 1.
   The new building will be 2,900 square feet. Fuhrmeister said half of the building will be leased and zoned medical.
   Fuhrmeister, who has worked in Bellingham as a chiropractor since 1996, said his clinic offers family chiropractic care.
   “The new building will serve more patients in a better environment,” he said.
   For more information, call 676-8590.

Fountain Boutique headed to Fairhaven
   The Fountain Boutique, currently located at 175 Telegraph Road, Ste. B, is moving to Fairhaven’s Harris Square, owner Cathy Lee said. Lee said she is changing the store’s name to Southside Trends and hopes to be open by Sept. 1.
   The new 1,200-square-foot store, located at 910 Harris Ave., Ste. 107, will continue to sell consignment clothing and jewelry and Lee said she hopes to sell more handcrafted jewelry as well.
   The Fountain Boutique opened in 1990 in the Fountain District and moved to Telegraph Road in 2003, although Lee said she has always wanted to be located in Fairhaven.
   Fairhaven’s foot traffic, proximity to Western Washington University and its attraction to tourists make the new location desirable, she said.

State Street is sounding good to this audiologist
   Dr. Jayna M. Williams-Coluccio has announced the grand opening of Advanced Audiology, LLC, a new practice at 902 N. State St., Suite 102. The office will begin taking new patient appointments starting Sept. 7.
   Dr. Williams-Coluccio will provide comprehensive hearing evaluations, treatment and care for all populations of the hearing impaired. She has more than 10 years’ experience dispensing hearing aids in the Pacific Northwest and most recently worked with a hearing-aid manufacturer on the East Coast.
   Williams-Coluccio is a graduate of Western Washington University, Portland State University and the Arizona School of Health Sciences, where she received her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2004. She is hearing impaired and a successful user of hearing aids, and is also the mother of a young daughter with hearing loss.
   The grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 7, with consumer educational seminars at the Chrysalis Inn and Spa on Sept. 14 and Nov. 2.
   For more information call 734-1866.

Free classifieds and coupon Web site launches
   Localcents Inc., a Web-based startup company in Bellingham, recently announced the beta release of their new online service Web site, localcents.com.
   The site provides a free venue for community members to post, search for and view classified ads. In addition, the site can be used to download and print out coupons offered by local merchants.
   Rather than restricting its reach to major cities, Localcents takes a more organic approach to online classifieds, said its founders. Ads can be posted at any zip code in the United States. Entering a starting location will automatically pull together everything within a 30-mile radius. Based on the results, those who are searching can then choose to reduce or expand that radius to fit their needs.
   Localcents’ co-founders Theron McCollough, Arron Kallenberg and two other partners created the site because they were frustrated with the lack of local information available on the Web.
   “Traditional search engines are designed to connect you with a world of information,” McCollough says. “Our focus is on connecting people within their community.”
   The classifieds and coupons are the first of many free services that the Web site plans to offer. The Localcents’ development team is currently working on another service that will allow community members to read, write and share reviews on local businesses.
   For more information, e-mail staff@localcents.com.

Downtown business closing after 28 years
   After 28 years of operation, Textype will close its downtown doors this month.
   Owner Dorothy Tjoelker-Worthen said changing market conditions have made it no longer feasible to continue operations at Textype. She said she also wants to work full time at her other business, Entertainment News Northwest.
   The typesetting and graphic design business, located at 102 W. Champion St., will continue operations until Aug. 11, and then will close its doors while Tjoelker-Worthen finishes up a few projects, she said. The business will be completely moved out of the space by the end of August, she said.
   Textype employee Gladys Crnich has started her own freelance graphic design business, called GG Graphix, that will perform many of the services Textype has offered.
   Tjoelker-Worthen said she will send out a letter to customers explaining the closing and she will also sell all of the store’s equipment on Aug. 25 and 26.
   For more information, call Tjoelker-Worthen at 815-6286 or e-mail her at dworthen@ennw.info.
   For more information on GG Graphix, call Crnich at 656-6577 or e-mail her at gggraphix@comcast.net.

Coffee shop opens at Fairhaven Station
   Owner Heather Lange recently opened a coffee shop at 401 Harris Ave., ste. 215, site of the Fairhaven Station. The shop, called Coffee Junction, will offer an assortment of goods — with an emphasis on locally owned products, Lange said.
   “We’re trying to do as much locally as possible,” Lange said. Organic, fair-trade coffee, tea, biscotti and cold sandwiches are all menu items, as well as dog treats and travel items. Lange said she hopes to add panini and soup in the fall.
   The shop is cozy and has “great ambiance,” especially with the train station nearby, Lange said.
   Lange has accumulated approximately 18 years in the restaurant business, as well nine years as a kitchen designer in Seattle.
   For more information, call 733-3172.

Cornwall bumps up its style quota with Unique West
   Theresa Griffin has a passion for fashion, and she’s bringing it to Cornwall Avenue.
   Her new store, Unique West, will be located in the former Downtown Hound space at 1323 Cornwall Ave. and will sell high-end designer women’s apparel and some housewares, she said. Griffin said she hopes to be open by the end of October.
   “I’m buying everything I love and putting it in there,” she said.
   Designer clothes from brands such as Anna Sui, Pivi, Hudson Jeans and Spoken will fill the 1,700-square-foot-space. Griffin said the “fabulous, beautiful fashion pieces” are the kind women will be able to keep in their closets for 10 years.
   Griffin moved to Bellingham with her husband from Southern California 14 years ago and has stayed home with her three children during that time.
   Now that her youngest child is heading to kindergarten in the fall, Griffin said she felt it was the perfect time to pursue the venture.
   Two steel storage buildings in the works for Irongate
   Four owners plan to build two steel storage buildings on Irongate Road — possibly as soon as September — depending upon the permit process.
   The owners — Jeffrey and Jane Vlasic, and Keith and Barb Troske — are planning to build two high-capacity storage facilities.
   The first, at 3620 Irongate Road, will be a 22-unit storage complex. Each of the units will be 25 feet wide by 60 feet deep, and will have roll-up doors on each end. Jeffrey Vlasic said each unit would have the option of adding a second floor as well.
   The second building, at 3610 Irongate Road, will have 24 units, which will be 25 feet by 70 feet each. However, the second building will not be built until the first building’s units are sold, Vlasic said.
   “We were looking for an investment outside the realm of apartments,” he said. “Light industrial land is a rare commodity in Whatcom County.”
   Vlasic said he anticipates the first warehouse will be built out by the start of next year. Faber Brothers Construction will be handling the project, he said.
   For more information, call Jeffrey Vlasic at 201-6631.

Downtown site gets interest from Trillium, but sale is a no-go
   The three buildings occupied by the former Brett & Daugert, PLLC law firm are for sale for $2.6 million, said Dean Brett, one of the buildings’ owners.
   Trillium developer David Syre made an offer on the buildings located at 300 N. Commercial St., for that price, but the deal fell through, Brett said. Several other parties have expressed interest, he said.
   “Now it’s first come, first serve,” Brett said.
   Brett & Daugert’s personal injury lawyers, including Dean Brett, Bill Coats and Rand Jack, left the firm in March to form Brett & Coats, a personal injury law firm located at 119 N. Commercial St., he said.
   What used to be Brett & Daugert law firm is now called BD Law Group and remains at the same location, but is undergoing a restructuring of its attorneys, said BD Law Group partner Kirsten Barron.
   The owners of the 300 N. Commercial St. buildings, which total 16,148 square feet, include Brett, J. Bruce Smith, Timothy C. Farris and Breean Beggs.
   For more information call 714-0900.

Auto dealership hops into old King Frog location
   Bruce Cox, co-owner of Bruce Cox Imports, said his company plans to expand into the space at 1819 N. State St. — the former site of King Frog 1 Hour Photo — in mid-September. Currently, Cox operates just down the block, at 1831 N. State St.
   The acquisition of the additional property will help ease congestion problems, he said.
   “We’ve grown a lot over the past 11 years,” said Cox, who co-owns the company with his wife, Jeannie. “By adding the new property, we also have more exposure along State Street.”
   Cox, who started his business in June 1995, said the former King Frog building is in the process of renovation that will last approximately eight weeks. The new property, which Cox purchased earlier this year, will house the parts and service branches of his company, while his old facility will hold bookkeeping-related business and sales.
   The company sells pre-owned Volvos and Subarus.

New building in thriving Irongate almost complete
   Greg Grant is building a 9,300-square-foot commercial building in the Irongate area, and said he hopes to complete the project by mid-August.
   Clark, an assistant broker for Coldwell Banker, said the building at 2230 Midway Lane is located at the end of the street and has views of the valley. The two-story building, which Com-Steel is constructing, could accommodate one to three businesses and has not been leased yet, Grant said.
   Grant, who has owned property in the Irongate/Bakerview area since 1985, said it has become a thriving place to do business. The area’s access to Interstate 5 as well as to the Barkley area has led to its continuing growth, he said.
   For more information call Grant at 733-4333.

New owners take over the fort
   New owners are spiffing up the Fort Bellingham Market.
   Jasvir Singh and his wife, Debby Kaur, bought the convenience store and deli located at 1383 Marine Dr. from Christos Tselios and took over operations there on July 7.
   The couple plans to freshen up the place by making it more attractive, installing new floors and changing the layout, said coworker and family friend Barbara Kang. They will also add new items, including a salad bar and weekly specials.
   Their goal is to make the store attractive to a younger crowd, Kang said.
   Singh and Kaur, originally from East India, moved to the United States in the late 80s and moved to Bellingham in March from California so their son would have access to better schools, Kang said.
   For more information, call 733-0527.

Hobby store moves to new Airport Drive location
   R/C World, a hobby store catering primarily to remote control car enthusiasts, is setting up shop at a new location, said owner Mike Marquart.
   Marquart, who started the business in March 2004, is moving from his old location at 2107 Iron St. to a more spacious facility at 3360 Airport Drive.
   “We outgrew our first building in the first year,” Marquart said. To make more room, he built the Airport Drive building, he said.
   The new facility — complete with an indoor racetrack — will have 6,400 square feet, compared to 3,750 at the old location. Marquart said he hopes to expand the business to include more hobby alternatives, such as remote control airplanes, specialty toys and learning toys, such as science labs.
   For more information call 733-3662.

WCC purchases 5 acres for future expansion
   Whatcom Community College has purchased 1.32 acres of land on Cordata Parkway from Westfield Investment LLC.
   The $920,000 purchase completes a series of contiguous land acquisitions along Cordata by the college that total five acres, said Harold Heiner, Whatcom Community College president. Currently, the land, which is across from Dairy Queen on Cordata, is undeveloped.
   Heiner said the added land parcels along the college’s southern boundary are needed because of its recent growth in number of students, and will be used for future expansion.



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