Natural pet food store opening this winter next to future Whole Foods

Mud Bay, a specialty cat and dog food retailer, put up signs last week and is working toward opening a store at 1022 Lakeway Drive, in the Lakeway Center next to the future Whole Foods Market location.

The Olympia-based company sells healthy food and treats for dogs and cats.

Mud Bay is aiming for a mid-January opening, said Teresa Gindhart, an executive assistant for the company. Before then, they plan to have about $42,000 in tenant improvements done to the building, according permits filed with the City of Bellingham.

Besides Whole Foods, the storefront is the only vacant space in the Lakeway Center. Gindhart said being next door to Whole Foods is appealing to Mud Bay.

“That was definitely a factor,” Gindhart said. Mud Bay has other locations next to Whole Foods stores, and the natural grocer’s customers often like to buy natural food for their pets, she said.

Whole Foods plans to open summer 2016.

Mud Bay has more than 30 locations in Washington and Oregon and a corporate headquarters in Tumwater, outside Olympia.

The retailer offers all its employees a chance to become company owners after working 1,000 hours through its employee stock-ownership plan.

Mud Bay is currently hiring for the store. For more information visit www.mudbay.com.

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