Stockton's Paint marks 75 years on Railroad Avenue

To survive as a small paint shop for 75 years in downtown Bellingham, the staff at Stockton’s Paint have relied on one element in which they believe they can always beat the “big box” chains: customer service.

“Here, we explain everything to you,” said sales manager Chris Gordziel, who runs the store with his wife Casey. “We have the technical knowledge to help people with problem solving. So when people leave here, I think they feel real comfortable about their projects, and that’s what brings them back.”

Stockton’s celebrates its 75th year with an anniversary event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27.

The event includes food, beverages and prize giveaways. Specialists from a variety of paint makers, including Benjamin Moore, PPG and Sikkens, will answer questions about products and painting projects.

Originally founded in 1937 by Russell and Ethel Stockton, the store has been a fixture on Railroad Avenue for decades.

Current owners Bruce and Theresa Carroll bought Stockton’s in January 2011. They are the business’ third owners—they also run a sister store in Marysville.

After taking over what was once a dark and cramped store, Chris and Casey Gordziel oversaw a remodel of the 5,800-square-foot space, introducing a new paint scheme, a more open layout and natural light from large front windows.

“We just made things a little more spacious, opened up the front windows—there wasn’t a lot of natural light in here before,” Chris Gordziel said.

Gordziel said that since Stockton’s competes with larger chain retailers to be a go-to store for painting projects, the business uses the knowledge and experience of its staff to create buzz and generate repeat customers. Stockton’s has five employees, a couple of which have been at the store for decades.

The staff’s custom color-matching is one of the store’s more well-known services, Gordziel said. Stockton’s also offers in-home paint consultations.

The store carries an array of paints, stains, sealants and other supplies.

Stockton’s is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. The store is located at 1413 Railroad Ave. It can be reached at 360-733-5630.

Contact Evan Marczynski at or call 360-647-8805. 

Evan Marczynski photos | Bellingham Business Journal


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