The Buzz, March 2009


Former pro football player launches fitness business

In his eight years playing professional football, Anthony McClanahan has learned a lot about fitness and health. “Athletes have to be at their peak performance every day, even if they are not in their game season,” he said.

McClanahan’s football history includes playing for the WSU Cougars (where he played in the 1992 Apple Cup “Snowbowl”), the Dallas Cowboys, the Amsterdam Admirals and the Calgary Stampeders. Now he is using his years of training to launch a new fitness studio in Bellingham called 41 Sports Fitness Boot Camps.

Located at 122 Ohio St. Suite 102, the 2,400-square-foot fitness studio will not be a regular gym with workout equipment, McClanahan said. Instead, the space will be used mostly for boot camp style classes for women and after school programs for kids. And classes are not confined to the facility.

“The thing about the fitness center is you never know what we’ll be doing — we could go anywhere,” McClanahan said, adding that much of the training takes place outside.

By focusing on cardio, core strength and nutrition, McClanahan said many of his clients are able to drop weight and feel better quickly.

The business currently has classes available and will be hosting a grand opening event in early March. For more information, call 393-4348 or visit


Healthy Home Pest Control opens

Longtime Whatcom County resident Dale Wilson recently launched Healthy Home Pest Control, which uses applications that are effective, yet still safe for humans and the environment.

Healthy Home Pest Control focuses on interior and exterior structural pest control for homes and commercial buildings in Whatcom and Skagit counties, including restaurants, nursing homes and daycare facilities. Wilson said some pests, such as wasps and yellow jackets, are primarily nuisances, but carpenter ants can cause significant damage and cockroaches and bed bugs present health concerns. Spiders and fleas are among other pests found locally.

“I use organic materials whenever possible because they’re not toxic to humans and the environment but are very effective against pests,” Wilson said in a press release. “Also, organic materials are less likely to cause allergic reactions, especially among people with chemical sensitivities.”

In addition to property owners, Healthy Home Pest Control also serves realestate agents and property-management firms. Wilson said an ideal time for a preventive pest-control treatment is when a home or building becomes vacant, because the application then can be especially thorough, extending the length of its effectiveness.

Wilson has six years of experience in pest control and is licensed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture as a commercial pest-control applicator. For more information and a free, on-site consultation, call Healthy Home Pest Control at (360) 224-8031 or visit


Heritage House opens under new ownership

Eagle Ridge Assisted Living, located at 5370 Barrett Road in Ferndale and formerly known as Heritage House, has reopened with new ownership and new plans for the future.

The 29,675-square-foot assisted living facility was purchased in late November 2008 by investment group Charlotte Development LLC, for $4.1 million.

Karie Elsasser, director at Eagle Ridge, said the new owners saw an opportunity to meet a need for local assisted living and dementia care for local vulnerable adults.

“There are many families that have to drive all the way to Seattle to visit their loved ones and the result is that they are not being visited,” Elsasser said.

In the near term, the owners are planning to dedicate nine of its living suites to top-quality dementia care and Elsasser said eventually they would like to purchase neighboring property to construct a strip mall with salons and shops that appeal to older adults.

Eagle Ridge’s staff includes Joan Ooms, director of nursing, Cheryele Sweet, director of maintenance, and Claudia Rouse, director of food service and activities.

The facility has 35, one-bedrooom, 531-square-foot suites, two 480-square-foot studios, and three large one-bedroom, 860-square-foot suites. All rooms have a full-size bathroom, kitchenette, microwave, sinks, cupboard space, fridge, and closet space. Internet access and cable are included at no extra charge. The entire facility has in-floor radiant heat with individual temperature controllers for heat and air conditioning in each room and a state-of-the-art nurse call system with two bells in each apartment.

For more information, call 383-0305.


Allegiant Air soon flies to Los Angeles

Beginning May 2, Whatcom County residents will be able to fly directly to Los Angeles out of Bellingham International Airport.

“We’re pleased to bring yet another affordable and convenient way for the Bellingham and British Columbia communities to go on vacation to a sunny destination,” said Allegiant Air president & CEO Maurice J. Gallagher in a statement. “This is an exciting new addition for our airline and our customers as we launch the only nonstop, all jet service between Bellingham and Los Angeles.”

Flights will run on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the company is planning to add a Monday flight as well starting May 25.

Allegiant Air currently provides direct service to six other destinations out of Bellingham: Las Vegas, Reno, San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs and Phoenix.

For more information, visit


New yacht care business opens

Bellingham has a new yacht care business.

ShipShape Professional Yacht Care, a full-service yacht management service, recently opened at 3700 Beazer Road.

Owners Elaina Thompson, David Thompson and Nicole Chatfield each bring critical experience and skills to the business.

“The core principles they believe will bring them success include excellent communication, a genuine caring for their clients, a developed, extensive knowledge of the marine industry, pride in the services they provide, and above all, a strong unbending dedication to better themselves and their business,” according to a press release.

The company’s services include interior/exterior detailing, buffing and waxing, teak cleaning, oiling and polishing, basic outboard and engine services, system diagnostic checks and more.

The business also features ShipSecure, a boat watch program for any boat owner who does not have the time to dedicate to caring for their vessel at the level they would prefer.

For more information, call 933-4656 or visit


New site creates ‘easy-to-share’ photo albums

A Whatcom County company has launched, which offers an easy process for converting digital photos from vacations and special occasions into treasured memory books.

Co-founders Dwayne Neufeld and Dennis Zetting conceived after learning how people loved the idea of packaging their vacation photos into easy-to-share albums, but became frustrated when trying to create one.

“Most surveys have shown that over 90 percent of photo memory book projects are never completed,” Zetting said. “Some people lose interest as they get into the project. Some people become overwhelmed with all that has to be done and they just can’t complete it. Some people start to doubt their own creative abilities. And others just run out of time.”

Since 10 million “do-it-yourself” photo books were purchased in the United States in 2008, is confident many more people would like some assistance in preserving memories of their favorite times with loved ones.

“Technology has made it easy for people to use digital cameras and post or e-mail their photos,” Neufeld said. “We’ve made it just as easy, yet still affordable, to create a 20-page, hard-cover book with as little as 40 to 60 of their favorite photos. Our Five Star Photo Book process allows everybody to have a coffee-table book of their favorite memories.”

Zetting said interest in is spreading fast.

“A special family vacation may be a once-a-lifetime event and can easily cost several thousand dollars, so the idea of a preserving those memories in a professionally prepared book for as little as $269 is quite appealing,” Zetting said.

For more information, visit


Circle of Life opens caregiver business

Circle of Life Caregiver Cooperative opened last month at 103 E. Holly St. Suite 408.

The business offers home care services such as cooking, cleaning and medication reminders for elderly and disabled people. The cooperative is employee-owned by a group of 12 employees, though there are plans to add more.

Jo Ann McNerthney, who is the administrator for the cooperative, conceived of the business a few years ago when she needed to hire caregivers for her father who was living in her home and was afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. As an accountant with experience in cooperative business, she began researching the possibility of starting a home care co-op.

Beyond home care services, Circle of Life Caregiver Cooperative is also organizing public forums on elder care and resources. For more information, call 647-1537.


Uncle’s Games closed

Uncle’s Games, Puzzles and More!, located in Suite 610 of the Bellis Fair Mall, closed on March 1.

Hans Isaacson, president of Spokane-based Uncle’s Inc., said the poor economy coupled with a dip in Canadian currency hit Bellis Fair Mall stores pretty hard.

“We are currently in the process of talking with some malls in the Seattle area,” Isaacson said. “Our store really needs a dedicated, large population base.”

Uncle’s Inc. operates four other retail stores in Spokane, Redmond and Bellevue along with three other affiliate stores in Spokane and Walla Walla. The company has sold retail games and puzzles since 1978.

For more information, call 1-866-826-6959 or visit


Valley Land & Home moves and expands services

Valley Land & Home is moving to a new office in Everson and expanding its operation to include property-management services.

Owner Wayne Gardner said he is moving his office to the Mades Building at 103 W. Main St. in Everson from his former Everson location at 605 Kale St. and hopes to open by April 1.

Gardner said even though much of the recent news on the economy has been dismal, he would rather be positive.

“Business people have a decision to make,” Gardner said, “you can either sit back and say the sky is falling and be reactive or you can be proactive.”

Gardner said his company has mainly worked in residential and commercial real estate sales, but he is excited to get into property-management services, which include tenant screenings, property valuations, and establishment of rental agreements.

“It’s a great service that we can provide to the community,” Gardner said.

For more information, call 815-4860.


Chamber hosts Economic Forecast forum

Bill Conerly, an author and Pacific Northwest economic consultant, will be the keynote speaker at the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Economic Forecast 2009 forum.

Conerly is the author of Businomics: From the Headlines to Your Bottom Line — How to Profit in Any Economic Cycle and has been an economic consultant for more than 20 years.

The forum will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 5 at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club, located at 3729 Meridian St.

Pre-registration is $25 for Chamber members and $30 for non-members. To register, call the Chamber at 734-1330 or register online at


Adich Clinic moving to larger space

The Adich Clinic will soon be moving from its current location at 1470 Ellis St. to a larger space at 1756 Iowa St.

The clinic, which offers chiropractic care, acupuncture and massage therapy, will be jumping from 1,600 square feet to 4,000 in the new location, said Dr. Dave Adich. Adich, a chiropractor and acupuncturist, owns the clinic with his wife, Susan, who is a licensed massage therapists.

The business has simply outgrown the space and Adich said he plans to put the building up for sale. Once the clinic reopens in the new space by May 1, Adich said he plans to add more acupuncturists and massage therapists.

For more information, call 734-9555 or visit


New auto publication to connect buyers and sellers

Bellingham has a new retail automotive publication that launched its first issue on Feb. 11.

Owner Valerie Siewert recently started North Puget Sound Auto Market, a bi-weekly publication designed to connect local auto buyers with local auto sellers.

Seiwert, who has more than 20 years of advertising and sales experience with auto dealers in Northwest Washington, said in her magazine, auto dealers will be able to showcase their inventory by way of full-display ads and car buyers will have the benefit of a convenient, portable guide to the local auto inventory.

“Car shoppers will now have this information at their fingertips anytime, anywhere,” she said.

Seiwert said the publication will be distributed for free in Whatcom, Island, Skagit, and Snohomish counties in high traffic locations, such as grocery and convenience stores, restaurants and gas stations.

For information on where to pick up a publication or for advertising inquiries, contact Siewert at 671-4156.


Scott Walker of Walkers Carpet One wins award

In January, Scott Walker of Walkers Carpet One Floor & Home was awarded the 2009 Alan Greenberg Award at the annual convention and stockholders meeting of the CCA Global Partners Inc. in Dallas, Texas. It is the highest award given by the company.

The award is given to the member who most embodies the spirit of the cooperative and is based on a number of criteria, including maintenance of high ethical business practices, an ongoing commitment to installation excellence and to staff training, excellence in marketing and merchandising, and support and commitment to the cooperative of other Carpet One members.

Walker also just completed a three-year term serving on the 16-member International Advisory Council of Carpet One, as a representative for all of the store owners in the nine-state Northwest region.

In 1985, Alan Greenberg co-founded CCA Global Partners, a cooperative which has since grown to include all of the Carpet One store owners located in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Guam. Carpet One members and the other affiliates of CCA Global Partners together comprise the largest floor covering retail organization in the world with over 3,400 stores and with annual sales in excess of $10 billion. Alan Greenberg died in 2007, and the award was named in his honor. Walker is the first recipient.


Quantum Neurocare opens in Bellingham Towers

Trina Doerfler has opened a second office of her naturopathic brain medicine clinic Quantum Neurocare at 119 N. Commercial St. Suite 1345 in the Bellingham Towers.

Doerfler opened the Bellingham clinic Feb. 2 and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She commutes to her Seattle office ia the Seattle Healing Arts Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

After nearly 20 years in naturopathic medicine, Doerfler has recently begun to focus on biofeedback for the brain, a non-invasive method using an echoencephalograph (EEG) to examine brain wavelengths. Doerfler treats patients with a variety of conditions, from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) to general anxiety.

For more information, call (206) 428-2075 or visit


Big Fresh Media moves to King Street

Big Fresh Media, a local Web development company, moved recently into new offices at 1344 King St. Suite 202 near Argyle Salon.

The new 1,500-square-foot space has plenty of room for the company’s nine employees, said Mark Lee, who co-owns the business with Doug DeVries. The business also teaches Web development classes, which could be held in the new conference room.

“Now that we have bigger offices we might be doing some of our seminars here,” Lee said.

Big Fresh Media has been in business for more than five years. For more information, call 752-3304 or visit


Greene’s Corner closes

Greene’s Corner, a market/cafe and drive-through espresso stand located at 5305 Northwest Ave., closed indefinitely on Feb. 6.

Co-owner Sara Liao-Troth said the future of the business is uncertain.

“Right now, everything and anything is possible,” Liao- Troth said in an e-mail.

The business opened Aug. 9 last year. For more information, read Lance Henderson’s business birth article about Greene’s Corner from the January 2009 issue.


HBK Landscapes opens for business

Bernie and Kristen Hansen, owners of HBHansen Construction, have launched a new company, HBK Landscapes.

The new company offers residential and commercial clients a range of landscape services, including planting, patios and pavers, irrigation, retaining wall systems, grass seed and sod work, garden structure construction, erosion control and water features.

“We found that our general contracting clients were often asking for reliable, high-quality landscape services so HBK Landscapes was created to fill this need,” Kristen Hansen said in a press release.

HBK Landscapes will serve clients in Skagit and Whatcom counties. For more information, call 318-8982 or visit


Pier 1 Imports to close up to 125 stores

Pier 1 Imports Inc., the Fort Worth, Texas-based importer of decorative furnishings and gifts, announced on Feb. 3 that it would begin real estate negotiations that could lead to the closing of up to 125 “underperforming” store locations. However, the Bellingham store is safe for now.

The company also announced plans to close its 514,000-square-foot distribution center in St. Charles, Ill., and to cut distribution personnel by 10 percent companywide.

The global importer’s slide into the recession is visible on the New York Stock Exchange, where it traded at $8.18 on May 1, 2008, then slid down to a fourth-quarter low of 32 cents on Dec. 22. The stock was being traded at 33 cents as of press time on Feb. 5.

The business’s plan is designed to “meet the challenges of the current environment and to position itself for optimum performance in a post-recession economy,” Pier 1 execs said in a release.

Katie Flanders, store manager of the Bellingham Pier 1 Imports located at 4061 Meridian St., said she could not comment on how business is doing, but her location is not one facing closure.

Pier 1 expects to incur approximately $5 million in severance costs related to this announcement.


Sassy Shears to open inside Busy B’s

Stacy Montag recently opened Sassy Shears, a new hairstyling business, inside Busy B’s Barber Shop & Salon at 2207 Elm St.

Montag said Busy B’s has always offered salon services for women, but her opening is an opportunity to emphasize the salon aspect.

“Busy B’s is not just for men,” Montag said.

Montag said she graduated from cosmetology school six years ago, but has since worked in a department store and owned a house-cleaning business.

“I think now is a good time to follow this through as a career in the latter half of my life,” she said.

Montag said she is excited to work with the staff at Busy B’s, which has more than 50 years of combined experience.

“I have been in Busy B’s a lot and it has a really nice atmosphere,” Montag said.

For first-time clients, Montag is offering $25 for a haircut and style and also $10 off hair color services, which start at $35.

For more information, call 393-3751.


New tenant slated for Kowloon Garden space

A new restaurant will soon take over the former Kowloon Garden space at 4365 Meridian St.

Building owner George Phan said that the new tenant is planning to offer sushi and a Chinese buffet. A tentative name for the 4,000-square-foot restaurant is Wonderful Buffet, he said.

Phan recently applied for building permits to renovate and expand the space at an estimated cost of $140,000.


New law firm opens in Lynden

Local attorney Nicole Terpstra recently launched her own law practice at 709 Grover St. in Lynden.

The firm focuses on real estate law, corporate law and estate planning. Terpstra also prepares estate plans for individuals.

Terpstra most recently served with the law practice of Lesa Starkenburg-Kroontje in Lynden. She also has served for Pacific Crest Partners and Trillium Development Corp., both of Bellingham, and a major law firm in Minneapolis.

For more information, call 318-9300 or visit


Red Boots Design puts mark on new location

Erin Boyd, owner of Red Boots Design, a silk screen printing company, recently moved into a new 600-square-foot work and design space at 207 Unity St. Suite 203 above the Ciao Thyme Catering kitchen.

Boyd said her business has been around for about four years, but she recently began working full time and moved into her own work studio.

“I had worked at the Co-op for the past two-and-a-half years part time and I shared a work space with someone else for a while, which was kinda cold and dark,” Boyd said.

Boyd said she does silk-screen printing on clothing for men, women and children and has worked with local businesses, such as the Community Food Co-op, Copper Hog and Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress to create branded T-shirts for employees. She also has a booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market.

As she begins this next chapter in her business life, Boyd said she is most excited about working and creating new relationships with local businesses.

“Bellingham is a cool place to own a business,” Boyd said.

For more information about Red Boots Design, call 389-6376 or visit


Play by the Bay to offer ‘play therapy’ for children

Victoria A. McGuinness has opened a new counseling business, Play by the Bay, which offers play therapy, a psychotherapeutic exercise where children use toys and play to non-verbally express feelings and emotions.

McGuinness’s practice, located at 1513 E St., works with children ages 2 to 12 and their parents in a playroom filled with toys chosen specifically for their therapeutic value and give children “a safe and natural avenue for self-expression.”

“None of the toys have the latest things on them like Batman or Spiderman, but I use toys like dolls, balls and blocks, which give the child a way to express thoughts and feelings in a way they might not have had before,” McGuinness said.

McGuinness has worked in the mental health field for 25 years with more than 15 years dedicated to play therapy exclusively. She recently moved to Bellingham after leaving Colorado, her home for the past 30 years.

McGuinness said she had a successful play therapy business in Colorado and is excited to get started in Bellingham. She is now accepting clients for Saturday appointments and will accept Medicaid and Community Health Plans of Washington. She said she would also work out special fee arrangements for uninsured families.

For more information about Play by the Bay, call 393-8755 or visit


Sandalwood Salon & Spa expanding

Sandalwood Salon & Spa, located at 114 W. Magnolia St. Suite 103, is planning to expand into a neighboring space that used to be Magnolia Mortgage.

The salon will be adding 800 square feet to its current 1,200-square-foot space, said owner Toby Heaven. With the expansion, the salon will be adding three more hair stations and a room for manicures and pedicures.

“We’re excited to spread out a bit,” Heaven said. “It’s definitely something we have wanted to do for some time now.”

Sandalwood Salon & Spa has been in its current location for the past four years. Heaven said she hopes to have the new space open by the beginning of April.

For more information, call 647-5046.

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