The Buzz, May 2009


Peoples Bank reports 1st-Quarter profits

Peoples Bank announced last month that at the end of first-quarter 2009, the bank had a total of $1.1 billion in assets and a year to date after-tax profit of $1.4 million.

Total loans grew 12 percent in the past year and deposits grew 17.5 percent, to over $1 billion since March of 2008.

“Since 1921, customers have depended on Peoples Bank to help them make wise decisions regarding their finances,” said bank president and CEO Charles LeCocq in a press release. “Now more than ever we’re driven to responsibly meet the needs of local businesses and families in the communities we serve.”

Peoples Bank is a family owned and independent community bank headquartered in Lynden and operates 28 branches throughout Washington. For more information, call Peoples Bank at (360) 354-4044 or visit


Peregrine Expeditions opens for mountain guiding

Joseph Anderson and his wife, Michelle, recently launched their own Bellingham-based mountain guiding company, Peregrine Expeditions.

Anderson previously guided for American Alpine Institute, which is also based in Bellingham, but decided to branch out on his own so he can spend more time with his family.

“I have a family and I don’t want to be away from home all the time,” he said.

Peregrine Expeditions offers guided rock climbing and mountaineering trips and instructional courses. Anderson said he plans to offer backcountry ski trips and avalanche courses starting in January 2010. Leave No Trace principles are taught in all of these outdoor activities and Anderson said he is also incorporating them into the business by donating 1 percent of total profits to help protect endangered species.

“I like the idea of paying attention to the fact that the mountains are not there for us — there are other species we share the outdoors with,” he said.

For more information, call Peregrine Expeditions at (360) 393-8098 or visit


Foothills Gazette could close in June

A Whatcom County newspaper is in trouble.

Becca Schwarz and Brent Cole, publishers of the bi-weekly Foothills Gazette, have announced that due to a significant decrease in advertising, the Gazette will be forced to close in June if additional revenue and support cannot be found.

“We would very much like to continue as the east county newspaper,” Schwarz and Cole wrote in their announcement that appeared on the front page of the Gazette’s March 30 edition. “However it has come to the point for us at the Foothills Gazette that we are no longer able to effectively cover the very basic of costs.”

Currently, the publishers are reaching out to readers and businesses across Whatcom County seeking advertisements and donations. Schwarz said it wouldn’t take much to keep the paper running, but it is sizable enough that they can’t do it alone.

“We don’t have the same budget as a corporate daily newspaper, we are a small family-owned paper that is already keeping costs down,” Schwarz said.

Schwarz said she would especially like to reach out to Bellingham businesses because just like all Whatcom County residents, their east county readership must trek into Bellingham for many essential services, and businesses need to know they can target those residents through a viable advertising forum at the Foothills Gazette, which is one of the only news sources in eastern Whatcom County and has multiple readers perusing each of its 5,000 copies per edition.

“You get a lot for what you spend,” Schwarz said. “It’s a great value.”

The Foothills Gazette opened about three and a half years ago and serves Acme, Columbia Valley, Deming, eastern Bellingham, Everson, Glacier, Kendall, Maple Falls, Newhalem, Nooksack, Nugents Corner, Sumas, Van Zandt, Wickersham and all parts in between, according to its Web site.

For more information about the Foothills Gazette, call (360) 599-3320 or visit


ReThreads moving to former Frank’s Place

ReThreads, a local men’s and women’s consignment shop, is moving to the former Frank’s Place pawnshop location at 1311 Railroad Ave., which closed at the end of 2008 after 60 years.

Kristin Emmet, manager at ReThreads, which is currently located at 1309 Cornwall Ave., said the store is moving to a smaller, more appropriately sized location, which will hopefully be open by May 1.

“Our space has been way too big for us from the beginning, so we are reorganizing and downsizing,” Emmet said. “I think it will be a turn for the better, because customers won’t have to go through a bunch of things they don’t want to buy before finding something they do want to buy.”

Emmet said the new location, near the corner of Railroad and Holly streets, will bring a lot more foot traffic.

“So many more people will be walking by. Now that it’s warmer, people are starting to come downtown,” Emmet said.

Currently, the space is undergoing some cosmetic improvements for the tentative May 1 opening.

“It just depends on how fast we can retile the floor and paint,” she said.

For more information, call (360) 733-2610.


Edward Jones office moves back to downtown Lynden

Edward Jones financial adviser Will Mouat, displaced by the Delft Square fire, is returning to downtown Lynden on May 18.

Mouat is opening the Edward Jones office at 517 Front St., just a half-block from Delft Square, which was severely damaged by fire last June. The new office is located in a building most recently occupied by Lynden’s Cup of Tea and now being renovated into several smaller spaces.

He has been sharing office space in Lynden’s Bender Plaza with Brett Hendricks, who relocated there after the fire.

“The firm’s leadership supported our goal of being part of downtown Lynden’s revitalization,” Mouat said. “We wanted to get back on Front Street as close as possible to where we’d been.”

Mouat’s Edward Jones office will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Jerrylyn Barney, branch office administrator, will join him.

A grand opening for the Edward Jones office in downtown Lynden will be presented from 3 to 7 p.m. May 29, giving the public an opportunity to see the renovated building while enjoying refreshments.

For more information, call Mouat at the Bender Plaza office at (360) 354-5516. Mouat’s new office phone number will be (360) 354-0592.


Audio Innovations offers DJ services

Audio Innovations opened recently, offering mobile disc jockey services, equipment rental and event planning.

Owner Jaron Kensok has worked in the DJ and event-planning business for nine years, including three years as an on-air personality and DJ for Spokane’s LIVE 104.5 FM and Seattle’s KISS 106.1 FM. This is his first time launching his own business and focusing full time on weddings and corporate events.

The company is based in Bellingham but also offers services in Spokane, where Kensok previously worked and attended college. With two DJs in Spokane and his headquarters in Bellingham, Kensok said he hopes to compete in markets on both sides of the Cascades.

For more information, call Audio Innovations at (360) 656-5845, or visit


Bliss Salon & Boutique opening in May

Bliss Salon & Boutique, located at 1031 N. State St. Suite 106, opened its doors May 4.

The salon offers full-service hair care and also features a small clothing boutique in the 650-square-foot space, said owner Alysha Ritter. Several years ago, Ritter ran her own salon but stepped away from the business to raise her daughter. Now, even with the tough economy, Ritter said she is excited to run her own salon again.

“I’ve done this before and I’ve always had a desire to get back into ownership,” Ritter said.

For more information, call Bliss Salon & Boutique at (360) 656-5569.


Bellwether Gate breaks ground

Bellwether Gate LLC, a development company with the same principal as Bellingham firm Ebenal General, had a groundbreaking ceremony on April 20 to celebrate the beginning of construction on the first of the four buildings in its Bellwether Gate development along Squalicum Harbor.

The ceremony took place at Bellwether on the Bay inside the construction area and included remarks from local dignitaries and key individuals involved in the project.

This first building will be primarily occupied by engineering firm CH2M Hill, which plans to keep its current 250 local employees and add new engineering staff once in the new building late next year.

The remaining three buildings will be completed in the fall of 2012.

For more information about this project, contact Dave Ebenal of Bellwether Gate LLC at (360) 738-1940.


Brown’s Beauty & Barber Supply to close
Fountain location

With a heavy heart, Gloria Hardan, owner of Brown’s Beauty & Barber Supply at 2815 Meridian St., is planning to close the business’s Fountain District location at the end of June. Brown’s Beauty Supply at Sunset Square, located at 1225 E. Sunset Drive, Suite 150, will remain open.

Nearly two years ago, Gloria’s husband, Burrell Hardan, passed away and she said that she just could not continue with the business any longer.

“He was this business,” Gloria said. “I crunched the numbers, but it was his baby.”

Dave Brown originally opened Brown’s Beauty & Barber Supply in 1912 with horse-and-buggy delivery. Eventually, Gloria’s uncle bought the business and sold it to her and Burrell in 1955.

After all these years, Gloria said closing the Fountain District location is a rough process.

“It’s like another death in my family. It’s really tough,” she said.

Gloria said she hopes to have the store closed by June 30. Until then, Brown’s Beauty & Barber Supply will have 30 percent to 90 percent off selected items. Gloria said she is also looking to sell the business’s antique display cases.

For more information, call (360) 733-7870.


Technology Alliance Group launches tech directory

The Bellingham-based Technology Alliance Group (TAG) recently launched an online directory for technology businesses in Whatcom County.

The listings are free and the directory now contains information on 600 local businesses in various tech sectors, from equipment manufacturers to technical services to information technology.

“TAG plans to use the directory in a variety of ways to promote technology business growth in the region,” said executive director Anna Ehnmark in a press release.

For example, participating businesses can promote themselves through the listing and reach out to clients and job seekers. The directory was funded by the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham.

For more information, call TAG at (360) 647-4220 or visit


Wavelengths Salon closes

Wavelengths Salon, located at 2925 Newmarket Place Suite 104, closed at the end of April.

Owner Rochelle Klinnert said she is closing due to a change in her lifestyle — she became a foster parent and doesn’t want the stress of running her own business. Klinnert will not be giving up hair styling, though. She and one other stylist will be joining Alysha Ritter’s new salon, Bliss Salon & Boutique, which is opening May 4 at 1031 N. State St. Suite 106.

Wavelengths Salon has been in Bellingham for seven years.


Bellingham Alive to launch in May

Whatcom County will soon have a new feature publication.

In May, Lisa Karlberg, co-owner of K & L Media, is planning to launch Bellingham Alive, a bi-monthly, lifestyle magazine, alongside, a Web site designed to be Whatcom County’s “home page” by providing a portal dedicated to the county.

Karlberg recently moved to Bellingham with her husband, Ken, from the Issaquah area. She has published two other direct mail magazines in the Gig Harbor area and has worked in sales and marketing for both the Seattle Times and Seattle Metropolitan magazine.

According to the Bellingham Alive Web site, Karlberg’s vision for the publication did not fully form until she worked at Seattle Metropolitan magazine.

“[Karlberg] was exposed to all aspects of the magazine’s production and business model, including literary content, editorial policies and calendar, production deadlines, and the start-up of Seattle Metropolitan’s Web site,” according to the site. “It was the breadth of her experience and exposure here (Bellingham) that transformed Bellingham Alive from a dream to a vision.”

Karlberg said the magazine will appeal to almost anyone, but will boast a young, edgy feel.

“We are going to be a younger, more dynamic-feeling magazine in line with Seattle Metropolitan magazine,” she said. “We have been out there talking with consumers and we’ve found that area of the market is lacking.”

To start out, Bellingham Alive’s first issue will be mailed directly to more than 30,000 Whatcom County residents and will subsequently be available at newsstands and on a subscription basis.

For more information, call 1-877-321-5476 or visit


texture clothing opens downtown store

texture clothing, a local women’s clothing design and manufacturing company, recently opened its first retail location, called texture.home, at 1425 N. State St. next to Harley Davidson.

For the past seven years, owner Teresa Remple has sold her wares at the local Farmers Market and in locations in 12 other states. This is the first time Remple has opened her own retail location. The 1,600-square-foot space will also house the manufacturing side of the business and designLab, a vintage furniture and home décor company.

For more information, call (360) 733-3351 and visit


New “doo” service opens

Dennis Pate of Bellingham recently started Doo Bandits, an eco-friendly “poo” removal service that uses only biodegradable trash bags and environmentally safe cleaning products.

Pate said animal waste can affect the appearance of a yard, attract pests and flies, pollute ground water, and get on shoes, carpets and other interior surfaces.

“When I come to a home, I will collect the waste and place it into double wrapped biodegradable bags for disposal. To help keep your high-traffic areas sanitary, I also disinfect walks, porches or patios in the immediate vicinity of cleaning,” Pate said.

Weekly, twice-a-week, every-other-week, monthly, and one-time service is available. Currently, Pate said he is setting up the service schedule for spring and summer.

For more information about Doo Bandits, call (360) 778-1291 or visit to


Nails 2 You opens mobile business

Local entrepreneur Ralph Cuellar recently opened Nails 2 You, a mobile nail-care service.

Cuellar and employee Tiffeny Le bring the comfort and quality of a nail salon to residential facilities and special events. The business offers manicures, pedicures and many types of nail services.

“Our rates are designed to make nail care affordable for everyone,” Cuellar said. “Many people love to see us come to their senior centers, retirement homes and assisted-living facilities on a regular basis. Nails 2 You also caters to weddings, bridal and baby showers, bachelorette and birthday parties and other celebrations.”

Nails 2 You is available seven days a week, focusing primarily on Whatcom County. For more information, call (360) 510-5687 or visit


Bellhaven buys Performance Yachts

Bellhaven Yacht Sales and Charters, located at 714 Coho Way, purchased the local boat brokerage Performance Yachts on April 1.

Performance Yachts will keep its name and offices on the Bellwether Peninsula, but will now be under the umbrella of Bellhaven, said Bellhaven co-owner Curt Bagley.

“It was a joint decision between the two companies,” Bagley said. “It’s a great opportunity for both of us.”

Performance Yachts has four employees and is a dealer for Catalina Sailboats and Monk 36 Trawlers. Bellhaven Yacht Sales and Charters has been in business for 19 years and offers charters and sailing lessons.

For more information, call Bellhaven at (360) 647-0903 or call Performance Yachts at (360) 676-1340.


Tabar ranks No. 5 best place to work

Outside magazine recently ranked the Bellingham office of Tabar Inc., a glove design and manufacturing company, as the fifth-best place to work in the nation.

The full list of 30 companies and the related story is in the May issue of Outside magazine. The “Best Places to Work” list was compiled with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association and Best Companies Group. The year-long selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in the United States.

Participating companies were then sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs. All of the results were analyzed by Best Companies Group experts, who selected the 30 companies that best enable employees to balance productivity with an active, eco-conscious lifestyle.

“These 30 companies share a common belief: that the secret to success in any economy is empowering employees to live balanced lives and remain committed to their communities and the environment,” said executive editor of Outside, Michael Roberts, in a press release. “Our winners know that happy workers are good for the bottom line. So, even in the current financial storm, they’re offering onsite fitness classes and massage, reimbursements for gym memberships and ski passes, flexible hours, amazing travel benefits, and opportunities for on-the-clock community service.”


Fairhaven Mortgage merges, changes name

Fairhaven Mortgage, located at 1128 Finnegan Way Suite 100, has merged with Everett-based Homestead Mortgage and will assume the parent company’s name.

Nicole Walker, who owned Fairhaven Mortgage, said the merger with Homestead Mortgage happened about six months ago, but the name change is just now taking effect.

For more information, call (360) 676-0670 or visit


Former club DJ launches Bellingham Event Music

Christine Clauson spent years spinning vinyl at parties and clubs in Seattle and New York as DJ Analog Girl. Now she owns her own mobile disc jockey company called Bellingham Event Music.

The company provides music for events all over Whatcom County and around the Puget Sound region.

“I don’t charge travel fees because I like the mini vacations,” Clauson said. “If my client is getting married on Orcas, I will stay the weekend and go sailing or hiking.”

In addition to DJ services, Bellingham Event Music books live music by professional musicians, including local favorites jazz pianist Scot Ranney and singer-songwriters Kirsten Allen-Zito and Jan Peters.

Bellingham Event Music is now taking bookings for summer and fall. For more information, contact Clauson at (360) 535-3667.


Timothy Krell opens real estate law office

Timothy Krell, former manager of First American Title, is opening a private law practice, Timothy G. Krell, Real Estate Law PLLC, at 301 Prospect St. Suite 7.

Krell said he graduated from law school in 1986, passed the Washington state bar examination in 1988, and has worked in the title insurance field in a variety of capacities for the past 20 years.

“The title industry has given me a platform upon which to launch the next phase of my career,” Krell said.

Now, Krell has opened his own law firm, which offers expertise in areas such as purchase and sale agreements, title and escrow matters, easements, covenants and restrictions, boundary issues, right-of-way and railroad issues, deed of trust foreclosures and short sales. Krell said he is also licensed to provide continuing education instruction for real estate agents.

“I am excited about having the ability to use my title and escrow background to help Main Street clients with common real estate issues that I have had hands-on experience with for the last 20 years,” Krell said.

For more information about Timothy G. Krell, Real Estate Law PLLC, call 671-3430 or e-mail to


Sutter Professional Finishing expands in size, services

Sutter Professional Finishing, a local painting contractor formerly known as Paper Interiors, has moved into a 3,000-square-foot warehouse at 2694 Roeder Ave. from its previous location at 1409 E St.

Owner Dave Sutter said the new location is considerably larger and will allow him to expand his services to include pre-staining and pre-priming exterior siding and trim packs for home builders.

“At our old warehouse, I could only do one exterior trim pack at a time, so if I had multiple jobs, I had to have one out as soon as it was done to make room for another one,” Sutter said. “With new space, I can spray it, stack it and store it until the contractor comes to pick it up.”

Sutter has been in business for 18 years and said his company focuses on custom home finishing. The company also specializes in eco-friendly acrylic semi-transparent stain.

For more information about Sutter Professional Finishing, call (360) 201-4082.


Anytime Fitness opening in Whatcom Plaza

Whatcom Plaza will soon have its first tenant, called Anytime Fitness.

Located at 4252 Cordata Parkway Suite 103, the 4,000-square-foot gym is scheduled to open the first week of May and is now taking early membership registrations, said owner Anthony Hamilton. The gym will offer all the latest workout technology, such as iPod-compatible treadmills that can also log your workouts onto a USB drive — but it is unique in that it will be open 24 hours a day.

“We’re only staffed eight hours a day, but members can go in whenever they want. They’ll have a security key that has a computer chip in it,” Hamilton said.

Anytime Fitness is an international franchise with more than 1,000 locations, including one in Surrey, B.C. that opened March 16. One membership will get you into any location, Hamilton said.

For more information, call (360) 306-5858 or visit


Book Fare gets new owners

Book Fare Cafe, located on the second-floor mezzanine in the Village Books building at 1200 11th St. in Fairhaven, has new management.

Gloria Calderhead, managing broker at Fairhaven Realty, and her daughter, Lori Calderhead-Wetzel, purchased the business earlier this month. Wetzel said she now has 14 part-time employees working the 55-seat cafe.

Wetzel said the business is already a success for lunch, but she is excited to make some additions to their evening offerings.

“I have done a lot in the floral and wine business, so we are looking to do more with wine tastings and other wine events,” Wetzel said.

She said she has already made some adjustments to the cafe’s wine list and now offers pastries from Mount Bakery along with other local offerings.

“This is not a fancy dinner place, but it is a lovely place to go after dinner for a glass of wine and a pastry,” she said.

For more information about Book Fare Cafe, call (360) 734-3434.

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