The Buzz


2020 to move into old H & H building

2020 Engineering, a local sustainable engineering firm, is moving to a new location: the nearly 4,000-square-foot H & H Anglers & Outfitters building at 814 Dupont St. The building has been vacant for nearly 10 months.

The firm will move from their current location at 700 Dupont St. around July 1 after a brief remodel.

2020 has also added four new employees in the past year and is currently advertising for more professionals to join their team.

“Sustainable engineering has officially moved from alternative methods to much more mainstream, as our busy project schedule shows,” said Jessie Buehrer, business manager for 2020 Engineering in an e-mail.

For more information, call 671-2020.


Brooks ends use of odor-causing chemical

Local wood-treatment facility Brooks Manufacturing ended their use of an odor-causing, pre-mixed chemical that may have contributed to the so-called “Sunnyland stench.”

Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike, Northwest Clean Air Agency Executive Director Mark Asmundson and Brooks officials met last month, and Brooks officials agreed to end their use of the chemical no later than March 31.

The company began using a new chemical, FP9, on March 24, and “our preliminary indications are that this is going to fix the problems,” said Brooks spokesman Brian Sibley.

“It’s not producing significant odors of any kind, and it’s achieving the same results for us,” Sibley said.

Asmundson said he is cautiously optimistic that the new chemical will achieve the desired outcome and reduce odor in the neighborhood.

Brooks Manufacturing is located at the corner of Iowa and Pacific streets in the Roosevelt neighborhood. According to information supplied by Brooks officials, the odors are caused by a non-toxic solvent used in the wood-treatment process. The strong, sweet-smelling chemical odor has been the subject of increased community concern, especially in the Roosevelt and Sunnyland areas and other surrounding neighborhoods.

Detailed information about Brooks and the chemicals used in its wood-processing operations can be found by visiting the Brooks Manufacturing Web site,


Ralf’s Bavarian Bakery moving to Depot Market

After four years of doing mostly wholesale business, Ralf’s Bavarian Bakery is expanding its retail presence downtown.

The pretzel-making business is planning to move into a 900-square-foot retail space in the southeast corner of the Depot Market, said owner Ralf Sigl. The site is home to the Farmers Market, where Ralf and his wife, Kacy, have sold their wares at a booth since starting the business in 2004.

The Farmers Market played a key role in the couple’s decision to expand their retail presence.

“We were both surprised by how well we did at the Farmers Market,” Ralf said. “Since it has been our home for the past four years, we decided it was a perfect fit.”

The first Farmers Market of the new year will kick off this Saturday and Ralf’s Bavarian Bakery will have its usual stand outside. Ralf said he plans to make the move into the new space sometime in July.

Ralf said he plans to turn the new space into take-out bakery, with indoor and outdoor seating. About 600 square feet of the space will be for production equipment and the layout will be open enough for customers to peek in on the pretzel-making process. The bakery will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Beyond retail, Ralf’s Bavarian Bakery provides pretzels and traditional German pastries to local restaurants and pubs, such as Boundary Bay Brewery. For more information and for wholesale prices, call 733-3066 or visit


Presentation focuses on triple bottom line

Focus Northwest is hosting a free event April 23 at the Squalicum Boathouse called “Balancing your life: your personal triple bottom line.”

Henry Beeland, founder and CEO of Evergreen Team Concepts, will be the keynote speaker. Beeland is the author and presenter of corporate training programs including 2010 Service Initiative series. Topics will include how to build health, wealth and balance in your life with upbeat tips, tricks and ideas.

Seating is limited. For more information, call Brita Adkinson at 647-8822 or


Victoria’s Secret to move to new location

Victoria’s Secret in Bellis Fair Mall has plans to nearly double their space from 4,500 square feet to 8,776 square feet.

Victoria’s Secret, which is currently located in the Macy’s wing of the mall, plans to move to the mall’s more than 6,000-square-foot, former Express location next to Hot Topic near the food court.

The North American lingerie giant will not only occupy the Express location but more than 1,500 square feet of neighboring vacant space next to the Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Dennis Curtis, Bellis Fair’s general manager, said when the Disney store left the mall years ago they left behind 4,000 vacant square feet and when the Build-a-Bear Workshop came along last year it only took up 2,500 feet. So Victoria’s Secret will knock down a wall and take over the space.

“Victoria’s Secret is really taking up one store and half of another,” Curtis said.

The store will be open in the new location at the end of May. For more information, contact Bellis Fair Mall at 671-5895.


TEK Construction expands presence

TEK Construction, located at 4167 Mitchell Way at the Bellingham International Airport, is nearing completion of an 8,900-square-foot hangar and office space in the general aviation side of the airport.

The building is designed for corporate use and is expected to be finished by the end of April, said owner Dean Irwin. TEK Construction may occupy the space for a short time, but Irwin said he is planning to lease or sell the space.

TEK Construction also recently purchased a 4,200-square-foot hangar from Million Air Company. The hangar is currently occupied by Whatcom Aero Service, a maintenance company that already works on TEK’s airplanes. Irwin said he has no plans to change that.

“It’s going to continue to be used as a maintenance facility,” Irwin said.

TEK Construction builds wastewater treatment facilities and flies its project managers to construction sites all around the Pacific Northwest. For more information, call 312-5530.


Naturopathic clinic moving downtown

One Healing Integrative Medical Center, which has been located in Barkley Village since it started last February, is planning to move downtown to 1031 N. State St. Suite 106.

Dr. Summer Beattie said she hopes to make the move to the 600-square-foot space by the end of May. Beattie specializes in naturopathic care and women’s health issues.

Beattie previously worked as a massage therapist and she holds degrees in exercise science and psychology. She is a graduate of the naturopathic medical school Bastyr University in Seattle and the larger clinic “will enable me to do some of the specialty treatments I’ve been trained to do,” she said

For more information, call 483-3737.


Express Personnel announces new name

Express Personnel Services has changed its name to Express Employment Professionals, according to Sandy and Mark Hagen. The company made the decision to refocus its branding efforts in order to better reflect its service lines and direction for the future.

The new name allows all Express staffing services, along with its HR and payroll services, to fit under the Express Employment Professionals umbrella. This eliminates the need for additional service line names and logos.

“I’m excited about our new name and branding strategy,” said Hagen. “This is a positive change that demonstrates our commitment to providing our clients and associates with full-service employment solutions.”

Along with the name change, Express also has a new logo and Web address:

The Bellingham Express office began operation in 1990 and services Whatcom County with temporary and full-time employees in a variety of fields, including office services, accounting, industrial, data processing, technical and marketing.


Rolfing Bellingham opens for business

Rolfing Bellingham, one of only three certified Rolfing practices in Bellingham, opened for business on March 3 in the Harborview Building at 1111 W. Holly St.

According to the Rolfing Institute of Structural Integration, Rolfing, which is named after founder Ida P. Rolf, is a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organizes the entire body in an effort to reduce pain and prevent injury with lasting results.

Owner and experienced Rolfer Brad Jones has practiced in Seattle for the past eight years and said Rolfing can be used to help with chronic pain and bad posture or as a proactive health measure to preempt pain and injury.

“I injured my back some years ago and I saw a Rolfer and it really helped to relieve about 90 percent of my pain after only 10 sessions,” Jones said.

Jones said trauma can cause chronic pain but it can also be caused by the way people stand, sit, walk and every other way they move in their lives.

Rolfing addresses these issues through movement education, which can make lasting changes that can reduce pain, increase energy and give more ease of movement.

For more information about Rolfing Bellingham, call 255-1557 or go to To learn more about Rolfing, go to the Rolfing Institute of Structural Integration’s Web site at


Northwest Endoscopy Center expanding

Northwest Endoscopy Center, which is the operating facility for Northwest Gastroenterology, is doubling its office space.

Located at 2930 Squalicum Parkway Suite 202, the center is remodeling and adding 2,300 square feet to improve the layout and flow of the facility. The project began recently and is slated to finish at the end of summer, said Dr. James Schoenecker.

Northwest Gastroenterology first opened in Bellingham in 1979. The practice has eight physicians and two physician’s assistants. For more information, call 734-1420 or visit


Pro Health Chiropractic opens on Electric Ave.

Pro Health Chiropractic opened in March at 1486 Electric Ave. Suite 103, across from Whatcom Falls Park. Dr. Janelle Havelka does traditional chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work and reconstructive care for the neck in her 900-square-foot office.

This is Havelka’s first time starting her own practice. She graduated from chiropractic school in June 2007 and worked at a clinic in Everett for three months prior to moving to Bellingham.

“It was time to do my own thing,” she said, adding that she plans to spend more time with patients than the traditional quick adjustment. “I like having time with a patient to establish a relationship with them and their family.”

Havelka said she plans to offer massage therapy in the future, which is common among chiropractic clinics because the two types of natural health care go hand-in-hand. For more information, call 671-5644.


Small Business Development Center expands Web site

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a part of Western Washington University’s College of Business and Economics, expanded its Web site to include more resources for small businesses.

The site now contains information on successful marketing ideas, business plans, financial management, startup resources and finance programs.

“For instance, if you are someone looking to get a loan to start a daycare, this information is very helpful,” said Tom Dorr, director of the SBDC.

Dorr said the site also contains information about its “Economic Gardening” program which provides high-end research tools to help businesses make decisions in a changing marketplace.

“Economic Gardening helps to nurture the growth of existing companies instead trying to attract new ones,” Dorr said.

According to the SBDC, the site gets approximately 60 visits a day for more than two minutes per visit, with traffic from all over the region.

The SBDC provides free confidential counseling, technical assistance and secondary research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive throughout Whatcom County.

For more information, call 733-4014 or visit


Health and Exercise Prescriptions moves to larger office

Health and Exercise Prescriptions moved to its new 800-square-foot home at 314 E. Holly Suite 204.

Owner and medical exercise specialist Jaime Hernandez said the business moved from suite 206 in the same building to get about 300 extra square feet.

“Now there is more room, more light and a bigger changing room,” Hernandez said. “A bigger office makes things more comfortable for everyone.”

Hernandez said he works with chiropractors and primary care physicians to assess a patient’s condition and then tailor a specific exercise program that addresses current symptoms and works to prevent future injuries and conditions.

“My approach is more holistic trying to get them back to where they were before their condition or injuries,” he said.

The more than two-year-old business works with patients who suffer from osteoporosis, diabetes, traumatic injuries and nagging pain from old injuries, but Hernandez said he also works with people who want to lose weight and manage stress.

“If injury or disease is already an issue, we still focus on strengthening the complete body, which has a positive cascading effect,” says a statement on the company’s Web site.

For more information, call 223-3696 or go to


Fantasia Espresso & Tea gets new owner

Fantasia Espresso & Tea at 1324 Cornwall Ave. officially came under new ownership on March 1.

The coffeehouse was sold “as is” to Aaron Bel Cher and he will make monthly payments to former owners, Bjorklund Sisters Inc. until the business is paid off.

Bel Cher first became interested in buying the business after the former owners declared Fantasia a failed business.

Bel Cher, a former Fantasia employee, said he was essentially hired to save a dying business but the owners lost interest in saving Fantasia, so Bel Cher offered to “take it off their hands.”

“Since I starting running things, I have increased sales more than 200 perecent,” he said.

One way he is luring people into the coffeehouse is by booking more entertainment. Fantasia is known for its poetry nights, which have become extremely popular, sometimes drawing more than 100 people into the business’s spacious 5000 square feet.

However, Bel Cher found that the business had no other nightly events to draw in patrons. So he started booking entertainment every night and Fantasia now showcases more than 13 bands a week and is booked until May.

“Now we have seven events for seven days a week,” Bel Cher said.

For more information, call 676-1017 or go to


NetworkText finds downtown location

After starting a business in his parents’ Bellingham basement in October 2007, Derek Johnson now has a more permanent space for his company NetworkText.

In March, the business moved to 1051 N. State St., next to The Pepper Sisters. The company has expanded quickly in recent months and the new 1,500-square-foot office space will allow for continued growth, Johnson said.

“We now have a quarter of a million users and we send out 4 million text messages per month,” he said.

NetworkText specializes in mass text messaging and offers the service for free by including a 30-character ad at the end of each message. Johnson came up with the idea while attending the University of Houston and living in a fraternity, where he often had to contact the entire group. He said he found text messaging to be the most effective mode of communication.

For more information, call (206) 334-4012 or visit


Kowals Pediatrics plans for second clinic

Kowals Pediatrics, located at 412 Girard St., is planning to open a second medical clinic in Blaine later this year.

The practice opened in November 2007 and is expanding quickly. It now has agreements in place with most major insurance plans, such as Regence Blue Shield and Premera Blue Cross.

“As consolidation has contributed to the shrinking number of pediatric practices in Whatcom County, we’re striving to make preventive and same-day care more accessible for local families,” said Dr. Daniel Kowals in a press release.

The location of the new Blaine clinic is not being disclosed. For more information, call 738-7290 or visit


G & R Autosports motors to new location

G & R Autosports, a custom car accessories dealer and installation shop, is moving to a larger shop at 2106 Pacific St. Suite 105.

The new shop will have 1,500 square feet of shop space compared to the 1,000 square feet at the business’s current location at 2300 James St. Suite 103.

Co-owner Lee Verbarendse said the expansion in square feet would easily translate into an expansion of their sales.

“A lot more shop space will help us handle a lot more work,” Verbarendse said.

G & R Autosports deals in car audio and security, import performance accessories, iPod integration, Bluetooth car kits and other custom accessories such as heated seats and remote starts.

Verbarendse has plans to be up and running at the new location in early April.

For more information, call 527-1294 or go to


Pro Marketing Works adds office space

Pro Marketing Works, a local marketing firm, has added 700 square feet to its downtown office at 314 E. Holly St.

Owner Peter James said he planned the expansion in coordination with Jaime Hernandez, who owns Health and Exercise Prescriptions. The company took over the space vacated by Hernandez, who moved to a new office in the same building.

“We’ve been planning this for quite awhile,” James said.

The new office space has allowed James to expand the company’s photo studio and graphics department. Pro Marketing Works does graphic design and Web-based marketing for small businesses.

For more information, call 733-9377 or visit


Local Creative opens on Pacific Street

Local Creative, a new graphic design firm, opened last month in an office above Special T Signs & Graphics at 2206 Pacific St.

Owners Heather Barrett and Amy Donnelly met while taking classes at Whatcom Community College. Both in their 30s and nearer in age to the teacher than fellow students, Barrett said she and Donnelly bonded quickly.

“For both of us it was a second career choice,” Barrett said.

For now, the pair work part time at Local Creative, but they hope to be working full time soon, Barrett said. The company does full-service graphic design and Web development, from logos to banners to vehicle wraps.

For more information, call 647-4556 or visit


Bellingham Baby Co. born in Barkley Village

Bellingham Baby Company opened a retail store for mothers and babies at 2925 Newmarket St. Suite 108 in Barkley Village.

Owner Shelly Allen has operated, a baby retail Web site with around 1600 items, for almost three years and said she is opening the store because of popular demand but it has also been a lifelong dream.

“We will specialize in unique, handmade items for the hip, modern mom,” Allen said.

Most things on the site will be available in the store, Allen said, but there will also be things you can’t get from the Web site.

The company is currently setting up in the 700-square-foot former Sirena Gilato location.

For more information, call 756-2452 or visit

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