Welcome to our 15th Anniversary Issue!


This November markes 15 years since The Bellingham Business Journal started publication, way back in 1992.

In preparation for this momentous event, the staff at The BBJ spent the last month plumbing the depths of our archives, picking out interesting quotes, tracking trends, and musing on the past.

It’s been interesting to read some of the quotes from past stories. The former G-P plant manager predicted in 1994 that the mill wouldn’t last another 10 or 15 years. Here we are, less than 15 years later, and the last of G-P’s tissue mill will close by the end of the year. We also found it amusing (in a perverse kind of way) to read about the myriad complaints of the city’s permit process. That theme appeared over and over throughout our pages.

There were also many stories about various transitions, as the downtown has blossomed, as the waterfront has gone through changes, as condo-mania hit Fairhaven, as Barkley Village has been born and grown into a bustling district.

Heidi Schiller compiled all of our notes and ranked the Top 15 stories in the past 15 years in a four-page spread starting on page 12. Isaac Bonnell follows that up on page 16 with stories on four former owners of three locally prominent businesses, and he gives us an update on what they are doing now. You’ll also see the familiar mugshot of former editor and publisher John Thompson, who we wrangled into writing a guest column about our anniversary for page 55.

And speaking of page numbers — you may have noticed that The BBJ is in a new format. We are excited to have this new change — although it is actually a return to the way we had been printed for the first nine years. Our paper is now being printed on a much larger, newer press than we have had since 2001, and this has allowed us to have more color on more pages and to be printed all in one section once again. We are also being mailed flat for the first time, which is another reason for the paper to be all in one section.

The sections and content that readers have been used to for several years are still here, however. The Real Estate and Construction section starts on page 25 and is followed by our popular Top Properties section. The Business Toolkit, which was formerly on the front of the “C” section, starts on page 41 and is followed by our Tips and Leads. All of our old standards such as Looking Back, our meetings page, our columns and our Business Births are all still here.

As Bellingham grows, we are growing with it. This next year will likely see some more exciting changes at The BBJ, and we are always keeping our advertisers and our readers in mind with any changes we make.

All of us here at The BBJ hope you enjoy this 15th Anniversary Issue and the new changes that are making us stronger.


Vanessa Blackburn

Editor and Publisher

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