Raleigh Kukes is putting her business degree and her parenting experience to work when it comes to starting a new business.
Kukes is the owner of Perch & Play, a children's entertainment area and café at 1707 N. State St., near Bellingham Fitness. Kukes is planning to have Perch & Play open sometime in October, with a grand opening event slated for Saturday, Oct. 20.
The facility will have a play area called the Pea Patch for children under the age of 3; for those between 3 and 10, Perch & Play will have an area that includes a treehouse climbing structure and slide. The rest of the space will have a variety of features, including a café and several seating areas for adults and children. It also will have separate rooms for birthday parties and other events.
This business idea came about a few years ago when she moved to Bellingham to get her MBA at Western Washington University. She quickly found it was challenging to find a place to take her daughter. Creating this kind of business became a project for Kukes, one that's coming to fruition now that she's done with school.
Managing the café will be Mindy Overlin. The cafe will have a deli/lunch format and serve beer and wine.
"That's for the parents who want to have that 15 minutes to sit and talk," said Overlin, referring to the decision to serve alcohol.
The café also will be open to those who just want to grab a bite to eat, particularly for people who work in the neighborhood. It's a much different use for the space; in recent years it has been a nightclub and bar.
"It's been a lot of work changing the space, but I think the people in the neighborhood will think it's a step in the right direction," Kukes said.
Most important to Kukes is making sure the place is designed well for both parents and kids. Working with general contractor The Franklin Corporation, she said plenty of discussion and thought have gone into the design. While she wants it to be fun for children, she's been listening to parents about any concerns they might have.
"I really want this to be a place where parents can relax while the kids play," she said.
Along with getting feedback from parents, one other focus is making sure the word gets out about the business, including through social media.
"Moms are No.1 with social media right now, so making sure they find us will help spread the word," Overlin said.
Once open, the hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Updates about Perch & Play's opening can be found on the company's Facebook page. For further details, call 360-393-4925.
NEW JEWELRY STORE IN FERNDALE
AllisonAmy Jewelry recently opened in downtown Ferndale.
Owner Allison O'Rourke said a grand opening is planned from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at 5675 Third St., next to the Subway restaurant at the corner of Main Street.
O'Rourke, a longtime Ferndale resident and a WWU graduate, estimates that she makes 90 percent of the jewelry in her store. She's been selling her jewelry the past seven years at the Ferndale Street Festival and Ferndale Public Market. Products include necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and wine glass charms.
"I love the creative aspect of making jewelry," O'Rourke said in a news release. "It's great to see people of all ages wearing jewelry that is stylish and distinctive."
AllisonAmy Jewelry is open from 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 360-685-3344 or visit www.allisonamy.com.
A new liquor license application to sell hard liquor was filed by Hakam Singh for the Meridian Liquor Store, going in at 4209 Meridian St., in the former Super Gas space. Singh originally purchased the rights to sell liquor by being the high bidder for the former state liquor store near Walmart. With the way Initiative 1183 was written, Singh has the option of requesting to move to a different spot within a one-mile radius of the original store, said Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control board.
A winery application was approved by the Liquor Control Board for La Chanterelle Winery, at 1911 G St. in Bellingham. According to a separate application to the city, La Chanterelle Winery would sell small batches to local stores and restaurants.
Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday.
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at email@example.com or call 715-2269. Visit his business blog online at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or get updates on Twitter at twitter.com/BhamHeraldBiz.