In 1972, two psychology students at Western Washington University took a break to start a plant shop in a "hippie mall" on North State Street. Forty years later, Greenhouse no longer sells plants and the owners, Chris Foss and Foster Rose, never returned to school, but the store has moved and remodeled four times, growing to become downtown Bellingham's largest retailer and a major retail anchor.
"We began looking for other things besides plants because they faded as a fad, and the inventory was perishable," Foss says. "Housewares and kitchen gourmet started to come on strong, and we went with it."
By 1988, downtown faced change as Bellis Fair mall was built and department stores relocated. Instead of panicking, Foss and Rose saw it as an opportunity to find a bigger space, increase their inventory to include furnishings, and create what they now call a "Spirited Collection for the Home."
Riding the current wave of interest in cooking and home entertaining, Greenhouse features a professional cookware collection, kitchen gadgets, dinnerware, and colorful linens and accessories. Their second floor offers custom-ordered leather and fabric furniture, patio and dining furniture, lighting, rugs and art. In 2013, they plan to expand their website inventory and improve bridal registry access.
Greenhouse holiday accessories are irresistible, especially in the fall and winter. From Halloween fun, to fall colors, to color-themed Christmas ornaments and home décor, the store carries both the classics and the latest trends.
"We're ready for another busy season serving customers that have been with us for decades," Foss says.
Chris Foss and Foster Rose
1235 Cornwall Ave.,
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday;
noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Taimi Dunn Gorman is a Bellingham freelance writer.
Reach DEAN KAHN at email@example.com or call 715-2291.