For someone who is in the habit of opening businesses, making a decision to close a store was a strange feeling for Vicki Rogers.
Rogers announced last week that she was closing Pacific Chef in January, after the holiday season. The kitchen store at 1210 11th St., in Fairhaven, opened in 2004 and sells a variety of hard-to-find cooking gadgets and other décor items.
The closure involves various factors, but chief among them was to spend more time with her two grandchildren. Rogers currently operates three other businesses: The Halibut Henry's café and the Inside Passage gift store at Bellingham Cruise Terminal, as well as a second Halibut Henry's café at the Bellingham airport.
Pacific Chef, however, was the most time-consuming for Rogers because of the need to revamp the product selection each season.
"It just came to me that I really want to enjoy my grandkids as well as spend time with my husband, who is retired," Rogers said. "It feels very strange, but it's a decision I wanted to make for me."
As a business, Pacific Chef was doing well, Rogers said. Even as a profitable small business, selling it would have proved challenging. The store's lease is expiring and trying to renegotiate that while selling the business would have probably meant a delayed exit from the business for Rogers. She believes Fairhaven can support a similar store, with someone coming in and creating their own business that focuses on kitchen products.
Rogers said the announcement that she was closing came as a surprise to employees and customers.
"It's been tough to be on the (showroom) floor," said Rogers, noting that most customers understand the decision but are still sad about the news. "I have a personal relationship with many of the people who walk in the store."
Rogers will still remain very busy, operating her two cafés and her gift shop. The Halibut Henry's at the airport is currently in expansion mode as a permanent café is being constructed in the waiting area after passengers pass through security.
"I've been thankful that I've been able to realize those dreams," said Rogers, referring to the starting and operation of the retail businesses. "We've had tremendous amount of support in the community."
Pacific Chef will maintain its regular hours during the final weeks of business. For details, call 360-676-1199.
The women's clothing store keiko keiko announced on Facebook that it was closing Saturday, Dec. 22. The three-year-old business at 2518 Meridian St. (in the Fountain District) will keep regular hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until it closes.
Cathy Luther is closing her Oreck vacuum store at 1701 N. State St. later this month and is opening a mobile workshop. Luther said the workshop will be a service and repair business. If you have a vacuum that needs work, the business will pick it up, fix it and return it. The company will also offer sales of vacuums and vacuum accessories. For details, call 360-733-0899 or visit sites.google.com/site/bellinghamoreckvacuums.
A WinCo update: After submitting a building permit application to put in a grocery store into the former Joe's sporting goods building at 300 E. Bellis Fair Parkway, the company received a correction letter from the city Planning and Community Development Department to makes some changes to the application. The applicant has been working with city staff on the corrections, said Kurt Nabbefeld, senior planner for the city.
The BevMo liquor store project at 114 W. Stuart Road continues to move along in the building permit process, with tenant improvement applications filed with the city. The plan is to open the store in February.
Permits were approved to convert the former College Store space into a Dollar Tree store at Sehome Village Shopping Center.
Permits were also approved to convert an office building at 1710 Kentucky St. into the Roosevelt Community Church.
Permits were submitted to put in some temporary office trailers at Chambers Chevrolet Cadillac as it prepares for a major remodel at the car dealership. Permits were submitted to put in a swimming pool at Marriott Springhill Suites, which is being built at 4040 Northwest Ave.
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2269. Visit his business blog online at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or get updates on Twitter at twitter.com/BhamHeraldBiz.