It may not seem important to some, but having front door access for his business is a big deal to Ross Driscoll.
Driscoll, who owns Drizzle Olive Oil & Vinegar in Fairhaven with his wife, Dana, recently expanded into the Colophon Café's upper level space. The expansion on 1208 11th St. increases Drizzle's space from 700 to 1,800 square feet, allowing the owners to add to its currently line of oils as well as bring in other products like dried pasta and spices. The store also has Whidbey Island's Britt's Pickles as well as locally made Aldrich Farms jellies.
The expansion by Drizzle allows the Colophon Café to consolidate its eatery on the lower level. The Colophon will remain open as it makes some changes and possibly expands into a nearby space, creating a better flow for the business, said Allison Iwasaki, general manager of the café. Colophon's remodel is expected to be completed later this spring.
Driscoll said it was the enthusiasm of the customers that prompted them to expand. When they opened in the spring of 2011, wedged in the back of the building, they focused on talking to customers about olive oil: How it's made, the chemistry, the potential health benefits and how it interacts with food.
"Soon they were coming back and asking the right questions," said Ross Driscoll, adding that sales began to steadily grow as a result.
A big factor in talking to customers about the product is the tasting room. With more than 70 varieties of olive oil, Driscoll can highlight some of the differences, helping customers find the right oil for their cooking needs.
Along with more room for products, the expansion allows the company to host bigger tastings and seminars.
Family and friends helped with the expansion, including painting the walls and building shelves. Dismantling Colophon's ice cream counter and seating was emotional to Driscoll, who knows how much it's been a part of Fairhaven.
"It was tough, but we are so grateful to David (Killian, who owns the Colophon) to make this possible," he said.
As for the Colophon, ice cream and desserts will remain a part of the eatery, Iwasaki said. Part of the downstairs area will become a place where people can hang out, while the potential expansion into the nearby space will allow for more of the traditional sit-down meals.
"We're making some aesthetic changes, but the heart of Colophon is still here," Iwasaki said.
BELLINGHAM CASH MOB TO DESCEND ON LOCAL RESTAURANT
Last week on its Facebook page Mi Casa announced that it was facing the possibility of closing at the end of April. In response the Bellingham Cash Mob announced it was organizing a visit to the restaurant, which is at 505 32nd St., near the Sehome Shopping Center.
The cash mob event is scheduled from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. Cash mob organizations involve a group of people that want to support a business, typically one that is small and locally owned. The Bellingham Cash Mob has organized a few events, including at the Bellingham Public Market.
Mi Casa owner Ken Selvidge said he's grateful for the offer and hasn't come to a final decision yet about the future of the restaurant.
"We had a great following after we opened, and then it disappeared," Selvidge said. "Right now we're just trying to keep our chin up."
Next door to Drizzle in the former Pacific Chef space, a liquor license application was filed for a business called Culinary Creations. The applicant is Colleen Mitchell.
Edwin Martinez of Onyx Coffee and Arlené Mantha, third-generation Italian baker, have partnered to open a soup and toast bar at the Lightcatcher Museum. The café is called 250 Flora (which is also the address of the café) and is expected to open this spring.
Mattress Discounters is now open in the former Blockbuster space at the Bakerview Fred Meyer shopping center. According to a company news release, it recently expanded its inventory of memory foam sleep products. The company has been in business for 35 years and has more than 85 stores in Washington, Oregon, California Idaho and Nevada. For details on the company, visit saveatmd.com.
A Bellingham building permit application was submitted to install a climbing gym at 1421 N. State St., in the former Mt. Baker Harley Davidson space. The applicant is company called Vital Climbing LLC.
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