Good, quality food served quickly is going to be Arlené Mantha's recipe for making her new café a success at the Lightcatcher Museum in Bellingham.
Mantha is planning a soft opening for twofiftyflora on Wednesday, May 15, by serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., then extend the hours in the coming days to be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mantha is the co-owner of the new café with Edwin Martinez, who operates the Onyx Coffee Bar on 1015 Railroad Ave. The menu will have a variety of locally made items, including soups, bread, tartine (French open-faced sandwiches), cheeses, pastries, coffee as well as beer and wine.
The key will be serving the tasty food quickly, particularly at lunch to the government and private sector office workers in the neighborhood who need to grab something to go. Mantha said they spent a few months studying the area, learning what they can bring to it.
The café also will serve museum-goers and those who can linger. A children's platter is being offered for those who work up an appetite in the Family Interactive Gallery, and Mantha also plans on having more outdoor seating. Along with coordinating on regular and special events at the museum, Mantha plans to offer catering services for private events, such as weddings.
Working at bakeries has been Mantha's passion since she started at a California bakery at age 14. She moved to Whatcom County nine years ago and has worked at a variety of local bakeries. She helped open Avenue Bread in Fairhaven in 2005.
For details about the restaurant, visit its 250 Flora Facebook page. For questions, send an email to email@example.com.
BUTCHER SHOP COMING TO DOWNTOWN BELLINGHAM
Chad Johnson needed to know if some Bellingham residents seriously wanted their own local butcher shop, and it turns out many were willing to support it with cash.
Johnson has worked at several local grocery store meat departments over the years and would consistently hear customers talk about the need for a butcher that focused on local, grass-fed meat.
He spent two years researching the feasibility, then decided to start a Kickstarter online campaign for his business, Carne Bellingham. He asked for people to kick in $7,500, the bare minimum, he said he needed to get the business started. That level was reached in just three days. By the end of the 30-day period, the campaign had raised more than $17,000. The extra money will go toward equipment he thought he'd have to get later.
"It (the Kickstarter campaign) was a good way to test the demand in this market," Johnson said. "The town has needed one for a long time, and now I feel like it's more of a responsibility to get it open. I feel tickled to have a chance to do this."
He believes making it more of a pre-sale format was one reason the Kickstarter campaign worked. Each of those contributors will get an equal share of the product when he has the business open.
Last week Johnson signed a lease at 902 N. State St., in the Green Frog's former spot. He's remodeling the space now, and hopes to be ready right before the Fourth of July one of the biggest grilling holidays of the year.
"We're going to run as hard as we can to get open by July 1," he said.
Once it's open, he plans on having local meats. There's not enough meat currently being produced in Whatcom County, so he will need to rely on producers in other parts of the state as well as Oregon. About 80 percent of what he plans to sell will be fresh meats, but he also will have deli cuts, marinades and a few other grocery items.
He believes his customer base will include fans of local foods as well as foodies.
For further details about the company and Johnson, visit the company's website at CarneBellingham.com. For updates on its opening, visit the shop's Facebook page.
HALIBUT HENRY'S EXPANDS AT AIRPORT, RE-OPENS AT CRUISE TERMINAL
On Tuesday, May 7, Port of Bellingham commissioners approved a five-year lease that provides more space to Halibut Henry's for a grab-and-go food, beverage and gift shop service in the secure portion of the Bellingham International Airport.
The business is owned by Bellingham businesswoman Vicki Rogers. Halibut Henry's has operated a business in the main terminal area of the airport since 1999. It also has a small, temporary booth in the secure area.
The new lease also consolidates Halibut Henry's office, storage and food preparation areas at the airport. Rogers plans to invest about $100,000 in her new airport spaces, according to a news release from the port.
In addition to operating at the airport, Halibut Henry's also has a seasonal café at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Halibut Henry's Northwest Café. The café recently re-opened and returned to providing food service seven days a week. The café features fish tacos and fish sandwiches.
Rogers also owns and operates the cruise terminal gift shop, Inside Passage. Rogers' gift shop was one of the first businesses in the cruise terminal, opening 23 years ago.
After seven years of owning Pak Mail in Barkley Village, Anne-Marie Nelson and her husband, Steve, are retiring and have sold the mail shipping store to Jason Kurz. The Nelsons plan to remain in Bellingham but do some traveling. Kurz, the new owner, is from Anacortes.
A new state liquor license application was filed for a tavern at 4071 Hannegan Road, Suite R, near the Bakerview Road intersection. The proposed name is Date and Paint and the applicant is Lorea Hokanson.
Everson Farm Equipment continues to grow. The store on 304 W. Main St. is adding lawn and garden equipment rental, including pressure washers, aerators and wood splitters. The company also recently expanded its service department and can now handle quad runners and other all-terrain vehicles, said co-owner Steve Brown.
Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday.