It can be difficult to run a successful small business and maintain a high quality of life, but Scott Mangold and Renee Bourgault have found a way through baking.
Mangold and Bourgault own Breadfarm, near Chuckanut Drive in the small town of Edison. The company is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month with tours of the facility Saturday, June 29.
During the tours, customers will get some hands-on time with dough and learn the details of making artisan bread. The open house is being held in conjunction with an International Bakery Open House event that takes place across the U.S. and Canada.
Mangold originally went to college to study engineering, but the enjoyment of making food dishes drew him into the restaurant industry and eventually into bakeries. What intrigued him is there's a science and art to baking bread: Science can tell the baker about how gluten, yeast and enzymes react in certain conditions, while the artistic side can create a certain level of beauty in making that perfect loaf.
"Some bakers just seem to have that feel and sense when it comes to making bread," Mangold said. "But others can use science. I try to have that balance of science and art."
When Mangold and Bourgault decided to start their own business, they wanted to keep it at a manageable level so they could raise a family. Mangold grew up in Skagit County and they settled on a house in Edison right near a facility they found would work as a bakery. They are able to walk their children to school and able to spend quality time with them while running the business, so they've been reluctant to do a major expansion.
"We've built our dream, so we want to live it for a while," Mangold said.
Expansion is tempting, though, because of the steady growth the company has posted in the first 10 years. Breadfarm is a popular vendor at Bellingham Farmers Market and is in a variety of stores and restaurants in Whatcom and Skagit counties.
The company employs up to 32 people during its peak summer season. The facility, which has a retail store, has become a destination stop not only for locals but for Canadians and Seattle folks.
Loaves of Breadfarm bread tend to be more expensive than what is typically found at a store, but it's one of those luxuries that can draw a following. That was the case during the financial meltdown in 2008, according to Mangold; people were cutting back on a variety of expenses, but many of his customers didn't want to cut back on high-quality bread.
"I think it is more a comfort thing," Mangold said. "Everyone has a bakery story, and I think those smells flip a switch in the heart or brain."
The open house is free to the public, but reservations need to be made before Monday, June 24. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-766-4065.
Details about the company can be found at breadfarm.com.
SUSHI CONVEYOR BELT LEADS TO OTHER CHANGES
Putting in a sushi conveyor belt in September has led to a number of other improvements at Tokyo House. The Bellingham restaurant at 1222 N. Garden St. has upgraded its gift shop area, expanded its menu and lengthened its hours, said James Song, chef and manager.
"Customers have been really happy with the changes," he said. "We've found (the conveyor belt) is most popular with kids, who are more likely to try out different items if they can see them."
The new hours at Tokyo House are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Details: 360-714-0500.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST MOTORCYCLES ADDS BMW LINE
Along with a new showroom, Pacific Northwest Motorcycles recently added a line of BMW motorcycles. The company moved into its 4,000-square-foot showroom at 5100 Pacific Highway (near Barron Heating & Air Conditioning) in April.
It's a lengthy process to add the BMW motorcycle product line and having a new showroom helped, said Stephen McBee of Pacific Northwest Motorcycles.
"BMW has a great range of models that appeal to a growing segment of the motorcycling community," he said.
Showroom hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday by appointment. For more information, including details about a grand opening, see pacificnwmotorcycles.com.
It has taken longer than expected but Rocket Donuts is getting close to opening in Fairhaven. The shop, which also will have Acme Ice Cream, is going into the new building at Harris Avenue and 11th Street. The space is expected to be ready at the end of June, said Teri Treat, a spokeswoman for the company. Fat Pie Pizza is expected to open in the same building in August.
A new salon has opened in Bellingham. Fashion Divas Beauty Salon, 3082 Northwest Ave., is near Yeager's Sporting Goods. Owner Sara Vassi is offering haircuts for $10.95 during its grand opening; the salon also has a variety of other services, including makeup and facials. Details: 360-333-2715.
Roger Jobs Motors auto dealership has applied for a commercial addition permit at 2200 Iowa St. The permit indicates the project will cost about $720,000. The company earlier announced plans for a major expansion of its showroom.
A building permit application was filed for Jake's Barbershop to move into the former Johnson's Flowers space at 121 W. Magnolia St.
Tenant improvement permits were approved to combine two tenant spaces into one new yoga studio, Elements Hot Studio, at 1308 Meador Ave., Suite 103.
Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen won five medals at the North American Beer Awards competition held June 1-2 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Chuckanut Brewery won first place for its Yellow Card Golden Ale, Helles Lager and Alt. Silver medals were given for both Chuckanut Vienna Lager and Dunkel Lager. Bellingham's Boundary Bay Brewery won a silver medal for its Tripel entry.