Baking pies was a big part of family life when Bob Brim and his sister, Janice Korthuis, were growing up. Now they're testing a pie-making idea in downtown Bellingham.
The two recently opened Mrs. B's Pies inside The Union Coffee Shop at 114 W. Magnolia St. The pie shop is a place where customers can choose the crust, filling and topping and after a minute get a personalized, single-serving pie.
The pies come in three sizes - just a little, just right and just because - ranging in price from $3 to $7.50
Brim and Korthuis wanted to test out the idea and worked with Cameron VanEpps, owner of The Union Coffee Shop, to share the space. During their soft opening they've found that the cream pies have been a hit, along with apple/blackberry pies. People tend to order the pies as a good coffee break item, Brim said.
Korthuis agreed, adding that it's also being bought as a dessert.
"Bellingham is becoming quite a foodie town, so they are willing to embrace new items," she said.
Brim, who is the founder and CEO of the Bellingham computer software firm DIS, said they've been pleased with the response so far.
"The kiosk is a good test for us, because this product is more of an impulse buy," Brim said.
They plan on rotating flavors in the coming weeks and are considering adding savory pies to the menu this fall.
The business name is a tribute to their mom. When they were growing up and eating pie at the dinner table, Brim said their dad would say "Mrs. B, that was a great pie."
Mrs. B's Pies is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Details about the company can be found on its Facebook page.
NEW CONSIGNMENT STORE TO FOCUS ON SPORTS, ELECTRONICS
Consignment clothing and furniture stores are popular in Bellingham, but Ryan and Jennifer McKee think this area is ready for other types of consignment products, including sports equipment.
The McKees are remodeling a 10,000-square-foot space at Bakerview Square for Trader's Depot, which will have a variety of items on consignment, including sports equipment, tools, musical instruments, men's clothing and electronics. Ryan McKee describes it as a "Cabela's meets Costco" consignment warehouse for people who want to sell items without having to do it online. The McKees also own Plum Chic (which sells women's clothing) and Red Tag (furniture and housewares) in Bakerview Square.
"We've had a lot of people coming in with things that don't fit (in the other stores)," Ryan McKee said. "If someone has an old kayak, this would be a place to take it instead of trying to sell it online."
Remodeling work is underway, with a soft opening planned for early October. Later this month the company will start accepting consignment items. For details on consigning an item, email the McKees at email@example.com.
Ryan McKee said adding Trader's Depot will make it easier for consigners to drop off different items at one place. Along with Plum Chic and Red Tag, the retail center is home to Little Red Wagon, owned by Laura Lee Bosman, that sells children's consignment clothes.
"(By) having multiple consignment stores already at Bakerview Square, someone can drop in and hit all the stores and not have to drive all around town," McKee said.
McKee said business is growing at Plum Chic and Red Tag, which have both been open about a year.
"We're still trying to figure out the seasonal aspects, but otherwise it's doing great," McKee said.
Joyce Chen, who owns the La Patisserie restaurant on Northwest Avenue, is making plans to open a second restaurant. The new spot will be at 2430 James St., in the Sunnyland Square shopping center (home to Trader Joe's). The new restaurant will have the same lunch/dinner menu as La Patisserie but will not have the bakery. The name for the second restaurant is La La Eatery, and she is planning to have it opened something in the late fall.
A permit was issued to put in a pet food production facility at 400 W. Orchard St. The tenant is called Alaska Natural Pet Food.
I received a call from Lifetouch, which purchased Donette Studios a year ago. The studio at 4165 Hannegan Road was closed earlier this year, but LifeTouch plans to remain in the Bellingham area and is looking for a space. For details about the company, which handles school pictures and other photo services in this area, call 800-562-5195.
Chuckanut Manor Seafood & Grill will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 17, with a festival on its front lawn. There will be several food and beverage tents set up at the Chuckanut Drive restaurant. The event starts at 2:30 p.m., with live music starting at 4:30 p.m.
Ferndale's Find Your Fashion is having a three-year anniversary celebration with a three-day sale Aug. 13-15.
Aslan Brewing Company has applied for a Washington state liquor license to put in a microbrewery at 1330 N. Forest St., in the former Signs Plus space. Signs Plus is now at 766 Marine Drive.
Everything in Sight Optical is expanding into the former GB Heron space on the corner of Cornwall Avenue and Holly Street. According to a sign on the door, the plan is to be in that space by Sunday, Sept. 1.
Atlas Computer Works has moved from Bellingham to Ferndale. According to a Facebook post, it will be open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 1920 Main St., Suite 9B. New hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday.