Business

This downtown Bellingham store was saved from closure... here's how it's doing now

New owners bring "slightly different personality" to established Bellingham business

Bre Green, co-owner of Greenhouse, talks about rebuilding the store's inventory after taking over in early February on Friday, April 6, in Bellingham.
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Bre Green, co-owner of Greenhouse, talks about rebuilding the store's inventory after taking over in early February on Friday, April 6, in Bellingham.

It's been a little over three months since BreAnne Green and her husband, Eric, announced they would be buying the Greenhouse store in downtown Bellingham. She's still overwhelmed by the response from customers.

BreAnne Green and her staff have been busy restocking the home decor store, which was nearly empty at the end of 2017. That's because the previous owners, Chris Foss and Foster Rose, were having a retirement sale with the intention of closing the business. The Greens came in with an offer in late November, with the deal closing in February.

The restocking project is now complete, with summer products arriving in recent days. Green said she focused on many products that are popular with longtime customers, but has also added some new brands in several departments, including kitchen and furniture. Examples of new brands in the store include Glassybaby and GreenPan.

The store has also revamped its website to allow online ordering where items can be delivered in Whatcom County. It's a system that just started this month.

Greenhouse, which is in downtown Bellingham at the corner of Cornwall Avenue and Holly Street, is planning to have a public grand opening celebration April 27-28 with product demonstrations and giveaways.

While restocking the store, Green has been amazed by the positive support she's received from customers. They've repeated thanked her for keeping the Greenhouse open.

"It (buying the business) was personal for me at first, but now I realize how important it is to the community," Green said.

She's come to realize that the support was something that was earned from the great customer service the store has had over the years, so it's something she's kept in mind when talking to her employees. Fortunately, she said she was able to retain all the employees who hadn't made commitments elsewhere when it appeared the store was closing.

Greenhouse 1.jpg
Greenhouse employee Katie Rosenfelt arranges a display of Bellingham-themed marble tiles on Friday in Bellingham. Evan Abell evan.abell@bellinghamherald.com

Green said initial sales numbers at the store have been good. They are below the same period last year, but that's something she expected given the low inventory the store started with and the strong retirement sale at the end of 2017.

That support has also led Green to keep the popular things associated with the previous ownership, such as the company's loyalty program. Greenhouse will also occasionally have pop-up stores on the main floor; coming this month is Bellingham's Olio, which sells flowers and plants.

For further information about the store, visit greenhousehome.com.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz
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