Retail Tipsheet: New farmers market opens on Guide Meridian

A new farmers market will be getting plenty of attention in a high traffic part of the county.

Mt. Baker Farmers Market is in the process of getting open at 4905 Guide Meridian, north of Walmart near Kelly Road. The plan is to be open this week, with hours being 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. The market plans to be open year-round.

The market will be operated by DJ Nagra and his family. They run a nearby farm on Kelly Road and were able to secure this spot to better expose the market to the traffic in that area. Nagra said the market will operate in the 3,000-square-foot building, offering locally grown fruits and vegetables along with produce grown outside the area. They also plan on having a cooler in place to sell local dairy products.

Nagra said the family wants to offer organic products when they can and help local farmers sell their product. The goal is to also serve healthy food for residents.

“We just want to provide old-fashioned good service,” Nagra said.

For more information or for farmers who want to contact the market, call 360-366-7898 or email


With less than four weeks until Halloween, retailers are gearing up for the holiday.

Spirit Halloween has opened a seasonal store at 4145 Meridian St., near the new Burlington retail store.

At the former Billy McHale’s building at 4301 Meridian St., Bellingham’s SpookShop has opened a seasonal store and is in the process of opening a haunted house called Zombie Asylum and a haunted house for children. SpookShop co-owner Laurel Burke said they are planning to get the haunted houses open around Oct. 18 in the afternoons and evenings through Oct. 31. For details about SpookShop, visit

According to the National Retail Federation, this is expected to be a record year for Halloween-related sales. A national survey predicts total spending for Halloween will hit $7.4 billion this year and is considered one of the faster-growing consumer holidays.


After a steady stream of Whatcom County brick-and-mortar retail closures in the first half of 2014, things slowed down in the third quarter.

I counted nine retail closures in the third quarter, putting the year-to-date closure total at 43. This is by no means a scientific tally; it is based on what I find out working the business beat and tips from readers.

It appears the closure total will be similar to last year’s total, which was 55. That’s down from a few years ago but a little elevated compared to the years right before the recession.


Cold Stone Creamery is closing its Bellingham store later this month. The store opened at 3908 Meridian St. back in 2005. The store’s hours are 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., until it vloses. Owner Saleem Jaffer said sales dipped in recent years at that location because of changing traffic patterns and other changes to the market. “I’d like to thank the Bellingham community for supporting us all these years,” Jaffer said. He expects the last day to be Thursday, Oct. 30. ... Edaleen Dairy is planning to open its 3,200-square-foot Blaine dairy store at noon on Monday, Oct. 6. It’s at 458 Peace Portal Drive and will offer a wide variety of dairy products, including ice cream.