Business

Retail Tipsheet: New dog wash store now open in downtown Bellingham

A new dog-washing service is now available in the downtown Bellingham area.

Monika Lange recently opened Shake & Shine Canine Wash & Deli at 1501 N. State St., near the East Champion Street intersection. While it is a place where dog owners can give canines of various sizes a bath or shower, staff is also available to do the dirty work, which can include tasks like nail-cutting. The business also has a deli, but it’s strictly for the dogs. Menu items include dog cookies and pupcakes. The store also has a variety of retail items and grooming supplies.

A biologist by training, Lange decided to use her passion for animals to get into the canine grooming business with her dog, Fitz. In buying equipment for the store, she wanted to keep the dogs’ interests in mind, such as rear-entry tubs for easier access. Shake & Shine also has a walk-in shower for the big dogs or ones that have trouble climbing into tubs.

“(Fitz) still doesn’t like baths, but I think this takes away some of the stress,” Lange said.

Since opening Saturday, Oct. 18, the dog wash already is drawing in customers not only from the neighborhood but from outside the area. One reason Lange thinks Shake & Shine is attracting customers is the nontoxic flea shampoo.

The business is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Wednesday (closed) and Sunday (noon to 6 p.m.). Details about the business can be found on the company’s Facebook page or by calling 360-296-5226.

PIPER MUSIC TO STAY OPEN DURING TRANSITION

Mary Jackson was quickly reminded how loyal a customer base she has at Piper Music.

Jackson recently sent out a letter to customers letting them know that after more than 30 years of selling sheet music, she was planning to make a change by selling the building and the business at 2512 Meridian St. In the letter she said that if the business hadn’t sold by December, she would close the store.

Quite a few customers quickly responded to the letter, letting her know how much they would miss the store, which also sells some musical instruments. The response was so strong that she changed her mind about the deadline. She will now keep Piper Music open until a sale of either the building and/or the business is completed.

“I was quite surprised by the response,” said Jackson, It made her realize that it was unnecessary to impose a deadline, given the amount of initial interest she’s received about taking over the business and that she wants it to continue.

Jackson opened Piper Music in 1991 after working in the business a few years. Through the years she has developed a strong following with school teachers, church groups and students. While online retail has impacted the business, Jackson said a core group of customers prefer looking over music at a brick-and-mortar store and having someone available to do research.

Overall sheet music remains popular, with growth taking place with new hits that draw in younger customers like the “Frozen” Disney movie soundtrack. A good portion of her customers also enjoy the classics, with university students regularly dropping in after hearing about the store through teachers.

Jackson plans to remain active in the music community after selling the business by teaching piano and playing in groups.

For details about the business, visit pipersheetmusic.com.

NEW PHARMACY OPENS NEAR HOSPITAL

A new, locally owned pharmacy has opened near St. Joseph hospital.

Earlier this month RxMart Pharmacy opened at 300 E. Sunset Drive. It has two pharmacists on staff, Kamal Dhami and Sanjeev Nagpal, who can accept most insurance plans to fill prescriptions.

Dhami, who has worked for pharmacy chain stores since 2003, said he wanted to start his own pharmacy to offer more personalized, compassionate service. Along with filling prescriptions, RxMart has items that are typically found in a pharmacy as well as a convenience store. For years that address had a convenience store, and they wanted to continue offering items like coffee and some food to the neighborhood, he said.

The pharmacy also has a variety of herbal products, including Ayurveda medicine.

Dhami expects his customers to be both from the neighborhood as well as patients leaving the hospital. Soon the pharmacy will begin offering vaccinations, including travel and flu shots.

For more information about the pharmacy, call 360-933-1401. The website rxmartpharmacy.com is currently under construction.

FAIRHAVEN BUILDING MEETING

A public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, at the Fairhaven Park pavilion ( 107 Chuckanut Drive) to talk about a proposed new retail building. The 6,000-square-foot building would go into 3125 Old Fairhaven Parkway, near the WFC store. Arbour North Architecture and Interiors is hosting the meeting.

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