Business

Retail Tipsheet: Whatcom County entrepreneur wants to get non-GMO products out to the world

A Whatcom County resident is hoping to change how our food supply works — one box at a time.

Terence Klein recently launched My Non-GMO Box, a service where Klein mails food products that are not genetically modified. This includes local products, such as Nature’s Path granola bars. Customers can order a sample box or specific items from the company’s website, MyNonGMOBox.com.

The goal is to connect people who may not have access to non-GMO food as well as provide an opportunity to sample new products, Klein said.

The debate around GMO is a controversial one, particularly in regard to how food should be labeled. Klein said he’d rather focus on ensuring that consumers continue to have a choice to select products that are not genetically modified. The best way to do that, he said, is to raise awareness and support the companies that have non-GMO certification.

The sampler box has five or six items, depending on weight. He’s hoping that as people try out the products, word of mouth will lead to more orders.

One trend that may be working in his favor is more people are sampling products through the Internet. Successful sites like Stitch Fix, where women create a style profile and are sent clothes and accessories, and Dollar Shave Club, which delivers razors and other grooming accessories, show the concept works.

Klein’s business is not tied to the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit group based in Bellingham, but he supports what they do.

OTHER TIDBITS

-- Ryan Siu has joined Stephanie Oppelaar in the ownership of The Black Drop at 300 W. Champion St. According to a company news release, Siu began as a barista at The Black Drop but left in 2010 to serve in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria. Siu officially took co-ownership of the shop this past fall. Details about The Black Drop can be found at blackdropcoffeehouse.com.

-- Drizzle Olive Oil & Vinegar at 1208 11th St. has applied for a state liquor license to sell beer and wine.

-- J&J Mongolian Grill at the Bellis Fair food court has closed. It had been in the mall since 2005. Replacing it is Go-Grill, which has locations around the world. Customers can select a variety of meats, vegetables and fruit at Go-Grill that then are cooked on a flat-top grill.

-- A new gym recently opened in Ferndale called Club Barbell. It’s at 1420 Pacific Place and offers 24-hour access. According to the company’s website, the gym focuses on weightlifting and self-improvement. Details can be found at clubbarbell.com.

-- It’s National Pie Day on Friday, Jan. 23, and Alice Clark is celebrating at the Book Fare Cafe inside Village Books. Clark, who owns Alice’s Pie, will have her pies for sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. At 7 p.m., Clark will demonstrate her pie pastry techniques with an hour-long class. Details and registration info can be found on the Alice’s Pie Facebook page.

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