Retail Tipsheet: Fairhaven store tapping into foodie and wine trends

Colleen Mitchell had an inking that residents wanted more gourmet food and wine choices when she opened her store two years ago, but business has really taken off.

Mitchell recently began adding more products at her Culinary Creations store, which is at 1210 11th St. in Fairhaven. While the store has its kitchen and linen items, Mitchell has expanded the gourmet foods section and the selection of wines. When she first started, customers were often buying items as gifts, but now more are coming in to buy things they enjoy. Along with food and wine, she’s had fun ordering unique home-related items like copper mirrors and ice buckets.

“We’re seeing new customers every day, so we continue to bring in new products,” Mitchell said.

She originally wanted it to be the type of store where customers can hang out, and she’s been working to accomplish that by having regional wine and beer tastings and a flat-screen television, which is popular during sporting events. The store also has local beers on tap, so one person of a couple can sit and relax while the other shops.

Mitchell said one reason the business is seeing more customers is that Fairhaven seems to be getting more visits from local residents and visitors from the Seattle area. That’s helped make up for the weaker Canadian dollar and fewer visitors from British Columbia, she said.

In the coming months Mitchell plans to bring in someone from a winery each month to talk and provide samples of their wines. Details about the business can be found at its Facebook page.


Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County has closed its Ferndale retail outlet.

The Bellingham store, which opened at 1825 Cornwall Ave. in June 2014, will continue to operate as usual, according to a news release from the organization. Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors evaluated the idea of keeping both places open before deciding to close the Ferndale store.

“The Board of Directors concluded that consolidating operations and reducing overhead would produce more value and provide greater resources to support the core mission of Habitat for Humanity; the building and renovating of affordable homes,” said John Moon, Habitat’s executive director in the news release.

Details about the organization can be found at


-- Elizabeth Station at 1400 W. Holly St. is throwing itself a three-day party to celebrate its third anniversary March 6-8. The main event is 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7, when events include bringing in food trucks and live music. Details can be found at its Facebook page.

-- The 36th annual Whatcom County Home and Garden Show is also March 6-8. It will be at the Northwest Washington Fair & Event Center in Lynden and feature more than 170 vendors for folks interested in home building, gardening and interior design. Details can be found at the

-- Commercial photographer and web designer Peter James has expanded to create a photography gallery. It will feature James’ work of Northwest Washington landscape photography. A grand opening event is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12. The ribbon-cutting will have food, drinks and music, according to a news release from James. The Peter James Photography Studio is at 314 E. Holly St. For details, visit

-- Ferndale-based Barron Heating has added weatherization and electrical divisions to the company. “After subcontracting more than a million dollars in electrical and weatherization work over the past year, it became clear that consumers appreciate one point of contact. We felt as long as we could offer the same or improved solutions and a more attractive price, it made sense to pass those savings along to the consumer,” said Chris Baisch, general manager for the company in a news release. Details about the company can be found at