Business

Retail Tipsheet: Whatcom business aims to make dinner less hectic

Co-owners Jane Holland, left, and Debbie Hughes sort ingredients for tortellini soup at their new business, Make Take Bake, on Hannegan Road south of Lynden on Thursday, March 3, 2016.
Co-owners Jane Holland, left, and Debbie Hughes sort ingredients for tortellini soup at their new business, Make Take Bake, on Hannegan Road south of Lynden on Thursday, March 3, 2016. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Deciding what to do about dinner is a daily dilemma for many families. A new business offers an option for those who want home-cooked meals while having some fun.

Debbie Hughes and Jane Holland recently opened Make Take Bake, which organizes freezer meal prep parties. The facility is at Hinotes Corner at 6912 Hannegan Road where groups of people can come and put together 10 meals that each feed five people. Customers assemble all the ingredients at the business, then cook at it home when they’re ready for that meal.

Making dinners ahead of time at a commercial kitchen is not a new idea; several years ago there were at least three of these kind of businesses in Bellingham. Hughes and Holland believe promoting group parties will make it more enjoyable.

“You get to catch up with friends or meet new ones,” Hughes said.

To encourage group parties, the host receives 5 percent off his or her set of meals for each guest, with a minimum of 10 guests to qualify. So at 20 guests, the meals are free for the host. People also can join other parties through the company’s website MakeTakeBake.com or through its Facebook page.

The bonding and training is fun and it shows the value of cooking healthy food.

Debbie Hughes, co-owner of Make Bake Take at Hinote’s Corner.

The company has a grab-and-go area where Hughes and Holland prepare and package the meals for pickup on a first-come, first-serve basis. With the business on a popular commute route, people can swing by and pick up dinner on the way home from work.

As the company gets going, the owners also are looking at hosting prep parties for special occasions, like before Mother’s Day or Christmas. They also are considering events for parents and children to work together on dinners.

“The bonding and training is fun and it shows the value of cooking healthy food,” Hughes said.

As for the menu, examples include chicken dumpling casserole, beef stew, pulled pork and breakfast burritos. There also are some vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Make Take Bake is having a grand opening event from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 12. It will include a drawing for products from nearby merchants, appetizers as well as examples on how the prep parties work.

ROUND TABLE PIZZA GETTING NEW LOOK

Round Table Pizza has submitted a tenant improvement permit to do a $200,000 remodel for its Sunset Square space, which is at 1145 E. Sunset Drive. It is a big project where the restaurant will expand 1,000 square feet and will have a large arcade room and a 21-and-over pub seating section. The pub will have 18 beers on tap, including some from local breweries, said Shawn Sharrow, CEO of the Bellingham and Mount Vernon Round Table Pizza restaurants.

The menu also will get a makeover. Round Table will introduce a new lineup of burgers and appetizers. The restaurant will be renamed Round Table Clubhouse with a focus on pizza, pub and play. The pizza will remain the same but the pizza offerings will expand. Construction is scheduled to start this spring.

NEW BISTRO OPENING SOON IN LYNDEN

Lynden has a new bistro in the Dutch Village Mall.

Robin and Matt Hungerford are aiming for a Wednesday, March 9, opening of The Mill by Perfectly Paired at 655 Front St. The bistro will feature meats and cheeses along with a full bar to pair with menu items for lunch and dinner. The menu will include panini sandwiches, salads and flatbreads.

The Hungerfords also own Perfectly Paired in Fairhaven.

The restaurant will have a retail area where customers can pick up meats and cheeses to take home. It also will have periodic winemaker pairing dinners, Robin Hungerford said in a news release.

“Our goal is to bring a smile to each customer through our passion for food and wine,” she said in the news release.

Hours for The Mill are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. For further details, call 360-778-2760 or visit its Facebook page.

OTHER TIDBITS

Lynden Floor Design has closed its Bellingham store in Hannegan Square to focus on refreshing its Lynden store at 2017 Front St., according to an announcement on its Facebook page. ... Fairhaven Toy Garden has announced that it is moving into a new space within the district. The toy store will be moving into the former Brenthaven space at 909 Harris Ave. in mid-April, according to an email to customers. The store is currently at 1147 11th St. and having a moving sale.

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