Business Blog

Catching up on Whatcom County biz tidbits

As we get closer to the end of 2014, it’s a busy time for local business transactions. Here’s an update:


Chipotle Mexican Grill

is now aiming for a Saturday, Nov. 15 opening, said Bellis Fair General Manager Rene Morris. It is not clear yet what time the restaurant is opening or if there are some grand opening events. I will post an update here when I get it. UPDATE: Chipotle will open at 10 a.m. on Nov. 15

•  Ferndale-based


has split off its anaerobic digester division.

It will have the same ownership as a division of Andgar, but will operate under its new name, Regenis. Andgar has operated in Northwest Washington for decades as a general contractor while also offering metal fabrication, plumbing and heating/cooling services. In 2004 it built its first anaerobic digester, which turns waste into energy. The company has completed 12 digester projects for dairy farms in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Regenis is currently completing its first project in California.

•  Heininger Holdings recently purchased the assets of Parasol Enterprises and merged the umbrella business into the desination gear division of Heininger Holdings. Heininger Holdings offers a variety of specialty travel products, including bike carriers, products for pets on the go and items for the garage.

Details about Heininger can be found at

•  Caliber Home Loans Inc. recently completed its acquisition of Cobalt Mortgage Inc. The acquisition allows Caliber to expand into new markets, including the Pacific Northwest, said Joe Anderson, CEO at Caliber.

With the acquisition, Caliber now has an office in Bellingham, at 2200 Rimland Drive, in the Barkley District. Caliber is headquartered in Irving, Texas. For details on the company, visit

•  Polished Petite Spa in Bellingham ceased operations on Monday, Nov. 10.

The spa opened at 2336 James St. in May 2013, but owner Sage Bishop said she has struggled to find enough qualified nail technicians since then.

“No business owner makes this decision lightly as there is an enormous financial and emotional investment that is lost forever,” Bishop said in a news release. “We have tried to find nail techs since we opened. We often could not fill appointments customers wanted during the past few months because we did not have the staff.

Bishop said the adjacent Labels Women’s Consignment Store at 2332 James St. and the Labels store at 3927 Northwest Ave. are doing well and remain open.

•  Bellingham-based itek energy is opening a new solar module plant in Minneapolis.

The facility is expected to open in early 2015, according to a news release.

According to the news release, itek has a workforce of 72 at its Bellingham facility. The company manufactures solar equipment and materials. Details can be found at


Dakota Creek Winery

recently signed a distribution agreement with

Walton Beverage

for the distribution of its wines to restaurants and retailers in five Washington counties.

“We are excited as this new partnership will expand the availability of our wines to our customer base in Washington,” said Ken Peck, owner of the winery, in a news release. “”With Walton Beverage, Dakota Creek will expand its distribution along the I-5 corridor north of Seattle.”

The wines will continue to be available at the winery, which is at 3575 Haynie Road in Blaine.