Owner of Bellingham juice shop talks about what's next for her after she sells her business
Abbe Rolnick is ready for the next cycle of life.
Rolnick has decided to put the Robeks store in the Barkley district up for sale. The fresh juice and smoothie franchise was opened by Rolnick at 3110 Woburn St. in 2005. It’s a business that survived the ups and downs of the economy, and she’s ready to pass some of that knowledge along to someone else.
Looking back at the years of running Robeks has taught Rolnick plenty. She opened at a time when the Barkley district was growing, learning to adjust while all the construction was going on around her business. She opened a second store in the Sehome Shopping Center in 2006, but learned she was spreading herself too thin – she eventually closed that spot. The Barkley location weathered the Great Recession around 2008 with the help of a loyal customer base.
“Robeks is like the ‘Cheers’ of the community, where people come in every day and we learn how they are thriving,” Rolnick said. “(Watching others thrive) keeps us all going.”
Thriving is a key concept for Rolnick and applied it to Robeks, even during the tough times. Her current husband, Jim Wiggins, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, taking her away from the store more often. She learned to put more trust in her employees, particularly her manager, and the business thrived as a result, she said. Her husband is now cancer-free.
In recent years she has discovered other pursuits. She now lives on 20 acres of property in Skagit County and has found joy writing books. Her experience with her husband’s cancer inspired one of her books, “Cocoon of Cancer: An Invitation to Love Deeply.”
MI SHOES, HEROINE TO HAVE CLOSING BUSINESS SALES
After 12 years of business in downtown Bellingham, Michelle Bouma has decided to make a life change by closing her businesses.
Bouma will be closing Mi Shoes, which she opened in 2005, and Heroine Clothing, which she opened in 2015. She plans on having a liquidation on July 1 through the end of the month. She also recently closed the Mi Shoes store in Lynden.
In a letter to employees, friends and family, Bouma said she loves Bellingham and plans on staying here, but needs a change.
“I have always valued freedom, happiness, simplicity, independence and building meaningful connections by empowering the women around me,” Bouma said in the letter. “In order to remain authentic to myself and my family, I’ve come to realize that this change is necessary for my personal growth.”
Good Burger in Ferndale has moved into the same building as Buck’s Barbecue at 2054 Main St. Both menus will remain in place and the same staff, but just in one space, according to the company’s Facebook page. ... Local breweries hauled away quite a few medals at the recent Washington Beer Awards. Chuckanut Brewery came away with eight medals and also won the coveted Large Brewery of the Year award. Kulshan Brewing picked up three medals, Wander and Aslan breweries each snagged two while Boundary Bay and Stones Throw breweries each won a medal.