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March 29th is a National Mom & Pop Business-Owners Day

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The Washington SBDC, part of WWU College of Business & Economics, along with Sustainable Connections and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership is holding a first annual event to recognize mom & pop business owners, particularly husband-and-wife teams that work and commune together.

  • Public Event
When Mar 29, 2011
from 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Contact Name Jennifer Shelton
Contact Email
Contact Phone (360) 778-1762
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National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, March 29th, is a day to recognize small business owners, particularly husband and wife business owner teams.  To celebrate the important contribution these special businesses make to our community, WWU's Small Business Development Center, Sustainable Connections, and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership have partnered to create a map that highlights local Mom and Pop businesses who have registered to participate.  This map is now available to the public and you can pick up your copy at... 

Back County Essentials
· Downtown Bellingham Partnership
· Sustainable Connections
· Sirena Gelato
· The Upfront Theatre
· WWU Small Business Development Center 

You are encouraged to join in recognizing this national holiday by picking up a map and showing your patronage as a way of thanking our local Mom and Pop businesses. 

This event is made possible by generous sponsorship from:

Interconnect Systems

Jonathan Rands, Attorney at Law

BackCountry Essentials   

Check out some great Mom and Pop stories:



Husband and wife team, Chris Foss had a passion for tropical plants.  Their business they named Greenhouse started as a plant store in downtown Bellingham in 1972 with $1,500 borrowed capital. Greenhouse combined a strong sense of community with an eagerness to meet the changing needs of a growing Bellingham with led to an introduction of house ware products and home furnishings in the mid 1970’s. Carefully selecting a high quality inventory, the collection has evolved to include leather and fabric upholstery, patio and dining furniture, lighting, rugs, art, professional cookware and spirited kitchen ware and accessories offering a singular shopping experience for locals and tourists. 

Launching Success Learning Store 

Success came easily to Barbara and Dan Sanford’s business venture.  Eight years ago the retired teacher couple saw the need for traditional educational materials for teachers and schools and some materials for homeschoolers. As the number of home school families skyrocketed, this department is now one the several specialized product areas in the store.  Partnering within the industry and their community was the key to the store’s success because people respond to relationships. Dan and Barbara work with an amazing number of groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Connection.  They are also involved with after school tutoring programs for low income kids and support Project Education to establish a school in Kenya.  In addition, they invite customers for educational workshops, classes, and special events.  As educators with no special business experience, Dan and Barbara Sanford have certainly launched a successful learning store.

Adventures NW magazine    

Everyone loves adventures, especially those pertaining to outdoor recreation, sports and a healthy lifestyle. For the past 20 years, Paul Haskins and Alaine Borglas have guided their magazine, Adventures NW, and encouraged residents of Whatcom County with the many recreational options available.

Adventures NW quarterly print edition is a full-color, high quality content-rich magazine.  Multiple in-depth articles and brilliant photos contributed by scores of local and regional writers greet readers on every page.  And a tasteful breadth of local, regional, and national advertising helps to support the magazine, allows Adventures NW to support worthy causes and also inspires its readers on every page of each issue.


Grace Harbor Farms   

Two goats started Tim and Grace Lukens on Birch Bay Lynden Road in Custer on a successful farm business in 1999.  Just after the millennium, they started making goat milk soap and later goat milk lotion as a way for the goats to pay for themselves, selling their products at the Bellingham Farmers Market.  When people were telling them about the benefits of goat milk, how their skin problems were cleared up by using the goat milk soaps and lotions, they knew they had launched a new business which led to a successful enterprise today.  

In 2004, while Grace was in a wheelchair, she developed the MSM goat cream, which turned out to be an effective pain reliever.  It became their best selling skin care product.  Recently, they have also added milk products such as goat yogurt and bottled milk from Guernsey cows to their variety of products, which they sell right from their little country store on their property. 


BelleWood Acres        

John and Doris believed and demonstrated that you can be and do anything if you are willing to work for it. They started BelleWood Acres in 1996, by planting apple trees with the help of their children ages 11, 13, and 16.  It was their way of demonstrating to their children and themselves that anything can be achieved with hard work and determination and a bit of help from the community. Haggen Food, the Community Food Coops, the local school district, Sustainable Connections and the NW Ag Business Center taught them to connect to buyers.  John and Doris wanted a business where they could work together as a family, enjoy the outdoors and be part of the vibrant AG community in Whatcom County.  

BelleWood Acres had been an incredible journey filled with frustrations, successes, mistakes, and excitement.  John and Doris learned to listen a little harder, bend a little more, work a whole lot harden, and laugh a lot.  Their home became their business and their business their home – a perfect combination for them.  


Cloud Mountain Farm    

For the past 33 years, Tom and Cheryl Thornton have nurtured their specialty nursery for fruit and ornamental plants. It was the love of nature and hard work that kept them going through the years and brought success to their retail nursery. Nursery selection includes many Japanese maples, dwarf and specialty conifers, both evergreen and deciduous shrubs, as well as an extensive list of fruit and nut trees, and berry and grape plants. Each year their fall fruit festival held for the past 22 years draws hundreds of satisfied customers as they taste the almost 200 varieties of common and uncommon fruits, cider, nuts, jellies, and sauces. The pumpkin patch u-pick in October is a fun family event especially geared to children of all ages. 




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