Halloween Sponsor: El Capitan’s

We would not be able to put on Downtown Trick-or-Treat if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor El Capitan’s.

El Capitan’s offers up the best late-night sausages and pretzels in Bellingham. Wednesday through Saturday between 9:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., El Capitan’s opens up on El Capitan'sRailroad Avenue to serve Polish dogs, bratwursts, German-smoked dogs, Louisiana hot links, veggie dogs and classic all-beef hot dogs to anyone with taste buds.

Use the do-it-yourself condiment bar to layer on the toppings, which include relish, jalapenos and pepperoncinis. Go bigger and bolder by adding some extras like bacon, cream cheese and grilled onions.

Not quite in the mood for sausages? Grab a warm, soft pretzel with cinnamon and sugar or spicy melted cheddar cheese to make even the worst night into a great one.

El Capitan’s has been in business for more than a decade, making it obvious that their extraordinary sausage-making skills have turned them into a go-to favorite stop for anyone heading downtown during their hours of business. And if you’re not a late night person, they open early at 6:30 pm just for Art Walk!

Trust us: Next time you’re hungry at midnight, El Capitan’s is the place you want to go. Follow them on Facebook to get all of their updates!

Halloween Sponsor: Penny Lane Antique Mall

We would not be able to put on Downtown Trick-or-Treat if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor Penny Lane Antique Mall

Penny LaneLocated deep into downtown Bellingham at 427 W. Holly Street, the Penny Lane Antique Mall features more wares than even the most dedicated antique buyer could ever go through in a single day. In a space of more than 5,000 square feet, Penny Lane has every inch covered with the very best collectibles.

Need a globe? They’ve got 11. Want to own a vintage breadbox or grandma-made embroidered linens? Take your pick. Penny Lane’s buyers even manage to grab mind-blowing items like an arcade-style crane game from 1932.

Penny Lane was named Best Antique Store of 2013 by Bellingham Alive! Magazine for a reason. It features 40 individual antique dealers, each showcasing the best items they can find in a booth within the mall. Even Bellingham’s mayor, Kelli Linville, keeps her seller’s booth at Penny Lane stocked with mid-century modern and teak furniture. Penny Lane1

Whether you’re looking to reminisce on your childhood or discover items from your grandparents’ days, Penny Lane is sure to have what you’re looking for in their collection (and probably some amazing items you didn’t know you were looking for before you got your eye on them)!

Head on down between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. any day of the week to take a look at the very best antiques Bellingham has to offer.

Get to Know: Lulu–Wonderful Things

As per my post about Mi Shoes, I love to shop and anything to do with fashion. So it’s no surprise that I love having someone on our Board of Directors who owns a clothing store! Heather Baker owns Lulu–Wonderful Things, a women’s clothing storLulue on Holly Street. Lulu is celebrating their tenth anniversary all month long, with their big anniversary celebration October 21-31st. At such a perfect time, I want to introduce you to the woman behind Lulu to learn about the history of the store, her love of downtown, and why she is involved with our board.

You’re not originally from Bellingham. What brought you up here?

I was born in Spokane and lived in the San Juan Islands in the late 70’s so I was familiar with the area. Growing up in the Bay area, I decided to move north as an adult and chose Washington because my sister and mother had moved back here. I loved being closer to the outdoors and when I came to Bellingham the first time to visit family I fell in love and knew I had to end up here.

What got you into the retail industry?

My mother has owned stores since I was 5 years old. Her first store was The Strawberry Patch in Friday Harbor. She then opened a number of children’s and women’s clothing stores in the Bay Area. I have fond memories of growing up in the stores helping out and going on buying trips. Despite my fond memories, when I became an adult I turned towards college and teaching children with Autism. It wasn’t until my mother retired 3 years ago that she was able to persuade me into taking over the store. I was hesitant to say the least, as I knew what I was getting into. I love the store and my customers. I am thrilled I listened to her!

Why did your mother decide to open your store downtown?

My mother opened the store over 10 years ago, with its original location on Cornwall Street. LuLu is her 9th retail store and the result of over 40 years of experience. My mother had lived in Bellingham for 10 years before opening the store downtown and had a wholesale craft business during that time. When she sold the business she just couldn’t help herself and had to open another store.

Where’s your favorite place to go to downtown?

Hands down…Ciao Thyme! Great food, great people, great ambiance!

What’s your favorite part about working downtown?

My customers and the feeling of community.

You’re also on the DBP board. What’s your favorite part about being involved with the Partnership?

I have been involved in non-profits for 20 years. I have a strong belief in giving back to the community you live in. I also have a vested interest in helping the downtown to be the best downtown it can be!

Lulu 2Where do you get your inspiration for your store?

That’s easy…from my amazing customers! I listen to them every day and take that to market. I am buying for them, not for me. This is one of the most important thing to remember when you are in retail.

Who is your favorite designer?

This is why I love Bellingham, we are not about designers and neither is LuLu. I love that we represent lines that feature mostly made in America clothing that is stylish, timeless and comfortable. People often ask me what is “in style” and I always respond the same way, “A confident woman is the most stylish woman. Buy clothing that fits perfectly, colors that compliment you and that you feel great in!”

You’re celebrating your 10 year anniversary this month. What are some highlights from the first 10 years?

I would say the transition passing the store from my mother to myself. I have kept many of the same lines, but added some fresh new clothing and accessories to appeal to a broader range of customers. I also added many customer service oriented programs. My customer’s experience at LuLu is my highest priority.

Do you have anything planned for the future of Lulu?

Always improving! Every year I strive to improve everything from how and what I buy to the experience my customer is having in the store. I feel like the store is in a constant evolution process and I don’t see that ever ending.

Make sure to visit Lulu the next time you’re downtown at 124 W. Holly Street, or visit them online at http://www.shopatlulu.com.

Halloween Spotlight: DIS Corp

We would not be able to put on Downtown Trick-or-Treat if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor DIS Corp. 

Headquartered right here in Bellingham, DIS Corp has been a leader of the equipment dealership industry since 1980. Providing business system software to dealers and distributors in the agricultural, construction, and material handling industries is the name of the game for DIS Corp.

DIS_CorpMore than 2,300 equipment dealership centers across North America use DIS software to keep their businesses running smoothly, from the smallest family-run stores to companies with more than 50 locations. DIS Corp has the tools and knowledge to get your company on the right page.

DIS got its start in 1974 when Bob Brim began writing an equipment inventory-control program on an IBM System 3. His father’s tractor dealership, Brim Tractor Company, lost track of a tractor being shipped from London and was direly in need of a new type of equipment management.

Since then, Brim expanded his reach and decided to grow DIS. In the 30 years since DIS officially opened its doors, it’s become one of the most widely sought after business system software companies. DIS is endorsed by companies like Volvo, DitchWitch and Krone for a good reason.

Bellingham is pretty lucky to have a company like DIS call it its home!

Intern with the DBP

Did you know we offer internships? In exchange for class credit, we give internships in Marketing, Journalism, and Event Planning. This summer and fall, we’ve had Demi Cavanaugh in our office, and we’ve just loved having her. She’s been the perfect intern–willing to do whatever we need, dependable, and will love and play with our office dog Atticus (a crucial aspect of our internships). Sadly, it’s Demi’s last week here, so we had her write up a blog about her experience with us.

As a journalism major at Western Washington University I was required to
complete an internship in order to graduate. One day while browsing
through the various summer internships available on the journalism
department’s website, I came across the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s
intern position. One thing that caught my attention about the position was
that I would have the chance to be a part of putting on community events,
such as the Bite of Bellingham and the Downtown Sounds summer concertDemi
series, which is something I was immediately drawn to because it sounded fun and challenging. I have also always wanted to work for a nonprofit organization, so it appealed to me in that sense as well.

My experience as an intern at the Downtown Bellingham Partnership has been awesome. I have gotten valuable exposure to a field I am interested in and I know the skills I have developed through my internship will help me get
a job in either the public relations or event planning industry one day. I would recommend this internship to anyone who has a genuine interest in understanding the inner workings of event planning, or to anyone who aspires to work for a nonprofit organization.

Are you interested in interning with us for the winter? Email us at info@downtownbellingham.com for more info!

Get to Know: Faithlife

When you think of downtown Bellingham, what comes to mind? Probably our abundance of breweries, cozy coffee shops, unique retail stores, right? What about Bible software? Yes, you read that right–Bible software. Our downtown is home to the most advanced Bible software company in the world, Faithlife. Formerly known as Logos Bible Software, Faithlife has over 10 brands under its umbrella, ranging from Bible study apps to worship presentation to mobile education seminary classes. Over 400 employees take up 4 buildings in downtown, and I can attest to the fact that they are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Before joining the Partnership I worked there for almost 2 years, and am still good friends with most of my former coworkers. A fast-paced environment, Faithlife is all about innovation and growing to create new products to better serve churches, universities, and regular people wanting to study the Bible. Something else Faithlife is all about? Serving downtown Bellingham. They were the title sponsor of this year’s Bite of Bellingham, have donated multiple times to our organization, and have helped spread the word about our events. Faithlife holds a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to help you get to know them and their CEO Bob Pritchett a little better. 

Photo from Bellingham Herald

          Photo from Bellingham Herald

Logos (now Faithlife) didn’t originally start here. Why the move to downtown Bellingham?

We started in Kirkland, then moved to Oak Harbor for family reasons. As the business grew we realized we needed to be in a larger community, and we chose downtown Bellingham to have access to restaurants, coffee shops, and an active area.

Since you started in 1992, it’s been Logos Bible Software. Why the switch to Faithlife?

Logos Bible Software is still our flagship product, but we’re now offering a variety of tools, products, and web sites that are all connected by a single user account — your Faithlife account. It just made sense to eliminate the product/company confusion and ‘Faithlife’ encompasses everything we’re doing.

There are over 10 brands under the Faithlife umbrella: Bible Study Magazine, Verbum, Proclaim, and Noet to name a few. Is there one you have a particular soft spot for?

I love them all! It’s been fun growing and learning about new businesses and product categories, but Logos Bible Software is still where my heart is. It’s an incredible tool.

Faithlife has been a huge supporter of the Partnership. Faithlife donated to the Partnership, sponsored this year’s Bite of Bellingham, and you personally have sat on our board and were a judge for the Bite. Why do you feel that the Partnership is so important for downtown Bellingham?

Downtown is the heart of the community, and it (and all of Bellingham) succeeds when we are working together. It’s the critical mass of people, businesses, and ideas in one place that gives Bellingham its energy and momentum. The Partnership plays an important role in hosting events, connecting downtown stakeholders, and representing downtown to the rest of the community.

Faithlife at the Bite

                                                                 Faithlife at the Bite.

Faithlife’s leadership team consists of you, your brother Dan, and your father Dale. Even though it’s a 400+ person company, you still have a family-business feel. Is this intentional?

I think the family feel comes from a lot of people who like each other working together, and the fact that so many early team members are still with us 10 or more years later.

Even though it’s not a ministry, Faithlife creates technology to help students, pastors, and laypeople study the Bible. What inspired you to go into this specific field?

It’s fun building a product people actually use and like, and which makes a difference in people’s lives. The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and the most influential. It’s vitally important to more than a billion people. We offer tools and resources to study God’s Word; how could you pick a better job than that?

You used to work at Microsoft. How have you seen that experience influence your management and leadership style?

I learned a lot in my time at Microsoft, and I think we absorbed some of the good things about their culture (as I experienced it twenty years ago), including a willingness to argue in order to refine an idea and a respect for the right answer regardless of the age or rank of its contributor.

What’s coming up next for Faithlife?

We’ll continue to improve our online and mobile offerings.

And finally, what are some of your favorite spots downtown?

I spend a lot of time in The Woods Coffee in the Flatiron Building, and Ciao Thyme is my favorite place to take a guest for lunch.

Bite of Bellingham 2014 Review

We made it! Thank you to everyone for coming out to this year’s Bite of Bellingham. It was a massive success, the biggest crowd we’ve ever had! The DBP staff had a great time, and we wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our our sponsors, vendors, and Bite from Heraldamazing volunteers for making this event so much fun!

The Bite always has a bit of a friendly competition, with the crowd voting for their favorites. Here are this year’s winners and runner-ups:

Best Gluten-Free Bite:

1. Pure Bliss–Belgian Chocolate Torte
2. Leaf & Ladle–Thai Coconut Soup

Best Drink:

1. Boundary Bay–Root Beer
2. Bayou on Bay–Black Cheery + Rosemary Lemonade

Best Dessert:

1. Pure Bliss–Caramel Turtle Wedge
2. Pure Bliss–Champagne Cupcakes

Best Bite–Judge’s Choice

1. Bayou on Bay–Mushroom Grits with Tasso Gravy
2. Deli’cious Mischief–Willy B’s

Best Bite–People’s Choice

1. Silver Reef Casino–Filet Mignon with Tangy Roquefort
2. Deli’cious Mischief–Willy B’s

So many delicious dishes, I don’t know how you all were able to decide! Again, thank you to everyone for participating in this year’s Bite! Here are some of our favorite shots from the day:

Silver ReefUisceStaffEvolveCute ChildBeer Garden VolunteersBayouFaithlifeRock and RyeThe Table

Get to Know: Mi Shoes

I am of the school of thought that one cannot have too many pairs of shoes. With all the colors, styles, and types (Heels! Boots! Flats!), it’s a never-ending addiction that is fueled by Michelle Bouma and her downtown boutique. Mi Shoes is a shoe-fanatics dream. The walls are adorned with pictures from fashion magazines, and beautiful shelves are stocked full with the cutest and most diverse women’s shoe collection you can find (sorry menfolk). Michelle loves downtown Bellingham, and has spent many an afternoon with me and Lindsey on one of our great downtown patios, chatting away about our vibrant and growing community. Even though I know Michelle and love her dearly, I interviewed her for our blog so that you can love her too. And trust me, you’ll fall in love with this firecracker of a woman!

How long have you worked downtown?

I’ve been working downtown since….well….since I moved to Bellingham in Sept of 2000. I worked at Crusin’ Coffee for a few months while I was getting my bearings. Then started working at Terra Organica January of 2001, teaching dance lessons at Pacific Dance Company on Cornwall shortly there after and in the Summer of 2001, I also started working at Sojourn. I taught dance lessons for a few years and worked, managing Sojourn until Summer of 2005.  That’s the summer I deMi Shoescided to open Mi Shoes!

Why did you open your store downtown?

I decided to open Mi Shoes downtown because I had fallen in love with downtown! I used to venture up to the ‘big city of Bellingham’ with my friends while I was in high school and I always liked Bellingham’s downtown vibe. Working for 4 years at Sojourn helped me to see first hand what the market was like downtown, and who my customer was going to be. The location next door opened up and I jumped at the opportunity! Within two months of the space becoming available…..I’d written a business plan, negotiated a lease, been on my first (and second) buying trips, remodeled the space from floor to ceiling and opened the door to Mi Shoes!!

What’s your favorite part of being downtown?

My favorite part of being downtown?? EVERYTHING!! I live, work and play downtown!  I’m always on foot or on bike. I love running into people I know all over town! Bellingham has such a charming downtown, I am so proud to be part of it!

You’re also on the board for the Pickford. What drew you to that position, and what’s your favorite part about being on the board?

Yes, I’m on the Pickford Board! I was asked to be part of the board two years ago and it happened to be a time when I was trying to figure out how delve deeper into the downtown. Perfect timing! My favorite part of being on the board is being able to take part in the planning of the Pickford’s events. The Oscars party every winter is my favorite event!

What inspires you for your store? How do you find your unique inventory?

I find inspiration for Mi Shoes in everything. People watching….whiskey drinking….magazines….travel adventures….buying trips…antique shopping….online blogs….etc. There is so much creative information out there….it’s hard to put my finger on what really inspires me. My unique inventory is an eclectic mix of my taste and the taste of the customers I’ve grown to know and love. I have connections with brands near and far and I enjoy scouring little known places in cities that I travel to for business or pleasure.

What’s your personal favorite brand/designer?

I have so many favorites when it comes to brands and designers. My favorite shoe brands at Mi Shoes are Frye, Seychelles and Miz Mooz. Frye has been making shoes for 150 years….so they really know how to make a great shoe! Seychelles and Miz Mooz are a little more fashion oriented and both are comfortable, well made shoes. My favorite brands/designers outside of Mi Shoes are endless!! I am obsessed with Free People. Their styling and marketing are so on trend and mind-blowing! I am very tactile when it comes to shopping….it HAS to feel good, so I love brands like James Perse that make super soft t-shirts and jersey dresses.
Mi Shoes 2Do you get the chance to work/collaborate with many other downtown businesses?

I love getting the chance to work and collaborate with other downtown business owners. My favorite collaboration took place from 2006-2009, myself and 3 other business owners (FourStarrs, Paris Texas and Paperdoll) started ProjectBHAM. An event that combined fashion, shopping and entertainment. The event was later downsized and turned into BeautyBAR. Businesses could set up a booth at the event and sell their clothing, accessories, make up, salon services, etc to women watching fashion shows, live music and sipping special drinks! The events were so popular!

What’s your favorite event the Partnership does?

My favorite event put on by the Partnership has to be Downtown Sounds! The turnout is insane! The entertainment is over the top! And the people watching is phenomenal!!! I also do love the sidewalk sales. I’ve been working the sidewalk sales since 2001 when I was managing Sojourn…..I look forward to them every year!

Can you do custom orders for individuals, wedding parties, etc?

Mi Shoes can special order most shoes we have in stock and even some that are not in stock. I work a lot with brides and their bridal parties to customize their wedding footwear! If there is ever a shoe that you see at Mi Shoes that you are interested in a different size or color….ASK! Chances are we can get it for you! :)

Mi Shoes is coming up on its 10 year anniversary. What plans do you have for the next 10 years?

Has it been 10 years already!? Ha! Where does the time go!? It’s hard to believe I’ve been here that long. If the next 10 years pass as quickly as the last 10 I’d better put a plan into action! I have my wheels turning currently and am planning to unveil a new business very soon!!! I’m also very passionate about health and wellness and inspiring people to take care of themselves through healthy eating/cooking and exercise!! I can see myself getting more into this field down the road. I live a super healthy lifestyle and I want to help other people do the same. We only have one body to live in our entire life so we better start taking care of it now!!

Make sure you head on over to Mi Shoes at 1315 Railroad and stock up for Fall!

Teaser Trailer 2: Bite of Bellingham

Today’s blog post is written by our intern, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s a student at Western Washington University studying Journalism.


We’re counting down the days till the Bite of Bellingham, no seriously we are, and you should be too. This year Depot Market Square will host only the best local food vendors and restaurants in our area, from Kurly’s Kart and India Grill to Boundary Bay and Bayou on Bay. For just a few bucks you can sample your way through tasty BBQ, fresh salads and decadent chocolates. Each “bite” at the Bite of Bellingham ranges in cost from $1 to $3. The money you use to purchase your bite-sized portions goes toward the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, so that we can continue to put on events like the Bite of Bellingham, Downtown Sounds, Friday Art Walks, Sidewalk Sale, Holly Days and Trick-or-Treat that keep our beautiful downtown area alive and vibrant! As always, we appreciate your donations and continual support of the Partnership!


This week we are dreaming about:

Pure Bliss Desserts champagne cupcakes. Two tickets will buy you one delicious cupcake made with champagne cake batter baked out and drizzled with champagne simple syrup then topped with raspberry butterscotch. Pure Bliss has won our “Best Dessert” category three years in a row, so be sure to check them out this year and cast your vote!

The Table, known for their handmade fresh pasta’s from the Bellingham Pasta Co. will be serving a thirst-quenching basil infused Arnold Palmer to go with their rich three cheese mac n’ cheese. For just two tickets your taste buds will thank you after trying The Table’s white cheddar, provolone and mozzarella gooey melted bite of love.

Kurly’s Kart, known for his organic potatoes hand-drilled into a perfect curl and made with non-hydrogenated rice bran oil, is where you will find Kurly’s famous poutine. For those not familiar with poutine, imagine crispy golden curly fries, doused in beef gravy then topped with cheese curds and green onions – no this is not a joke!

Try all of these and more on Sunday, September 14, from noon to 4pm at the Depot Market Square. See you then!






Bite Spotlight: Whatcom Educational Credit Union

We would not be able to put on the Bite of Bellingham without the support of our wonderful sponsors. Today our intern Demi Cavanaugh is highlighting proud sponsor Whatcom Educational Credit Union.






The Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) is a nonprofit financial cooperative that encourages its members to save and borrow responsibly. Since 1936, WECU has been serving Whatcom County, and they continually strive to be a socially responsible component of our community as well as to be one of the county’s employers of choice.

WECU is committed to serving the needs of our community by promoting education, health, and community concerns through quarterly donations. In addition, WECU employees participate in an array of sweat equity projects including maintenance of the Bellingham South Bay Trail and Habitat for Humanity landscaping.

WECU’s tax-exempt status allows them to give back to their members in a number of ways including offering the lowest over-draft fee in Whatcom County, lower interest rates, and above-market savings.

At WECU, members are more than just an account number and that is reflected in the quality of products and services they have provided for almost 80 years.

Visit www.wecu.com for more information.