Business is booming in Blaine and Birch Bay

Published on Wed, Mar 6, 2013
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The Peace Arch Business Center offers multiple business services and a strategic location near the Canadian border for start-up businesses, home-based businesses and foreign-owned businesses that seek a physical U.S. presence.

Located in the Windermere Real Estate Building in the Birch Bay Square shopping center, the business center opened for business March 4.

The services offered at the center include office space, virtual offices, reception services, conference rooms and event rooms, mail receiving and forwarding and a dedicated phone number with a personalized answering service.

Mike Kent of Windermere Realty has worked closely with the business center owners to bring the idea to fruition. 

“We are delighted they are here,” Kent said. “What a great idea.”

Managing director Randy Polley said the center seeks to give clients a global reach, but with a community base.

“I’m excited to be part of such a vibrant business community,” Polley said. “We’re close to the border, have proximity to an Asian gateway, the international airport, retail outlets and most importantly access to the heartland of the Pacific Northwest.”

Polley and his wife Cindy have lived in Whatcom County for over 30 years. The grand opening of the center is scheduled for March 16 at 10 a.m. (Correction: March 21, 4–7 p.m.) and the public is invited to tour the facilities. For more info contact Katrina at 360/366-8500 or visit

The Blaine Postal Center offers shipping, receiving and packaging services for locals and Canadians alike. Lyle Elsbree owns the store at 2390 Peace Portal Drive along with his parents, Kathy and Kevin.

Elsbree said the business offers parcel receiving, shipping, mail forwarding, mail boxes and fulfillment services as well as packaging supplies, a fax machine and an ATM.

“People who have their packages shipped here get an e-mail notification from us, at which point they can come and pick it up,” Elsbree said.

The center charges a flat rate of $2.50 for most packages, with no membership fee.

It also offers fulfillment services for small businesses that have products that need to be stored before being shipped out to customers. Blaine Postal Center will store, package and ship those items.

The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

After 5 Fashion, an evening wear boutique based in Vancouver, B.C. has opened a sister location in Birch Bay Square. 

The company specializes in evening wear such as prom, cocktail dresses and other special occasion attire and features designer labels like Ursula, Jovani and Mon Cheri. 

Forty successful years in business, along with high demand from Whatcom County clientele, inspired the owners to open up shop across the border. “We had customers coming up from Bellingham to Vancouver and asking us why don’t you open up in our area,” a spokesperson for the company said. “We have a lot of customers who would rather drive five or ten minutes from White Rock or Surrey to shop as well. It made sense.”

With a good response from customers since the business officially opened last week, there is a grand opening in the works for the near future. “The interest has been unbelievable. There are so many ladies in the area who have formal functions they need to attend, but don’t want to travel to Seattle. We can special order anything they need,” a spokesperson said. “If you find the perfect dress, but it’s the wrong color, it just won’t do. We have relationships with major designers in New York and we can order it in and have it fitted.”

The store is open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

For more info please visit

Vonna’s Purple Fin Restaurant will be opening in Birch Bay this spring.

As soon as the remodel is done, the new family-friendly restaurant specializing in steaks, seafood, pastas and salads along with burgers and sandwiches will open. Owner Vonna Rushing said that she hopes they will be serving food by the first week in April.

Vonna’s Purple Fin Restaurant will entice early birds with a breakfast menu in addition to lunch and dinner.

Rushing is relocating from Cathlamet, Washington where she spent 12 years in the restaurant industry.

“I will be bringing two cooks with me, Trisha Burdett and Ron Talbert,” Rushing said. “Trisha has cooked for about 20 years and her specialty is breakfast. She is the best I’ve ever seen.” Rushing said Talbert is her dinner specialist and one of the top cooks in Cathlamet.

“Our quality of product is top of the line. We want only the best for our customers,” Rushing said, “We pride ourselves on providing homemade food, cleanliness and superb customer service.”

Located next to the C Shop at 4823 Alderson Road, Vonna’s will also be serving beer and wine.

“I love the area and the friendly atmosphere of Birch Bay and I am looking forward to getting to know all the locals.” Rushing said. “We’re excited to be here.”

Vonna’s Purple Fin Restaurant will open for breakfast at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Hours will be extended until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more info, call Vonna at 360/957-0084.

Katie’s Corner, a new children’s consignment store specializing in high-end children’s clothing, furniture, strollers and toys along with maternity clothes for moms-to-be is opening its doors in Birch Bay Thursday, March 7.

Katie’s Corner, named after Katie Montague, one of the owners, offers new and gently used items. Montague and her business partner Gina Weigum believe there is a need for their shop in the Birch Bay and Blaine community.

“Everyone is ready for us to open,” Weigum said. “There has been tremendous support and excitement from families all over.”  

Katie’s Corner is family friendly, and has a play area so that kids can be entertained while their parents shop. “We’ve tried to anticipate the needs of the entire family, “Montague said, “We have designer name brand clothing, high-end toys and furniture, and a well-organized shop.”

“The support and consigned items from our customers has been amazing,” Weigum stated. Weigum lives part-time in Birch Bay and Bellevue and has been able to draw on a large community to supply her store. “Not only have we been able to pull from the Birch Bay community, we’ve collected a great deal of items from friends in the Bellevue community as well.”

Resale shopping has become popular in recent years in part due to the economy. High-end items offer shoppers the ability to have the designs and styles they desire at a fraction of the cost if they were to buy new.

Katie’s Corner is located at 4823 Alderson Road, suite 105, next to the C Shop. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and  Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

For more info call Katie’s Corner at 360/778-3795.