Businesses set up shop, reopen and expand

Published on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 by Brandy Kiger Shreve

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CORRECTED (8/10/13)

Needful Things reincarnated

Sometimes, plans just change.

After announcing that she would be closing her Peace Portal Drive consignment shop to move to Las Vegas in April, owner Brenda Graves found herself facing a change of heart.

“I just became unsettled about moving,” she said. “I decided I really didn’t want to leave after all.” A little soul searching helped her decide that instead of picking up and starting over, she would stay put and reinvent her shop as a home decor haven.

She’s given the store a makeover and cleaned out her inventory from her consignment days. The store now features a new name (Needful Things Amore), which Graves said helps her embrace her love of Paris and gives new meaning to the work she’s doing. “It’s about things we love to have in our homes and love to do,” she said. “I’m no longer taking consignors. Instead I’m focusing on what I really love – collecting and selling estate sale pieces and teaching classes on how to refinish and refurbish furniture. I think it will be great fun to channel that energy into encouraging people and helping them along with their projects.” 

The classes will be held twice a month, Graves said, but she hasn’t yet solidified her schedule. “They’ll be six hour classes, so bring a lunch, and we’ll be going over how to use cottage paint on furniture and the different techniques you can elicit from that medium.”

Cottage paint is a thicker furniture paint that requires no stripping or sanding before application and can be applied on virtually any surface, Graves said. The classes will cost $40–$50 $80 for materials and time. “I want to make them as economical as possible,” Graves said. 

Graves will be stocking cottage paint in her store as well. Needful Things Amore is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the store or classes Graves is offering, call 360/656-5762 or email

New sanctuary offers help for special needs cats

Silver Cloud Special Cat Sanctuary is working to find loving homes for cats whose age, temperament or health status make them unlikely candidates for adoption through the animal shelter. 

“We’re focused on those kitties who have special needs – who are older, maybe formerly abused or have an illness like feline leukemia,” director Cathy Fouts said. “A lot of these animals, even if they might be missing a limb or a little fearful, can make great long-term companions if they are placed in the right home.” 

Fouts said she founded the foster care network when she saw a gap in the services offered by former cat sanctuary Eva’s Eden. “They just didn’t have the resources necessary for special needs cats,” Fouts said. “So, even before Eva’s Eden closed, I was already looking into how I could start this program.”

Fouts said that there are currently 18 cats in foster care through the Silver Cloud Special Cat Sanctuary, and while she is currently at her max, she is always looking for volunteers and foster homes to help carry the load. Nevertheless, she won’t turn a cat away. 

“Even if I don’t have the means to take them at the moment, I’ll network out to find a home for them if they need it,” Fouts said.

Adoption fees for the Silver Cloud Special Cat Sanctuary are $65 and include the cat’s shots, micro chipping and a spay or neuter. A home check is required. If you are a renter, Fouts also requires proof of landlord permission before a cat can be adopted. “It needs to be a safe place for them,” Fouts said.

For more information on how to adopt or foster a cat through the sanctuary, call 360/393-7026 or visit

Silver Cloud Special Cat Sanctuary is a Washington-registered nonprofit organization. 

Semiahmoo Resort reopens

After nearly nine months of sitting in quiet repose, the iconic yellow resort on Semiahmoo spit is slated to once again offer a warm welcome to visitors on Thursday, August 15 – as long as all the permits are approved.

“We’re considering it a soft opening, but we’re working fast and furious to get it ready to go,” said Coastal Hotels president Yogi Hutsen. Coastal Hotels will manage the daily operations of the resort. “It’s a lot of work to get the place looking great again, and we’re deep cleaning everything to get there.”

Although Hutsen said truckloads of new mattresses, pillows and 42-inch plasma TVs have made their way into the resort in preparation for the new guests, much of the interior remodel will be held off to the winter months. “We just want to get it open and make sure people are coming back so they can enjoy their summer and the beauty of the spit,” Hutsen said. 

In light of that, they’ve spent a lot of time and effort on getting the exterior of the building back into tip-top shape by replacing wood and shingles and taking care of leaky roofs. “There won’t be any dry rot in the building at all,” Hutsen said, adding that they are in the middle of repainting the 300-bed resort complex in bold strokes.

“It’ll still be yellow, but it’s a new yellow,” Hutsen said. “It’s very bold, because it can get gray here and we need bold colors.”

Packers Lounge and Oyster Bar is scheduled to reopen at the same time and will be led by chef Eric Truglas, a native of Paris and an Epicurian world master chef. “We’re excited to have him on board,” Hutsen said. “He’s revamping the menu and has a lot of great ideas.” 

For more information, visit

Blaine business expands

Jovan’s Pure Nutrition, a Blaine-based manufacturer of natural food products, has expanded its product line with the acquisition of Aldrich Farms, a Bellingham company that sells gourmet jams, jellies, mustards, sauces and more. 

“We’re pleased to offer the high-quality products of Aldrich Farms,” said Jovan Johnson, president of Jovan’s Pure Nutrition. “We would like to expand its reach to markets around the Pacific Northwest.” 

Jovan’s Pure Nutrition is a wholesaler of Jovan’s All Natural Instant Breakfast and Jovan’s Whole Food Gluten Free Artisan Crackers throughout the United States and now in Canada. The company will also launch three new lines of products this fall that complement its all-natural emphasis in the wholesale market.

Johnson founded the company in 2007. “I became passionate about giving my body the fuel it needed to thrive,” she said. “The foods we choose to eat can play a major role in how we look and feel, and even how we heal.”

“All our goods are made with ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits and great taste,” Johnson said. “Aldrich Farms is a natural fit.”

For more information, visit