Food & Beverage
We’re an eat local, drink local community.
From farm-to-table dining, to locally-crafted brews, to the best Dutch Panekoikken you’ll find outside of Holland—Whatcom County offers a truly diverse range of culinary experiences. With plenty of access to locally-grown goods and a tight-knit community proud of its culinary roots, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more supportive food and beverage community than in Whatcom County.
Plus, with 8 million consumers within a 90-mile radius, you get to benefit from a huge customer base, while keeping your costs of living and doing business significantly down.
Loyal Customer Base
From Bellingham Beer Week, to Downtown Sounds, to Bellingham Veg Fest, to Dirty Dan’s Seafood Festival—we’re never short on opportunities to showcase your products to the local community. The Portal is the Port of Bellingham’s Container Village hub at the heart of the redeveloping Downtown Waterfront. Featuring five local businesses creatively operating out of metal shipping containers, The Portal has something for everyone to explore! Local grocers, like the Community Food Co-op, Haggen, and The Markets are always stocked with locally-made hot sauce, cookies, wine, and more. So, whether you are a food truck, diner, or brewer, we’re small enough to make you a big deal and big enough to keep customers coming.
Know Your Farmer
Agriculture has been the backbone of the Whatcom County economy for decades, which means there are plenty of local delights to choose from—from cremini mushrooms, to roasted hazelnuts, to fresh Honeycrisp apples, to loads of fresh veggies—much of what you need to support your business can be sourced locally.
In fact, many businesses support and are a part of Sustainable Connections’ “Eat Local First” program—a program that encourages businesses to source their food purchases from food grown, raised, or caught locally and sustainably, and promotes businesses for doing so.
A Brewer’s Paradise
Some cities have a Starbucks on every corner. Bellingham has a brewery on every corner. From new brews like Kulshan’s Kitten Mittens, to beloved classics like Boundary Bay’s Scotch Ale, Whatcom County’s award-winning lineup of breweries and distilleries are some of the best in the country.
While we’re ranked as the nation’s “Snobbiest Beer City,” there’s no snootiness amongst fellow brewers. When you open a brewery or distillery in Whatcom County, you can expect the same warm welcome all our brewers have received. Share your ideas, talk about lessons learned, and get connected with the local brewing community.
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Coffee Makes the County Go ‘Round
In true Washington style, Whatcom County runs on caffeine. With the most drive-up espresso stands in the state, Whatcom County is home to beloved brands, like The Woods Coffee, Tony’s Coffee, Cruisin’ Coffee, and Hammerhead Coffee. We’re the perfect place to open a new roasting facility, a cozy cafe, or a drive-up coffee stand.
Bellingham Technical College offers a world-class Culinary Arts program, taught by award-winning faculty. This program equips graduates for a variety of careers as food managers, caterers, bakers, sous chefs, deli workers, and more! Reach out to BTC to recruit your next chef or to start a new internship program with your company. Email email@example.com or call 360-752-7000 for program details.
CONTACT YOUR FOOD & BEVERAGE SUPPORT TEAM
CJ Seitz WWU SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The SBDC is your go-to team for small business help. They’ll connect you with a Certified Business Advisor, who will help you create a business plan, develop financial forecasts, obtain financing, handle human resources, and more.
DEREK LONG Sustainable Connections
Sustainable Connections offers advice and workshops for entrepreneurs and business professionals. They offer a local forum where businesses come together to transform and model an economy built on sustainable practices.
Alice Clark Downtown Bellingham Partnership
Learn more about downtown Bellingham’s activities, restaurants, culture, and the benefits of doing business here. Contact the Downtown Bellingham Partnership today.