Out With the Old and in with the New

Historic Fairhaven has some new changes in their stores


Yoshimi Lin, Arts/Media Editor

Rocket Donuts and Rustics, local stores in Bellingham closed down this fall. After their years of business, these stores have taken a new direction of where their company is going and has allowed an upbringing of new businesses to rise into the community.

Rocket Donuts served in Bellingham for 15 years with two stores, one located in Downtown Bellingham (306 West Holly Street) and Fairhaven (1021 Harris Avenue), a co-owned store, “Rocket Donuts & ACME Ice Cream”. 

With the closing of Rocket Donuts posted on their Facebook account (@Rocket Donuts), “Rocket Donuts Blasting Off’, the post stated that the owner Jim Swift came to the decision to close the business. Their Bellingham location will  be turned over to the building’s new owner, Mike Hammes of Ram Construction, and their Fairhaven location to be “ACME Ice Cream’s new flagship scoop shop”. 

“We want to share locally produced ice cream, give Bellingham a local spot to showcase what we make here, and people to fall in love with something that can be purchased,” Stephanie Basilio, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for ACME Ice Cream, said. 

With the closing of the store on Holly Street, ACME had to move their ice cream  production to another location. Moving to their new warehouse located only several miles away from Downtown Bellingham, the company now produces their packaged ice cream. From there, the ice cream is distributed to many locations throughout Bellingham and some extending beyond the state of Washington. 

“Basically our business is about growing grocery sales. Buy at the cafe and then buy at the store. It promotes local business,” Basilio said. The decision to close down Rocket Donuts was made by  Swift. “(Swift) wanted to redirect his focus and focus on ACME ice cream. Zane Burger, FatPie,” Basilio said. 

ACME also wanted to add that many of their current workers were graduates of Sehome and wanted to extend their gratitude and appreciation of this article by opening up a discount open to all Sehome students and staff. 

“All students and staff who present their Sehome ASB card/ Staff ID can receive a 10% discount off their purchase at the Fairhaven location.”*

Not too far away from the donut closure, another store also took a change in their name and direction . Rustic, a local coffee shop located in Fairhaven (1319 11th St), sold and closed their business.  It is now run by Lily Lovell and Kyle Hooper who are renovating the space. The incoming business is called “CafeBlue” and is scheduled to open soon. 

“I’ve worked at Rustic for the past year and a half, and on July 31st my husband, Kyle, and I bought the business’s assets.” Lovell said. Shortly after the purchase, the two began working full-time hoping to create a specialty coffee, in-house pastries, and small breakfast/brunch cafe. 

“It has always been a crazy dream of mine to open a cafe, but no one ever thought it would be possible,” Lovell said. As her time working at Rustic has given her so much familiarity and love for the Fairhaven community, she hopes that the both of them can make the space very warm and inviting. 

“But, one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that if you commit to doing what you love and what makes you happy, you’ll probably get pretty good at those things and opportunities will present themselves,” Lovell said.

CafeBlue plans to have a party (open to the public) on September 20th with the business to officially open a few days later. You can follow them on their Instagram: @cafebluefairhaven to stay caught up on their updates and opening dates. 

The closing of long-lasting businesses has allowed opportunities for new businesses to  shine in the Fairhaven neighborhood. The closing of Rocket Donuts has allowed ACME to continue its growth and production of its ice cream and the closure of Rustic has allowed two individuals to pursue their dream of  opening a cafe. It is still undetermined how the journey for these two businesses will go, but they might mark another Fairhaven classic for the residents and tourists that walk about the streets.

*Offer is valid until the end of 2019.