Submitted by: City of Blaine
Local organic clothing and home products manufacturer is almost ready to open their new retail outlet, an organic, vegan restaurant in downtown Blaine at the corner of Peace Portal Drive and Marine Drive.
Last year Rawganique moved their 20-year old organic clothing and home products business from Denman Island, Canada to Blaine. Founders Qeanu and Quo and their new and growing team have been busy managing production and shipping, while also planning and overseeing renovation of the former Subway Restaurant at 429 Peace Portal Drive. The new location will house Rawganique’s flagship retail outlet and an organic, vegan restaurant. The store and restaurant are scheduled to open in early August.
Rawganique added six jobs upon moving to Blaine and expects to add at least five more with the opening of the retail outlet and restaurant. In addition to clothing, Rawganique will carry a line of organic, vegan, cruelty-free mattresses, toppers, comforters and pillows. All bedding is handmade by artisans in the USA. Future plans include made-to-order clothing in the store, but currently most clothing lines are made in Europe and on Denman Island, BC, Canada, and organic towels, blankets and bras in the USA.
Rawganique will regularly feature local artisans teaching their traditional crafts and displaying their products. They want to show that it’s still possible for anyone to learn a skill and make ropes, shoes, soap and paper, and weave, sew, knit and crochet, using organic natural fibers and chemical-free techniques. They hope to show that there’s an alternative to importing un-natural sweatshop-products.
The restaurant side of the business will include a refreshing selection of organic juices and smoothies, as well as ready-to eat vegan options, and coffee and pastries. In addition there will be salads, soups and Buddha Bowls. Especially exciting are small-batch vegan gourmet ice creams, which are a rare specialty, not found in many places, even big cities. Rawganique looks forward to hearing from visitors about what else they would appreciate having. The menu is expected to evolve over time.
The shop and restaurant’s opening date have not been set, but is anticipated in early August. Rawganique brings a new, unique restaurant option to Blaine, and the retail outlet is the first new retailer in several years.
When asked what made them choose Blaine, Qeanu K. Wallner, Rawganique co-owner and founder, said that “Blaine is stunningly beautiful, with its picturesque coastline, mild Pacific Northwest climate, and lots of nature and wildlife still intact. Blaine is also a bustling center of shipping and distribution, which benefits our warehouse operations. Sandwiched between the internationally-minded hubs of Seattle, Bellingham, White Rock and Vancouver, Blaine is refreshingly international in outlook. We definitely felt the eco-conscious vibes when we visited, and have met so many like-minded people here that we feel right at home. In addition, the City of Blaine has been very helpful, informative and supportive in so many ways. We are proud to call Blaine our new home and look forward to contributing to and growing with the city.”
City Manager, Michael Jones, noted that “We’re seeing a renaissance of sorts in our downtown right now, and Rawganique is a key part of that. Places are opening, expanding and changing. Restaurant choices are important to visitors and our options keep expanding. Retail is important too. It’s a part of what makes downtown a downtown.”
Bonnie Onyon, Blaine Mayor, commented that “Rawganique’s store and restaurant are a great addition to our up and coming downtown district. Retail is a very important part of a downtown. People need places to stop, learn and discover new things, to have a reason to stay a while and meet people. Retail does that, and Rawganique will add an exciting lifestyle venue and point of interest for visitors and locals alike.”