Band members, from left, Sonny Lowe, Lars OConnor and Bert Loeffler of “Lefty in the Right Hand Band” perform during the Goods Second Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 19. // Photo by Grady Haskell
People huddled under umbrellas and buildings to celebrate Goods Local Brews second anniversary Saturday, Oct. 19. The all-ages festival included face painting, games, dancing, pumpkin carving, food trucks and beer.
The taphouse, owned by Molly Fay, Cory Bakker and Tim Miller, has hosted community events every few months since their opening, Fay said. It stays active in the Columbia neighborhood community, collaborating with other breweries, like Kulshan Brewing, hosting pop-up shops and viewing parties for football and soccer games.
“We believe the local community is the heart of happiness within people’s daily lives,” Fay said. “I feel that we built a community, our customer base in the Columbia neighborhood. We really wanted to give back to our community and listen to what they wanted.”
Fay and Bakker also own the Goods Nursery and Produce stand connected to the taphouse. The produce section of the stand is open April to November for fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s also open in December for Christmas trees.
It was important for Fay and Bakker to operate a business that wasn’t just seasonal, Fay said. They wanted to have a way to interact with their community all the time.
The duo began working toward opening a taphouse but wanted support from the local community first.
“We started talking with our customers and getting their take on it,” Fay said. “We then decided to venture [into] the beer scene. We really wanted to capitalize on the growing trend of breweries.”
Then, third owner Miller came into the picture and Goods Local Brews started to come together.
Not only is the community important to the owners, but the same ideology is shared by their bartenders. Rita Caufield has worked at Goods Local Brews since June and found the culture the most important part of the job.
Caufield quit her day job to work at the taphouse full time and to spend more time with her community.
“We are smack dab in the middle of the Columbia neighborhood,” Caufield said. “Our neighbors come together with us and enjoy [the environment] and add to it as well. Just kind of makes it like a family event.”
Recently, the taphouse has partnered with Bellingham Handmade in Bellingham’s Handmakers Market. Every Sunday, April through October, the collaboration rotates 10-12 vendors in efforts to support local businesses at Goods Local Brews.
“Building community through community is the only way that you can establish a long-lasting relationship,” Fay said. “The sense of stability within your neighborhood where you feel safe, and you can count on your neighbor.”