Lauren Kramer | 07/29/2019 | Coffee, Tea & Sweets, Food & Hidden Gems |   

Bellingham’s Makeworth Market a Welcoming Place to Chill

There’s a delicious, light-filled, airy cafe on Chestnut and State in Bellingham that’s making waves among coffee aficionados, locals who want a spacious, communal space where they can work uninterrupted for hours, and lovers of good, simple, honest food. Makeworth Market, a 4,700-square-foot eatery, had been a dream of Corey Silversmith for three decades before it finally opened May 1, 2019.

The building, formerly occupied by a clothing store and a series of small cafes, underwent eight months of renovation during which plaster was removed to expose brick walls, the honey-colored hardwood floors were sanded and refinished and the partition that had once divided the building was removed. The result is 20-foot ceilings in a large open, white-themed space where diners can sit window-side and sip their lattes or grab a table without feeling in any way claustrophic. Décor is modern, rustic and Scandinavian and pendant lights hang in the windows. If there’s one key word in this restaurant, it’s spacious. Thanks to its size, Makeworth Market never feels crowded.

Silversmith, previously in customer service, moved to Bellingham from San Diego three years ago and partnered with KJ Plank, Michael Borden and Mike Gaetke to bring MakeWorth to reality. His food menu features five varieties of gourmet toast so if you’re hungry there’s plenty to choose from. Sweet-toothed patrons will love the almond butter and banana toast or the cream cheese and slow-roasted strawberry jam, while savory fans will prefer the burrata and tomato or the avocado with pickled onion. All are served on red and white wheat bread made by Sophie Williams of Raven Breads. The sweet confections, which include scones and a rotating selection of cakes by Sarah Woods of Gather Confections, include the decadent, multi-tiered brown butter cake with slow roasted strawberries, malted chocolate caramel cake and the vegan chocolate tea cake.

We ordered the not-too-sweet honey lavender latte, a Makeworth specialty that’s a perfect antidote to a hot day. Breakfast time had come and gone so I was glad to sink my teeth into the burrata & tomato toast, an artistic looking combination of fresh pesto, burrata cheese, tomatoes and a drizzled balsamic vinegar reduction. With just the right amount of crunch, the peasant-style wheat bread is thick and satisfying, and its savory toppings combine effortlessly to create a beautiful snack or light meal.

Silversmith met his wife in a café and loves how cafes, his own included, bring people together to socialize or work in a communal space. “Part of why I was so interested in cafes from an early age is precisely that they bring people together – friends reconnecting, people falling  in love,” he reflected. “Our goal at Makeworth Market was to have a large space that allowed a mixed demographic of people, all of whom could feel immediately at home.”

He’s certainly accomplished his goal. This is a space that makes you want to pull up a chair in the sunlight and dive into a good book, or open your laptop and bury yourself in work in a friendly, interesting environment, or meet friends and catch up over a healthy salad (chopped kale with chicken topping or spring house salad). No-one will rush you to evacuate a table here because one of Silversmith’s founding principles for MakeWorth is that it be a home away from home.

Inside, Silversmith and his partners are keeping things interesting. A mural was recently painted on the back wall by local watercolor artist Quinn Dimitroff, whose framed work is also for sale. In the future, a rotating series of artists’ work will be featured on the walls. Retail items include bags, jeans and pottery by Addie Yake, as well as skin products by Herbivore and Herb Essentials.

Silversmith is just getting started at MakeWorth Market and has lots of ideas in the pipeline. Look out for the grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches that will debut soon, and try the coffee selection, which features the full spectrum of favorites from macchiato to cortado, latte to mocha and London fog tea to a basic jasmine green.

“This transition is very exciting for me and it’s exceeding my expectations in every way,” Silversmith confessed. “This is just the beginning!”

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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