Portal Way Farm and Garden opened for business in Sept 1983 with a small retail space and limited feed warehouse. Co-owners Bill and Marcia Horat wanted to have a financial future outside of having a raspberry farm and working for British Petroleum (formerly Arco). In the beginning Portal Way didn’t even have a forklift. Luckily for Portal Way they had hired a manager named Phil Hennigs who was able to wrestle 80lb feed sacks (no longer in favor with L&I !). As with any start up business customers were hard to come by, so in between waiting on customers some employees were known to participate in duct tape baseball in the shared feed warehouse with Ferry Brothers slaughter house mechanics. Portal Way started to develop a growing customer base with creative events like their annual Open House Chili Feed beginning in the spring of 1984. By 1986 Portal Way had to expand so they moved to the current location half a mile north on Portal Way to the old Pioneer Ford dealership building. With the larger retail space Portal Way grew rapidly in lawn and garden products to go along with their already strong feed customer base. During the 1990s Portal Way’s business continued to increase, but the rapid urbanization of Whatcom County meant more competition for retail dollars. Portal Way Farm and Garden began relationships with such product buying groups as Wheatbelt and True Value to help compete with larger franchises. The 2000s brought continued development into clothing lines such as Carhartt and Key, and pet food product line expansion. In February 2012 Portal started an internal facelift by tearing up the 50 year old green carpet and opening up the layout of the retail space to help support the life style of the current country store consumer.
Lynden Farm and Garden also has a deep history in Whatcom County feed business. It has had many names over the years including Carnation Country Store, Manna Pro Country Store, Albers Country store and Lynden Farm and Garden. Lynden Farm and Garden is located in an unique location just off Grover St. on Walnut St. The city has grown up around them with industrial and railroad tracks on one side and residential town homes and apartments on the other. This Country Store has deep roots with the dairy industry, despite having stiff competition from Western Farmers at the time. In the early 1980s this location was the top volume selling outlet in the state of Washington for bagged milk replacer. In 1989 the Manna Pro Country Store was purchased by Bill and Marcia Horat and soon after became Lynden Farm and Garden. During the 1990s Lynden Farm and Garden continued to have a strong customer base with the producer market ranging from dairy to beef to chickens and even pigs while developing a base with the horse community. As we turned the calendar to the 2000s we saw this location carry such horse feed brands such as LMF, Allegra, and Albers through the leadership of the staff who had multiple years experience with different horse disciplines. Starting in 2012 the Lynden Store has been under going an internal face lift with more modern colors and a new store lay out; making the future nothing but bright for Lynden Farm and Garden.