BDA Member Spotlight:
“Whisk is for everyone – for those who love to entertain and want to refine their cooking skills, home chefs who want to keep up with cooking trends, aspiring cooks, and serious foodies alike."
- Whisk co-founders Don and Ann Perinchief
Anyone who peruses the hybrid culinary school and retailer will discover exactly that - something skillfully crafted that scratches a baking itch or inspires you to update your tablescape.
As a dedicated BDA member since 2016, we wanted to speak with co-owner Don Perinchief to explore the history of our partnership, hear a small-business perspective on the shifts within the Bellevue landscape and dig into how a vested interest in community activation can have widespread effects.
Together, our members support us in a collaborative mission to build lasting connection in the Downtown neighborhood and strengthen the urban core.
While the pandemic has created enormous shifts in how our partners, stakeholders and members do business, the decision to commit to Downtown improvement through BDA membership has immeasurable impact. Since COVID-19 arrived in March last year, 27 regional businesses and nonprofits have joined us in championing Downtown amid a time of unprecedented change. To share our gratitude for these valued contributions, we're calling attention to new and longstanding members alike in a new membership spotlight series.
BDA: In the nearly five years you've been a BDA member, what striking developments have you noticed on your street or in the Downtown core more broadly?
Don: I think more broadly in the Downtown core, what I've noticed is how the BDA has really helped by partnering with Old Bellevue to ensure that these businesses are involved and people are aware of the independent retailers and restaurants on Main Street, and actively encourage people to come visit.
BDA: How has an active hand in Downtown's future altered your outlook on community?
Don: It actually hasn't altered our feeling about community, because it's one of the reasons we chose to set up shop in this area. We've always liked the Downtown neighborhood, we think it's viable, and important to the city to have a vibrant, healthy Downtown community with plenty of diverse businesses for people to enjoy. You know, to make it a destination, not only for the people who live in Bellevue but people who live in other parts of King County, or Pierce, or Snohomish, because it's a place that attracts a wide range of people with a variety of activities and offerings.
BDA: What kind of growth and investments would you personally like to see for Bellevue in the years ahead?
Don: Wow, that's a tough question. We're growing so quickly, especially with the expansion of 25,000 jobs into this area projected over the next three, four years. I think the key will be maintenance as the city becomes bigger and taller, that there's still a sense of community and it's not just a city of office buildings. It should really incorporate offices, restaurants, shopping, hospitality and residential.
BDA: Alright, and what do you think Whisk has provided to the Downtown core that no one else has?
Don: I think the fact that we have a different business model than anyone here is a major distinction - we're not solely retail, we're not just a restaurant by itself. We consider ourselves a cooking school that offers education, entertainment, enjoyment, a place to spend time with family or friends and get to know other people. And there isn't anything quite like us in Downtown Bellevue. When we were investigating whether to open our doors in Bellevue, there wasn't a culinary space like ours on the Eastside. There are quite a few in Seattle, but none in Bellevue.
BDA: And the lack of competition attracted you to settle here?
Don: Yes, the lack of competition, but we've also lived here for 25 years so we wanted to stay rooted in the area from both a residential and business standpoint.
BDA: Is there anything else you'd like share with the Downtown community and other business owners?
Don: Yeah, I would just encourage all businesses to join and strengthen the BDA. It's very important and I think its value paid dividends when things were especially challenging. The BDA reached out and said, "Hey, how can we help your business and keep Bellevue viable?"
BDA: Yes, and we are so grateful to have your support and participation in our efforts. Thanks for your time, Don.
Don: Alright, thank you.
Over 260 members have helped advance our commitments to empower a thriving Downtown through advocacy, member events and marketing campaigns. We invite you to join the growing number of members who fuel Downtown Bellevue as an exceptional place to live, work, play and visit. Interested in becoming a new member? Learn more or contact us!
10385 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98004