Image credit: Coffeeshopdays.com
New to Baltimore is Bluehouse, a fabulous organic, eco, sustainable store (& coffee shop). Those not in Baltimore can enjoy Bluehouse online, but you won't enjoy it as much as if you were able to visit this new store, located just 2 blocks from the Chesapeake Bay shoreline. This area once was a warehouse district and Bluehouse has taken advantage of the huge warehouse space. Located in what once was an industrial area, Bluehouse owners likesto say that they recycled their 7,000 sqft space and kept all of the best elements. You can get to this location with an easy walk from the Inner Harbor or Convention Center.
Inside the store, you will be rewarded with a beautiful and clean, clean, clean space. The enjoyment of the arrangement and space is as much a benefit as the purchases you will make. The huge space is peaceful, and the showroom uses its space well as a backdrop for the artfully displayed items; it is not filled, crammed and cluttered. Along one wall, integrated into the floor plan, is a coffee and tea-shop with small food items, voted the best WiFi spot by the Baltimore City Paper — Best of Baltimore 2007. This new shop is adjacent to many new upscale apartments, many of whose new residents could easily walk over to Bluehouse to fill their new home with renewable, sustainable and healthy furnishings. This store can fill your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining and living room space. You can even start that little family with pet accessories or baby items. With floor models displayed, you can experience the bed before purchase, not just see a description. Before purchasing that $8K living room sofa you probably would want to sit on it at least. Not only that, there are swatches of other fabric options. You can see if the blue available matches with your other home furnishings. With their liberal delivery zone they can bring the sofa right up to your new home.
In store, you get the chance to check out all of their markdowns and sales. In addition, the sales people do not immediately whisk purchases into plastic bag, thus not making customers feel weird for rejecting the plastic bags. After your purchase, you can pick up a bag of free coffee grounds to add to your compost. They're kept in a basket by the checkout counter so you don't have to ask, just pick up, basket ready.
Bluehouse will also offer interior design consultations for those of you interested in going eco, but not sure how to integrate it into your homes. Bluehouse also uses WindCurrent for its carbon offsets.
Think eco-friendly is too expensive? Well Bluehouse is easing that blow by offering their Synergy card. For every $50 purchase you get a free drink in their cafÃ©, and you get a stamp on your synergy card. After 10 stamps, your card becomes a $5 off coupon for any purchase of $50 or more.
Bluehouse is working on their footprint by using only non-toxic cleaning products throughout the store, and all "plasticware" in the cafÃ© is biodegradable. All countertops are made from recycled glass, most of the flatware in the cafÃ© is either reclaimed or made from bamboo. 90% of the office furniture is reclaimed as are most of the lighting fixtures throughout the store. The cabinetry is all sustainable bamboo and most of the walls use low or no-VOC paint, as well as just leaving the original brick exposed. Like many eco-businesses these days Bluehouse also has a blog listing green events in the store and around Baltimore.
Visit them online at Bluehouse or walk on over to either of their two locations — in Fells Point (Harbor East) or in Kenilworth.