Over the past year and a half, Saratoga has had the opportunity to work with Sahara Pizza on their new location at Birch Bay Square in Blaine. This new storefront adds an 18th location for Sahara Pizza, who currently operates across Washington, Oregon, and even in Bolivia. With Sahara’s original sauce recipes and access to “the best toppings available” they have truly cut out a memorable space for themselves in the pizza world. We at Saratoga are excited to continue to work with Sahara and their endeavors in bringing quality pizza to Whatcom County.

While Sahara’s lease was relatively straightforward, the process of permitting and building out a pizza restaurant was not. Sahara pizza, and Saratoga had anticipated the hardest part of the project would be gutting the interior, putting up new walls, and maybe dealing with the fire sprinkler system as the layout had now changed. While these issues did arise, as they would with any space undergoing renovation, what we did not account for was the septic system regulations put in place by Whatcom County.

While Birch Bay Square has a robust septic system, the expected output of “O&G” (oil and grease) from a pizza restaurant was quite high. This, in addition to the current use by other businesses, pushed this buildings’ septic system beyond the regulations set out in the Whatcom County Code Chapter 24.05. After many long months of inspections, plans, permitting and installation, Sahara Pizza was able to make the necessary septic changes to be compliant with Whatcom County Code.

Now open and operating, Sahara has made quite the impact on the Whatcom County pizza scene with fantastic options and a great staff. All of their persistence and fortitude paid off, and Sahara Pizza president, Tom Wartinger has been impressed by the reception of the restaurant by the community as they have experienced explosive growth already in their first two months of operating. We highly encourage everyone to give their pizza a try! Please visit  https://saharapizza.com/ to learn more about Sahara Pizza.