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A nursery, and a whole lot more

Stafford Farms & Vintage sets up shop at former Larson Farm Nursery site


by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - From antiques to gifts, Stafford Farm & Vintage offers a wide range of products suited to a country lifestyle. Businesses come and businesses go, often relatively unnoticed.

When a successful, decades-old community fixture suddenly closes its doors, however, the opposite is true: People take notice. This was certainly the case with the Larson Farm Nursery, which, for years, drew many a passersby to its location at the intersection of Stafford and Homesteader roads.

When Hillsboro-based Larson Farms downsized in 2011, they closed the Wilsonville store and set in motion a chain of events that culminated last fall with the purchase of the property by local couple Jeff and Jeanie Braun.

“Everyone was very curious to see what we were doing, even from the start,” said Jeanie Braun, who has lived in the Stafford area for about 20 years.

The Brauns say they hope to eventually build a home on the 11.5-acre site. But for now they are intent on rebuilding the nursery-based business popularized by the Larsons.

“We thought it would be so fun to have a store,” she said. “I’ve always loved antiques, and gardening is one of my favorite things to do.”

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Jeanie Braun opened Stafford Farm & Vintage last winter and has since experienced a steady stream of interest in the nursery-antique-produce store outside Wilsonville. The resulting Stafford Farms & Vintage is a new business built on an established foundation. It features antiques, always-popular nursery stock, flowers, gifts and more.

The Brauns have taken things slowly — first opening up on a handful of weekends last December. Although they are small-business owners — husband Jeff Braun is a contractor — they have not dealt in the retail sector before.

But interest in the new store, re-named Stafford Farms & Vintage to reflect the new focus on antiques as well as the location, has continued unabated since those first days, Braun said.

“I would say that continues on now, even,” she said. “Larson’s had the nursery here for years, so people were really happy to see something come back in here.”

Braun will not be alone in the new store. West Linn resident Angela Dickson also has taken over part of the space with her business, The Little Door, which also specializes in antiques, especially furniture and home decor.

That collaboration started April 1. At that time they held a grand opening event that featured live music, wine, food and more. It went so well that they are planning to do it again. Dubbed “Junk in the Trunk,” the event is going to be July 18-19, again with music, antiques, art and food wrapped in what Braun describes as a “market-style event.”

She figures it’s the perfect kickoff to the summer harvest season, when she plans to unveil her heirloom tomatoes. That, along with a variety of other produce, will also be on sale next to flowers, perennials and the antiques.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Stafford Farm & Vintage is located at the intersection of SW Stafford and Homesteader roads outside Wilsonville. “Heirloom tomatoes have the best flavor!” she said with a huge smile. “Brandywines have the best flavor ever, but there are tons of different varieties.”

The Larsons had a large nursery, she said. Stafford Farms & Vintage will continue that tradition in a scaled-down way.

“Everyone was used to seeing a nursery,” she said. “This is not a full scale-nursery, but we have a lot of plants. It’s great because the neighborhood doesn’t have a gathering place, so when we first bought the property, on Halloween, we had a party with all our friends and a band. Having a place to get together as a community is really fun, and I’m excited to host other events.”

Along with organic tomatoes, Braun will be selling pumpkins, squash, herbs, zucchini, sunflowers and much more. Although at the moment, she’d love to unload some of the Japanese maple trees that are crowding the back of the store.

“I thought someone should do something with that store,” Braun said. “I thought it was so cute. But I never in a million years thought it would be me.”

Web: facebook.com/StaffordFarms.org


By Josh Kulla
Assistant Editor / Photographer
503-636-1281
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