French Vanilla Market owners long-distance partners

Mother and daughter, Lori Gardner and Taylor Swofford are all smiles toward the end of Bloomerang VII.

Photo by Ted Escobar
Mother and daughter, Lori Gardner and Taylor Swofford are all smiles toward the end of Bloomerang VII.

The 7th annual Bloomerang Vintage Market a couple of weekends ago was another success, proprietors Lori Gardner and Taylor Swofford reported.

“We had 900 people here,” Gardner said.

And they had each other. Gardner (mom) and Swofford (daughter) own French Vanilla Market, which stages Bloomerang every September, together.

“This is the time of the year I get to see her most,” Gardner said. “She’s here for the hop harvest.”

In addition to doing business with mom and her own small business, Swofford is a marketing specialist for Hops Direct, the marketing arm of Puterbaugh Farms.

And she lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

But the way the world has contracted with all its communication and travel inventions, Gardner and Swofford aren’t as far apart as miles would indicate.

When she’s in the Lower Valley, daughter helps mom with regular business chores. When she’s home, she handles the business chores that can be addressed by cyber communication.

Gardner noted mom and daughter sometimes meet at trade shows around the country. That’s part of their work, Gardner representing French Vanilla Market and Swofford representing Hops Direct.

For the second year, Bloomerang was held in the parking lot behind French Vanilla Market. It was moved here in 2017 after Gardner and Swofford opened French Vanilla Market.

Bloomerang, which is a smorgasbord of vintage items, is an extension of French Vanilla Market.

“It’s the highlight of the year for us,” Gardner said.

Mom and daughter started Bloomerang near Walmart while Gardner worked at Melange, in which she was a partner. Melange closed in 2016 after both of Gardner’s parents died in a short time-frame.

“I took some time off. I needed some rest,” Gardner said.

But Gardner did not allow Bloomerang to die. She and Taylor moved it to 201 S. 7th St. as part of their new business, French Vanilla Market, a “frenzied mix of farmhouse and fancy.”

“It’s a boutique gift shop,” Gardner said. “We have gifts and home décor.

The full name of the event is Bloomerang Vintage Market. Simply put, mother and daughter share the same taste for all things vintage.

“We love thrill of vintage events, being completely surrounded by treasures that take you back to the good ole’ days,” Gardner said.

“These are unique items,” Gardner said. “Vintage doesn’t repeat.”

The store was named for French Vanilla ice cream in memory of Gardner’s father, Tom Hazzard.

“His favorite ice cream was French Vanilla,” she said.

Gardner has a rooster on the roof of the store because her mother, Colleen Hazzard, liked roosters.

Gardner and Swofford are a strong business pairing. All of Gardner’s family have been business owners.

“(Taylor) gets her entrepreneurial spirit from us,” Gardner said.

Swofford has her own small business, printing slogan-bearing shirts. They are marketed at French Vanilla Market and other outlets.

“She is motivated,” mom said.


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