In 2019, five friends bought Tulip Town, a nearly forty-year-old boutique Skagit Valley-based tulip farm. Despite their passion and dedication, they had a rough start. In the three years since the company's inception, they've battled a global pandemic, scorching heat waves, and near-record flooding. However, they have proven themselves to be resilient. Also this year, they will organize their annual Opening Days (April 1- May 1) where they welcome guests at the farm and fields. The community's support is definitely needed yet again this year. Historically, 95% of their revenue is derived from these guests paying to come out and see the farm.
Armed with law degrees and stints at Fortune 500 businesses, the natives from Skagit Valley, a farming community an hour away north of Seattle, WA, founded Spinach Bus Ventures to help promote, preserve and create economic development in the place where they were raised. Their first investment was Tulip Town, but since the acquisition, external factors have made it a challenge to keep the business running.
"In the three seasons we've operated Tulip Town, the challenges we have faced have stressed our team and business in ways that we could not have anticipated," said Rachael Ward Sparwasser, managing partner at Spinach Bus Ventures and owner of Tulip Town. "The constant here is our indomitable spirit and the love that we have for our community and the opportunity we have to invite our friends and neighbors out to the farm."
Facebook post on March 19. Click on the picture to go to the post.
This season too will be a challenging one. Due to regional flooding during the planting season last fall, the fields are going to look a bit different than they have in past years.
"It's so painful as a farmer to do everything' right' and then get hammered by the rain in a way that our valley has never seen before," said Andrew Miller, partner at Spinach Bus Ventures. "We talked to everyone we knew, from our neighboring farmers to our suppliers and experts in Holland, and they all said the same thing: you can't plant tulips in the mud. We didn't have another option, so we planted in the mud and hoped for a miracle. It looks like that miracle is going to have to manifest in another way because we're just not going to get the color we had hoped to share this year."
Facebook post on March 22. Click on the picture to go to the post.
The friends are not going to sit in a corner and feel sorry for themselves. To make it a successful event again, they invested in more attractions this year: think of old-school trolley treks through the tulips, a retail boutique brimming with local artisan wares, a beer and wine garden, café and an abundance of color throughout their outdoor garden. On top of that, inside the barn, visitors can explore 10,000 square feet of indoor garden space brimming with goods and gifts from area artisans, thousands of potted tulips for purchase, local fare, and even an "Ombre Selfie Wall" featuring rows and rows of live tulips in various colors.
Eager to visit Tulip Town in-person? Click here for more information and to register.
For more information:
15002 Bradshaw Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98273