Gardners remodel historic home turned teahouse, turned bakery
Jason and Amber Gardner have renovated and refurbished the interior of one of Sherwood's most historic homes, the 2,000-square-foot Queen Anne-style Victorian home on First Street that once housed the iconic Lavender Teahouse, and later, SweetStory Bakery.
"We're just wrapping it up," Amber Gardner said just days before receiving the furniture picked out for the new home of Gardner Team Real Estate, which is part of the Hasson Co. Realtors out of Lake Oswego.
The 1892 home, believed to be the only Queen Anne-style home left in the original historic Old Town area, was once owned by John C. Owen, an early Sherwood pioneer, Amber Gardner said. Soon a hand-painted wood business sign will be installed outside the home along with a separate plaque noting the original owner and date of the home.
For 18 years, the Lavender Teahouse operated out of the house before shutting its doors in 2012. Then, in 2014, the Gardners purchased the home. Soon SweetStory Bakery moved its Railroad Street location into the distinctive home painted a pale purple before the business closed last year. That has resulted in the Gardners undertaking an extensive remodeling effort while still maintaining the home's historical integrity in a space they will soon share space with representatives from Director's Mortgage.
Even when SweetStory was located in the home, Jason Gardner has maintained an office there. Amber Gardner said the couple though it was important to maintain the historical integrity of the house all the way down to its exterior paint color.
"I've been told this house has always been white," she said. "We really wanted to stay true to an ambiance that it seems like is naturally being created down here."
That has resulted in keeping some of the home's original flooring that dates to 1892. The Gardners also took portions of old bakery cabinets and transformed them into the frames for two large inspirational plaques that accent the main reception area. The home now contains three separate suites. Old-time-looking shiplap siding accents the reception area and a chandelier that's a focal point in the main open area of the house.
Meanwhile, some modern technology was added as well with the installation of no less than three flat-screen Apple TVs that allow clients to view any potential homes they are interested in, allowing them to connect and take control of the devices by simply calling up a menu on their Apple iPhone.
"We can also review contracts and sign contracts from our mobile devices," Jason Gardner pointed out, noting that the couple's business is almost entirely paperless. In addition, children of clients can call up video games or watch movies.
"We want to provide resources that really tap into the needs of the people," Amber Gardner said.
Residents of Sherwood for 16 years, the Gardners also say they want to be community partners for city, civic or church groups who wish to hold meetings in a private offsite setting inside the home. Not only is there space inside but also a courtyard that has a conference table.
The business' hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment on evenings and weekends. Visit TheGardnerTeam.net.