We're turning 17!

by Mark Bitterman

Not even the wildest imagination can compare with the reality of what that last 17 years have brought. We opened in 2006 in Portland, Oregon as a tiny little flower shop that also happened to sell salts I'd collected throughout my travels. Our startup capital was a credit card with a $10,000 limit, so I built our first shop on Mississippi Avenue myself, sawing reclaimed Douglas fir and cedar timbers that nobody wanted (those were the days!). This combination of thrift and luck resulted in the most beautiful, hand-touched, welcoming place I could have ever dreamed up. Over time we opened a shop in New York and two more in Portland and crossed the Pacific for a two-year adventure in Tokyo. But it was the people surprised me, who changed me. 

Our employees, who gave themselves over to our mission and made it better, who enlivened our shops every day, who made The Meadow feel like coming home. The makers, whose passionately made creations awakened our curiosity and our appetites. The printers, box-makers, glass installers, electricians, plumbers, sign painters, looky-loos who just want to eat truffle-salted popcorn and dash, the people you don’t always think about, like our landlords, bankers, insurance agents, police officers, lawyers, the publishers and journalists who’ve helped share our story. 

And then there are our customers, a wild panoply of kaleidoscopic diversity and oddity and loveliness and kindness and funniness and realness. To say that we are grateful for this gift—the gift of you—is an understatement. The people who have entered into the orbit of our company, or merely traversed it, have been the great honor of my life. Together we’ve created The Meadow, tiny and intimate, on an unapologetically human scale, a singularity so concentrated in its fervor for simply being a beautiful and welcoming place, that it might very well, like love itself, encompass the universe.  

Cheers to us, cheers to you, and cheers to the next 17 years. May they be as sweet and beautiful as the first.


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