Pelindaba Lavender Farm
Many locals are familiar with the purple fields of Pelindaba Lavender Farm on San Juan Island, but don’t know about its offshoot retail stores. They sell the same wonderful lavender products as their on-site gift store, the Gatehouse Farm Store. Each outlet carries the same high-quality, on-site-grown, harvested, and handcrafted goods, but each store has its own character. Opened in March 2012, the Pelindaba Lavender store in downtown La Conner saves locals a ferry trip to Friday Harbor. When it comes to lavender products, inhaling that delicate floral scent makes the shopping experience far richer!
Spacious and tidy, the store is laid out in sections such as kitchen and food, personal-care, and pet items, making it easy to find what you’re after. Between the delicate smell of lavender and wonderful array of products, customers can’t help but feel relaxed. When I visited, the music was reminiscent of what one would hear in a Parisian café. I was told the playlist switches up to incorporate music from all around the world.
Odile Jasen is the manager in La Conner. Friendly and with a wealth of knowledge, Jasen has been the manager for four years. I asked how she copes with working in a store whose scent urges you to take a nap. She told me she’s used to the smell now and doesn’t really notice it, but she does feel more relaxed on a regular basis. Pelindaba Lavender Farm’s founder, Stephen Robins, is a retired South African physician who bought land on San Juan Island to preserve it and have others enjoy the natural scenery. He named it Pelindaba, a Zulu word for “place of great gatherings,” further cementing his two-fold vision of gathering together crops and people.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Every product in the La Conner retail store is made on the San Juan Island Pelindaba Farm. Odile said, “We grow, we harvest, we craft, and we sell our products—you can’t get better than that.” Since lavender is known for its versatility and as a natural antiseptic with numerous health benefits, shoppers will find a wide range of products for the kitchen, bath, house, and even pets. Taking a quick walk around the store, I tasted some lavenderinfused chutneys and honey, and smelled canisters of lavender tea and coffee. There’s a calming pet pillow for your furry companion, and a whaleshaped pillow for children (or for a child at heart). Don’t forget the fire sticks that can either be used in the fireplace for a wonderful lavender scent, or added to the grill to flavor BBQ smoke.
If you’re going to visit Pelindaba Lavender, be sure to pick up the Organic Lavender Hydrosol. Hydrosol is a byproduct from the essential oil distillation process. Lavender plants are steamed to release their oil. At the end of the process you’re left with oil and pure lavender water. Hydrosol is that water. The organic liquid is versatile: dab a bit on a cut for faster healing, use as an all-purpose cleaner, freshen your pet with a few spritzes, and spray your plants to protect against fungi infections. Finally, buy a canister of the caffeinefree Lavender Rooibos tea. The easy-to-drink tea is high in calcium and magnesium, plus the lavender scent will make any afternoon less hectic. In fact, just being in the Pelindaba Lavender store will make any day more relaxing
605 South First St., La Conner 360.399.1511 pelindabalavender.com