Will and Lori Ford met, fell in love and lived their life in New York city: one running a restaurant, one designing clothing and accessories, one from Australia, one from Southern California. Once their daughter was born, Lori yearned to return to her roots near the beach and when the craftsman on Pier Avenue went up for sale, the couple jumped at the opportunity, moved coasts and opened Gum Tree: part home decor showroom, part cafe, all style.
The store itself carries a host of great accessories from Hable construction pillows to handmade throws from India to great candles, fabric cocktail napkins, melamine platters and vintage looking ice buckets for entertaining. Everything is hand selected by Lori and the store changes constantly. The store is set up like an inviting living room with plenty of white and light mixed in with punches of color, great objets and a welcoming vibe. They have a great selection of kids stuff, jewelry, Moroccan Poufs, bags, hats and if you're looking for gifts, or a little something, this is the place to go.
"I knew I would love the hunt for the coolest products to put in the shop, the surprise to me is how much I love being here and meeting everyone who comes in. We are so lucky to have developed a great loyal local clientele. And it's been really fun to get to know the customers and what they like." --Lori
We also love that attached to the store is a cafe run by Will. There they serve up delicious fare made from locally grown and organic ingredients. Salads and sandwiches (we're planning to get the brie, rocket & aussie wild honey mustard on baguette), sweet treats, coffee and breakfast items are all offered. We love that they say true to their Aussie roots by weaving in vegemite and nutella throughout the menu and also offer Australian candy bars like Flake ad Crunchie bars.
"The café is essential to the success of our business. We're in an old 1911 beach bungalow that sits up on a hill. The stairs up to the place make some people pass us by…so we needed something special to get people up here. The food is amazing, all the dressings, aiolis and soups are made from scratch every day and our staff takes great pride in making the best coffee, no automatic espresso machines here. We use the very best and freshest ingredients we can find. " --Lori
For an interview with Lori about starting the store and how she chooses what she does, check out the interview Rebecca did last year.