Stepping onto the grounds at Gardner Village is like taking a step back in time. Oh, sure, the accommodations are modern enough—trendy, fashionable clothes; hip and original home decor items; and more!—but the atmosphere is most definitely one of the past. So it’s no wonder this hot spot for shopping and dining has landed itself on the National Register of Historic Places.
In honor of this, Gardner Village’s 35th year in business, we’re going to take a little trip back. Consider this your time machine. Buckle up! Let’s take a ride and see how this cute shopping district came to be.
The original mill, built by Archibald Gardner in 1877, still stands on the Gardner Village grounds today. However, instead of functioning as a grist mill, it’s now the home of CF Home and Archibald’s Restaurant.
Fun Fact: Nancy Long purchased the property in 1979 with the idea of turning it into a house, but her retail and entrepreneurial experience soon shifted her vision to a more public establishment and Country Furniture & Gifts (now CF Home) was born in 1980. Archibald’s Restaurant opened ten years later and both businesses remain active contributors to Utah’s economy today.
Nancy and her family certainly had their work cut out for them as they transformed this old, abandoned property. One thing they discovered was an unusual amount of bees. Bees! Everywhere! Wanting to get to the root of this sticky situation, they actually pulled back one of the walls and discovered a full beehive, and massive amounts of honey. Talk about a sweet beginning!
Wanting to keep aspects of the mill's history in tact as they breathed new life into the building, they intentionally left aspects of the mill in place. For a firsthand trip back in time, walk through what is now CF Home and Archibald's Restaurant to see some of these amazing artifacts.
Here is a shot of Nancy with her son Joe, who is now one of the owners of the business.
Keeping this a family affair, Joe now has his sister, Angie Gerdes, by his side. Together, they maintain their mother’s vision while adding their own ideas along with a talented staff of people, all to see that Gardner Village continues to grow and thrive.
Join me next week, as we see how Nancy and the rest of the Long family worked to develop their property into what is Gardner Village as we know it today. From transplanting historic buildings to creating a unified space, we'll see how they worked some serious magic to make The Village one of the most popular and unique retail and dining destinations in the state!