When the right community and crop came together, Trish Carew went all-in on her dreams.
Many don’t realize that New Hampshire is home to a thriving lavender farm, but one drive down Winterberry Way in Hollis come summer will change that. You’ll be overtaken by the delicious and soothing smells of some 2,000 plants in full bloom at Laromay Lavender’s two-acre farm – a dream come true for owner Trish Carew. Recognizing her own entrepreneurial spirit since the age of just 8, it took 25 years for Carew to find the passion and the place where she knew her small business could bloom – and bloom it did. Now, the Carew residence doubles as a full-time family business of all things lavender, from buds and bundles to home goods and handmade soaps, lotions, cleaners, and candles. We hear from NH Made member Trish Carew on how combining her love of farming and entrepreneurship struck purple gold in Hollis.
“Ten years ago, I came across a beautiful lavender farm in New York and had a total epiphany – this is what I want to bring to New Hampshire. I got my husband Bill on board, and that summer we took a course on agriculture at the University of New Hampshire that proved our hopeful endeavor would not only be beneficial to us but to the area. You could say from there the rest is history. We believe lavender adds beauty to the environment when it blooms. And we’re passionate about making products that are as close to nature as possible. We weed each row of lavender by hand – they are herbicide- and pesticide-free. In 2013, we only had 450 plants…today we have about 2,000 in 12 different varieties, which is a feat in New Hampshire, as the plant comes from the Mediterranean and our winters can be harsh on the plants. It takes year-round care to keep them thriving, but from June through August we open up for visitors to stop, shop, and smell the lavender! We offer lavender lemonade, ice cream, and baked goods on our screened porch which we’ve converted into a small boutique full of our products. We hold events like yoga on the farm, as well as partner with some local restaurants that use our products in fresh fare and even cocktails. I’ve spent so much time poring over old books and magazines to learn all of the beneficial ways to use lavender, so being able to share that with guests who truly value what we’re doing makes all the hard work beyond worth it.”