I will never forget the exact moment that Al told me about Primrose Station. He took me out to eat at one of our new favorite restaurants, the Lalla Grill, in Monterey, CA. He sat me down, showed me photos online, and started talking to me in a gentle but urgent way about his desire to buy this piece of property. His passion for this particular building was apparent by the way he thoughtfully crafted the argument that we needed to purchase this building—as soon as humanly possible.
I’d known a few important things about Al before we got married (which was just a mere six months before this conversation). He loved old brick buildings with a lot of history and character. He loved Montana. He was wicked smart and worked hard. He dreamed big and was tenacious about accomplishing his goals. So, when he told me he wanted to purchase Primrose Station, I said, “Great! Let’s work on saving up for a down payment on that property. It might take us 20 years, but I’m totally supportive.”
Fast-forward one year, Al had been watching the property online and mentioned that the price had dropped substantially a few days before. I was intrigued and asked him to look it up so that I could view the property again. He went to the realtor’s website and it had dropped again just that day. My entreprenereual husband saw this as an opportunity that he could not pass up and wanted to move forward any way possible—I, on the other hand, was scared shitless.
Fear is a funny thing because it freezes your brain and makes it impossible to think creatively, rationally, or dream big. I knew what Al and I brought to the table: an intimate knowledge of our local community, a strong work ethic, supportive friends and family, a sense of adventure, a love of learning new things, and a desire to leave a legacy for our family and our community—but—as with anything or anyone that you are intimately connected, I also knew our weaknesses.
The next 12 hours were a leap of faith for me…and a boxing match for Al. I chose to trust him in this decision and he navigated me through the process of “winning” the bid to buy Primrose Station. I had never purchased a vehicle, nonetheless a 5000 square foot historic landmark on a piece of land. I was in grad school. I had no income or savings. I was switching careers. I was a newlywed. He confidently rushed forward and I held on for dear life. Now, this is not to say that I did not participate in the purchase. I did, every step of the way, but our attitudes toward the project were like oil and water. He wanted to win. I wanted to know that our future was still secure even if we did something as seemingly crazy as buying an abandoned train power station outside of town.
My sense of adventure (or ignorance), Al’s persistence, and some creative financial management enabled us to buy our dream property 19 years early and here we are! We have moved past that first important benchmark—which was to have a beautiful space in which to build a business and home. Now, we have a whole slew of other challenges/opportunities knocking on our door. But more importantly, we are ready to have you join us on this journey as we build our small business. We will be establishing the site on the historic register, making improvements to the building and the land around it, becoming more self-sufficient as we grow an annual garden and raise animals, and working to move forward every day.