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129 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA

Press Articles

Enjoy Mill Valley - Mill Valley Lumber Yard Owners Matt and Jan Mathews Garner Spirit of Marin Award, Will Be Honored Sept. 21

Janice Mathews

Bank of Marin this week unveiled the winners of its 25th Annual Spirit of Marin Awards, recognizing a group of businesses and citizens that that has exemplified philanthropic leadership, volunteerism and success in Marin.

Mill Valley Lumber Yard owners Matt and Jan Mathews, who bought the historic property in 2012 and preserved the its iconic character by turning it into a community gathering space, are among the winners who will be honored at an event set for Friday, September 21 (11:30 am-1:30pm) at St. Vincent’s School for Boys in San Rafael, with former MLB pitcher and Emmy-award winning broadcaster, Mike Krukow serving as this year’s featured speaker.

Marin IJ - Fresh, modern looks at FarmhouseUrban pop-up

Janice Mathews

Six years ago, interior designer Serena Armstrong opened FarmhouseUrban, a charming little shop with an even tinier design studio tucked in the back on Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur.

The Kentfield resident, whose work has appeared in California Home & Design, Better Homes & Gardens, Rue Magazine and Luxe Interiors, had developed a devoted following.

A year and a half after opening, the design half of her business increased exponentially, so she kept the design studio in place but moved the store online as an e-commerce site.

Enjoy Mill Valley - A New Dawn at the Mill Valley Lumber Yard

Sophia Mavrides

As any good yarn should, the story of the rebirth of the historic Mill Valley Lumber Yard began with a hankering for a bag of popcorn.

Matt Mathews went to Tamalpais Paint & Color on Miller Ave. on a Friday morning in 2012 to grab some paint for one of his family’s buildings in San Francisco’s SoMa district. Since he was in the area, he swung by the then-Mill Valley Lumber Co. at 129 Miller Ave. to see if they had any good deals on tools – but mostly to grab a bag of the shop’s free, delicious popcorn.

SF Chronicle - Mill Valley’s new shopping hub is a revamped lumber yard

Sophia Mavrides

When Mill Valley Lumber Co. was put up for sale in 2012, Mill Valley received several bids from developers hoping to raze the historic property and install luxury condominiums, as is the going trend with infill projects in the Bay Area. But Jan and Matt Mathews proposed a different strategy altogether. They wanted to renovate the lumber yard, established in 1892, so that it might survive the 21st century intact.

SF Chronicle - Meet the baker behind Marin’s first gluten-free bakery

Janice Mathews

t’s been a little over a month since Flour Craft Bakery opened in downtown Mill Valley’s newly revamped lumber yard — in what was formerly a carriage house. And if the early morning rush is any indication, the secret is out.

“We’re seeing a lot of the same faces, and that’s a good sign,” says Heather Hardcastle, 41, who runs Flour Craft alongside her husband, Rick Perko. “We thought we would have more of a ramp-up here, but it’s been a lovely surprise, and also a new set of challenges.”

Enjoy Mill Valley | Flour Craft Bakery to Open in Mill Valley Lumber Yard in Early 2018

Janice Mathews

For many, the anxiety incited by a diagnosis that forever changes one’s diet can be overwhelming.

Count Heather Hardcastle among those who did not waver in the face of difficult news. Diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2000, Hardcastle, then a partner with her husband Rick Perko in the landscape design and construction firm Breaking Ground Landscape Designs they ran for 15 years, did not simply eliminate her favorite foods that included gluten. She made a massive career change instead, entering the pastry program at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena and learning how to cook all of the pastries and dishes she loved gluten-free from scratch.

Remodelista - Q & A with Molly de Vries, Mill Valley’s Queen of Green

Janice Mathews

Ambatalia shop owner Molly de Vries grew up in Mill Valley, CA, when the Marin town was still a haven for artists and musicians (i.e., The Grateful Dead). Her family was “very DIY,” as she says; her mother sewed, her father was a woodcarver in his spare time, and their idea of a family outing was a thrifting trip to the Sausalito flea market. Molly fell into hairdressing as a career, but after twenty years she decided it was time to do something she was truly passionate about: singing. On her fortieth birthday, she stood up in front of her family and friends and sang.

Marin Magazine - Saving the Past Remodeling, restoring and repurposing some of Marin’s most historic properties.

Sophia Mavrides

POP QUIZ: HAVE you ever set foot in the Mill Valley Lumber Yard? If not, join the crowd. Even though this spot was once home to the mill that gave Mill Valley its name, it’s generally been the much-loved landmark that everyone drove past and very few entered. No longer.

Since purchasing the property in 2012, longtime Mill Valley residents Jan and Matt Mathews have been transforming the former True Value hardware store site into a community-based pedestrian village where micro-retail abuts artists’/entrepreneur studios and where Marinites will one day be able to enjoy a meal while soaking in Tam views.

Mill Valley Herald - Artists to take over Mill Valley Lumber Co.

Sophia Mavrides

Marin Open Studios to showcase artists at historic Mill Valley Lumber site.

Mill Valley residents Matt and Jan Mathews, who purchased the 120-year-old Mill Valley Lumber company in 2012, said they are excited to participate in the Marin Open Studios this year.

“One of our goals is to include local artists in community-centered events at the lumber yard,” Jan Mathews said.” Art is a huge part of the culture of Mill Valley, and we want to celebrate that fact.”


Afar Magazine - Elegance & Adventure Found at GUIDEBOAT Co.

Sophia Mavrides

I was on my bike with friends the day after Thanksgiving, beginning our climb to the summit of Mount Tam, when the Mill Valley Lumber Yard caught my eye on Miller Avenue. Fresh flowers, small boutiques in the old lumber yard offices and striking models of vintage boats on display led us to return here after our ride, to check it all out.

Mill Valley Patch - Ambatalia and Bloomingayles Come Full Circle at Mill Valley Lumber Yard

Sophia Mavrides

Years after opening (and closing) their respective stores in Mill Valley, a sustainable fabric maker and a floral designer set up shop on historic downtown property.

In mid-2012, the then-120-year-old Mill Valley Lumber Yard was on the ropes, its owners putting the property up for sale and sending the rumor mill into a frenzy about what would become of it.

Barely 18 months later, the historic property is the subject of a gleaming building restoration project and the home of a trio of unique businesses, two of which have been in Mill Valley in various forms for more than a decade.

SF Gate - Mill Valley floral designer gets new digs

Janice Mathews

Like other floral designers, Gayle Nicoletti does not enjoy much rest in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.

"It's a big holiday, and it is a little stressful ordering ahead of time, because you want the most beautiful and gorgeous flowers when every other florist is trying to get the same thing," says Nicoletti. "You just have to plan ahead so everything can be processed, cleaned and arranged. It's quite a process, but it's exciting."

SF Gate - Marin entrepreneur builds historic guideboat replicas

Janice Mathews

It's a small slice of 19th century U.S. history and ingenuity, tucked away fittingly in a historic lumber yard in Mill Valley but remade for the modern day.

Inside a new specialty retailer sits a replica of an 1892 Adirondacks guideboat, one of the fastest fixed-seat rowboats ever made, and used for transport and hunting before recreation and sport.