Fond Memories from Keri Gollance, P&R Owner
I couldn’t wait to get out to the farm at the start of summer. The sound of country dirt road hitting our tires filled the car with unmatched excitement. When we reached the top of the hill, near the driveway to the farm, our dog, Whisper, would bolt from the car, just as excited as we were, to announce our arrival.
My cousin, Elaine, and I would write letters to each other all year long, crafting blueprints for the forts we would build together. They were always teepee style, but elaborate with separate rooms, tunnels, and even a compost toilet one year, which didn’t last long after we realized we were in charge of cleaning it! We’d make it a few hours in the fort before some mysterious sound sent us running into the house, where the grown-ups had been keeping bets on how long we’d last into the night. We’d spend hours filling up pots with wild blueberries on the hill, playing badmitton, swimming in the pond, and baking with our grandmother, Rose.
We were thick as thieves in those days. But as kids do, we grew up and grew apart—not due to any love lost but with simple time and distance.
With the start of this company and its evolution, I have been confronted with just how important those days on the farm were to me and to my family. My parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have all reached out with pages and pages of anecdotes that shaped this brand, making it about so much more than home fragrance diffusers and cleaning products; it’s been swept away by nostalgia, that tick of the heart that winds the clock back to a simpler time. As a family, we've all come together to pay homage to Penny & Rose, and it’s reunified us, brought us together, just as our grandparents did with the farm so many years ago.
Now, my husband and I have kids and a farmhouse of our own. There are so many aspects of it that are reminiscent of my grandparents’ farm on Butternut Road. For instance, when I step into our shed, I’m immediately taken back to THE shed, though ours is missing the iconic horse emblem painted by my Uncle Roy. I realize now just how much work it was for Penny and Rose to upkeep their farm, especially for my grandmother who entertained a revolving door of guests day after day. But I want my kids to experience those same feelings I did as a kid; I want them to seek adventure, enjoy hard work, and tinker with blueprints, learning from trial and error with a sense of wonder.
Last summer, I was in our kitchen, making apple pie from scratch with my daughter, just as Rose had taught me, and I was struck with déjà vu like never before. In that moment, I was Rose and my daughter was me. I got goosebumps and fought tears through immense gratitude for all my grandparents had given me and taught me. I wish I could say I’m as good and as kind as they were, but that is an impossible pursuit; what I did inherit, however, is their passion for family and farm-life and a hyper compulsion to work hard and succeed in whatever I do.
My goal is to give you a glimpse into what it was like on the farm, to perhaps instill in you a childlike sense of adventure and ambition, and of course, share my grandparents’ story: the legacy of Penny & Rose.
Thank you for being a part of this legacy. See you at the farm!
Elaine & Keri 1979
Elaine & Keri 2018
Keri & Elaine - the fort builders
Keri & Elaine - still building forts
Keri & Elaine 2018