Lavender Hill Farm would not be the amazing, magical destination it is today without the hard work and dedication of its three owners, Bill Mansfield, Erin Mansfield, and Rita Robbins. They became the farm’s owners in 2015, and it has truly been a labor of love for them ever since. All three have invested their lives in giving back to the local community and providing Northern Michigan with the natural beauty and rustic elegance of Lavender Hill Farm. The farm is open to the public and free to explore daily from 10am – 5pm.
About the Owners Part 1:
Meet Rita Robbins
Where are you from originally?
I was born in New York City and raised on Long Island.
What is your connection to Northern Michigan?
My connection to Northern Michigan is Lavender Hill Farm. I actually became a partner without ever having seen the farm in person!
How do you know the other two owners?
I met Bill in 2004 through our “day jobs” as financial advisors. We clicked when we first met and have been friends for 17 years now! I know Erin through Bill, as they are married.
What was the most exciting thing about starting your journey with Lavender Hill Farm?
I’ve never had a yard of my own in New York City, so originally I was most excited about the opportunity to plant lavender and watch it grow. However, over time, the most exciting and rewarding part became working with our employees and watching them bloom and grow!
How would you describe the progress the farm has made since the transfer of ownership in 2015?
I think the most important thing is that we have remained authentic to our original vision for the farm, which was to work with other local companies to enrich family businesses and help them grow within the community.
What is your proudest moment at Lavender Hill Farm?
My proudest moment was attending the first concert for The Series at Lavender Hill Farm. It was so wonderful to see everyone from the community come together to enjoy live music in a beautiful outdoor setting.
What is your favorite renovation/upgrade to the farm?
The barn! We have done so many amazing upgrades to the barn including redoing the floors, adding bathrooms and installing new light fixtures.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced at Lavender Hill Farm?
Since I still reside in New York City most of the year, the biggest challenge is not being able to spend as much time at the farm as I’d like!
What do you see in the future for Lavender Hill Farm?
I see us continuing to be a part of the local community and region while attracting visitors to this beautiful part of Michigan!