Welcome to our first Meet a Mom! I can’t think of anyone better to kick this series off then Lori Ford! Not only was she born and raised right here in the South Bay, she owns the ultra California cool Gum Tree Shop and Café in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach (my favorite spot for Avocado Toast, home décor, darling kids items and more…!) Meet Lori!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born and raised in Manhattan Beach. After high school I left the South Bay, until 10 years ago when we returned to open Gum Tree in Hermosa.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Lily age 12 and Will age 7
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I am a total foodie, but don’t eat any seafood. It’s weird I know.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband Will, he is my number one source of support and my best friend.
Favorite local places to keep/shop/play with kids?
Can I say Gum Tree? We’ve had the kids tasting plate on our menu since we opened and it was directly inspired by what our picky eaters would eat. We also love La Playita in Hermosa and the kids love Pitfire downtown Manhattan Beach. Sometimes we can convince them to do dinner at Simmzy’s at the Point too, we love Fridays there for the live music.
Biggest challenge/reward in parenting life so far?
Balancing the running of a small business and parenting at the same time is the ultimate challenge. We started Gum Tree when Lily was just 2 years old. And I worked the summer sidewalk sale in Hermosa from 10-6 the day before I gave birth to Will. They have grown up in our shops and café, and that’s been both wonderful and challenging. All is can say is thank goodness for my husband, he is the best partner ever, and my mom being close by saves us quite often, she is an amazing Grandma. And major thanks to our staff who always helps to entertain the kids when they get stuck waiting for my husband or I to finish something up!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
My husband and I are the founders/owners of Gum Tree Shop and Café. We have a shop and café in Hermosa at 238 Pier Avenue, which celebrates it’s 10th anniversary on November 1st this year. We also have a shop at 324 Manhattan Beach Blvd. downtown Manhattan Beach that we opened 2 years ago.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
We always knew that we wanted to build our business for the local community, and the community especially in Hermosa Beach is super close knit. Hermosa and the South Bay really, was ready for something new and different when we opened, so we did feel embraced by the local community from the beginning and we are very grateful for that.