Sparrow's Landing in Red Bluff
By Melissa Mendonca
Giving New Purpose
By Melissa Mendonca
Photos by Casey House
Although Sparrow's Landing in Red Bluff is a new business, it’s built on a decade’s long dream and a love that took even longer to flourish. The ties that Larry and Rhonda Searcy have to their surroundings go back to their childhoods. “There have been five generations now that have grown up in this area,” says Rhonda. Yet it was only 10 years ago that the two found their way back to each other as a couple after knowing each other since high school and dating briefly in the interim.
And it’s been 10 years of living on the land that once belonged to Rhonda’s father and determining how to bring the creative energies of both into a business.
“There’s a wide range here, but the key purpose is homemade or repurposed items,” says Rhonda. “Larry is an artist. He’s been pursuing this for years but he’s never pursued it as a business.” He spends his time in a woodshop repurposing anything he can find, from wood he finds in creek beds to old barnwood.
“He makes furniture out of repurposed, recycled wood,” says Rhonda, explaining how he’s created pieces out of an old cattle water trough he came across. “It’s any reclaimed material that he finds interesting.”
“My fort is my garden shed,” she adds, explaining with a laugh that, “Pinterest is my friend.” She loves taking old cast iron teapots and making arrangements in them that she describes as “sustainable beauty.”
“We have a pond out back made of an old horse trough,” she adds. “It even becomes part of our creative tool as we use it to soak wood to make bird houses.”
The bird houses not only inspired the name of the business, but also the creative energies that could derive from the land. When the old walnut orchard had to be taken out that surrounded the farmhouse, many birds lost their homes and Rhonda wasn't about to go about not having them in her life. “We have all kinds of birds here, of course,” she says. “I wanted to have a clear view of these birds living their lives.” Larry went about making birdhouses from the downed walnut wood and set them up strategically so Rhonda could view their activity from her kitchen window. His creations are now on sale in the Sparrow's Landing showroom.
Larry continues his career as a professional cabinet maker and installer for Orland Cabinets, but with Sparrow's Landing he's turning the furniture making he did as a hobby into his own business. Rhonda is recently retired from First Five Tehama and says she loves to be “expressing myself in that high level creative.”
Adding to the offerings is a Potion Room where the couple bring out goods derived from their garden. They love making mixtures from the dried or smoked Santa Rosa, Ghost and Habanero peppers they grow. “Every year we make a big garden,” says Rhonda. She anticipates more and more potions coming from their garden, and is clearly delighted to have her own potion room to play in.
The couple had a soft opening of Sparrow's Landing in December and said they were overwhelmed by the support they received. “We wanted to see how it would go over,” Rhonda says, noting how encouraging it was to hear comments from friends that brought other friends simply because they knew how important and long-held this dream is for the couple.
The business model of Sparrow's Landing is to be open during the first long full weekend of each month with special openings throughout the year, such as in April during the weekend of the Red Bluff Round Up. Visitors may call for special arrangements or custom orders throughout the month.
The weekends when Sparrow's Landing are open become special events for visitors and the couple alike, and still allow Rhonda and Larry time to add to the offerings. “We have to have time to create as well,” says Rhonda.
Visitors can check in on the Sparrow's Landing Facebook page for open dates and special events and offerings. “I want this to be a place for the community to come together,” says Rhonda. •
Sparrow's Landing • 24060 Alden Drive, Red Bluff
(530) 276-8248 • Find them on Facebook