|“Well, there is definitely never a dull moment in our family,” exclaimed Pepper Stafford, as she hurriedly cut and arranged hundreds of flowers for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend. While Stafford is working hard to supply mothers in the valley with gifts from loving families, as the owner of the Salty Pine Flower and Boutique, the real story is how she manages as the mother of two sons and the wife of an entrepreneurial husband; all while being a big risk- taker herself.
“I love owning this business. It’s the customers that keep me coming back to work day after day.” But when Stafford says her family life is busy, she is being modest.
“ Trent, my husband, and I met in the third grade in a small town in Oklahoma,” Stafford smiles recalling the story of how they ended up at the end of a highway in Custer County, Colorado. “We had moved to New Mexico working in the city, but like so many, we wanted to escape the city and move to a small town.”
Running and starting businesses is a family passion for the Staffords. “Trent became a co-owner of Beach and Seifert Enterprises, and now helps run two banks along the Front-Range.” The family are also passionate ranchers, running cattle with the two young sons in tow, Ben,12, and Sam,7, quickly proving talented at raising and showing steers at the local fair, plus the National Western Stock Show in Denver. “The boys like to argue who is going to buy the family ranch when they grow up, Sam wants to work cattle for Sarah Shields,” Pepper laughs as she continues to arrange bouquets of fresh flowers.
The same business desires also run through Pepper’s passions. She founded the “Salty Pine” with the desire to bring fashion and flower to the residents of the Valley. “When I started, I had no idea how to order, arrange, and sell flowers; so I watched a lot of YouTube videos and asked questions of every expert I could find.” With the help of a local artist, she managed to get the store running and profitable over several years of hard work.
“We love raising a family here in the Valley. The schools are good, and our boys get to pursue many more different experiences than they ever could in a bigger city.” But Stafford’s enthusiasm is not without realism. “My husband and I have discussed taking our kids to a better school district in the city, but each time, we looked at the unique opportunities here in the Valley, and it was always worth it to raise them here.
“We believe that parent involvement is key, to teach them right from wrong, and we can rely on much of the community to help grow our boys into young men. You do not get that in the city.”
For Stafford, the chance to run a business in the Valley, to experience the changing seasons, customers, friends, and family, are all reasons to keep the busy schedule.
“We love this Valley.”
– Jordan Hedberg