It was the summer of 1965 when Gary and Bonnie Remlinger began realizing their dream of opening their own road side produce stand.
When Gary finished college, his father turned over the wholesale corn business to him. With fresh picked corn being brought in from Eastern Washington to sell wholesale, Gary had the idea of also selling corn in gunny sacks for $1.00 per sack to local folks. To his delight, this clever idea brought new customers to the farm from all over the Greater Seattle area.
When Gary's father, Floyd Remlinger, fully retired, Gary took over all aspects of running the family farm. Many a bright and sometimes risky idea has contributed to the growth of Remlinger Farms since then. In the wholesale strawberry business, one year the farm's primary buyer dropped out of the Washington-grown strawberry market in favor of the longer shelf life of the California strawberry. With over 100 acres of ripe strawberries to sell, Gary advertised and opened up a "first and best fruits" U-Pick. Into the fields strawberry lovers came!
By responding to visitor requests for more choices of fruits and vegetables in the fruit stand, the farm began to grow. Pumpkins, the first crop that Gary and Bonnie grew as a newly married couple, have continued to play a major role in farm activities. Now each October, schools from the Northwest Washington area visit the farm for educational weekday tours. Every October weekend the farm holds the northwest's largest Harvest Festival, bringing families from far and wide to join in the family festivities.
What began over 50 years ago as a humble produce stand has grown into a 200 acre tourist center offering a full service restaurant, bakery, ice cream parlor, large picnic areas, U-Pick fields, Birthday Party Packages, fun and educational tours and Country Fair Fun Park. The farm annually hosts more than 200,000 visitors from all over the world. Remlinger Farms is also famous for its pies and other products which are sold commercially in over 200 Northwest grocery stores.
At its heart, Remlinger Farms has not changed its original purpose. It is still a family owned and operated working farm with a produce stand. Gary's love of the land and Bonnie's love of animals sets the stage for everything that goes on at the farm. Gary still plows the fields and harvests the crops while Bonnie watches over the farm's animals and continually produces ideas to educate young children about the history and future of farming.
Daughter Diane and her husband Will are very active in the operation and management of the farm, overseeing the office, restaurant, and corporate picnics. Will has worked 20 years in sales prior to coming to Remlinger Farms, and is enjoying the challenges of Remlinger Farms, not to mention the additional time with his wife and family.