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Marsha Belmont: Gift shop buyer at RoozenGaarde

CDN’s weekly community profile

Marsha Belmont stands at RoozenGaarde on Friday, April 5. Belmont has worked at the tulip field's gift shop since 2007. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
By Hailey Hoffman Visual Journalist

Marsha Belmont (she/her)

Age: 71

City: La Conner

Lived here for: 70 years

Originally from: Mount Vernon

Notable: Employee at RoozenGaarde since 2007, gift shop buyer, mother, grandmother, member of the Skagit County Pioneer Association, former volunteer and operations manager for Skagit Habitat for Humanity.

What do you like about working at RoozenGaarde?

What can I say? I love this time of year because people who come to see us are happy. They’re here for a good reason, and rarely do we encounter anyone who has a bad word to say about anything. So, that’s the plus, and the people who we hire for this time of the year usually end up being a great team. We work together well, and it shows in the store.

You became the buyer for the store in 2007. What do you look for when stocking the store?

Different things — things that you’re not going to see everywhere else. One thing that I’ve learned to do when you’re dealing with a variety of companies is to try and focus in on items that will work with items from other companies. Blending them is kind of fun — when you run into something and you go, ‘Whoa, that’ll go with this,’ and then you ended up with a great display.

What are your favorite memories from living in Skagit Valley?

I’m pretty proud of this valley. I have deep roots. I’m not Dutch; I’m Swedish. I’m a combination of two of the original homesteading farming families on Fir Island. When I was 7, I cut the ribbon on the North Fork Bridge on the Skagit River. My grandfather was county commissioner, and he was behind having it built. So, I was the lucky one to cut the ribbon.

Another wonderful thing that I’ve done here at RoozenGaarde — the family is from a certain area in Holland, and during the festivals, each area has their own festival uniform or outfit. So, I would wear the Roozen family festival outfit, which was pretty intricate. The minute I would come out the back door, I was flocked by people wanting to take pictures with the Dutch Lady. It was pretty phenomenal. One day, this one young boy brought a box turtle who his classroom shared, and so I got to hold the box turtle and have my picture taken with him.

Do you have a favorite tulip?

Oh, that is the hardest question. They’re all so beautiful. Cash is a stunning, strong tulip that I like to recommend to people. Oh, all of the parrots are beautiful. Dordogne, which is a French tulip, is a very nice one. Blushing Beauty … It’s a question I can’t really answer, as to one. They’re all beautiful. I love the daffodils, also. They kind of get sidelined, but they’re pretty special.

What does an ideal day off look like for you?

For me? Maybe working in the garden. I walk with a nice group of women every day. Nothing really special. I just kind of enjoy my time. I’m not the least bit shy about admitting that I like to be alone.

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