PictureMill Valley Lumber Yard.

As part of our EMV Films series highlighting some of the myriad creative businesses, organizations and people in Mill Valley, we’re spotlighting the Mill Valley Lumber Yard and the array of innovative retail shops, restaurants, makers and creators at this gorgeously restored historic property dating back to 1892. We’ll be highlighting more businesses, nonprofits and arts organizations throughout 2020!

Mill Valley Lumber Yard owners Matt and Jan Mathews don’t need to spend much time touting the beauty and inimitability of what they’ve created. There’s no shortage of patrons and friends who happily do it for them. In the video below, MVLY regular Stephen Hohenrieder says it all: “I just found myself wanting to be here.”

In the years since MVLY opened, it’s become a multi-faceted community gathering space and retail and foodie destination. Its spaces span an array of uses, including the much-lauded Watershed Restaurant from Ged Robertson and Kyle Swain, Chelsea Hutchison’s BOL Superfood Cafe, Flour Craft Bakery from Heather Hardcastle and Rick Perko, Stacy King’s Lulu Design JewelryLouise Dockstader’s Once AroundMad Dogs & Englishman, an innovative, creative bicycle shop from Jennifer Blevins and Martin Watson, longtime MVLY stalwarts in with Molly de Vries’ Ambatalia and Gayle Nicoletti’s Bloomingaylesas well as Serena Armstrong’s FarmHouseUrban, Suzy Ekman’s Makers Market, Amy Lowery’s The Edit, Brit Morin’s Makeshop and Paige Mycoskie’s Aviator Nation.

MVLY extends far beyond traditional food and retail, as Makers Market’s monthly Outdoor Market events invite dozens of independent creators to showcase their wares alongside live music, kids’ crafts and activities and much more. And one of the hidden gems of the property is the second floor, where some of Mill Valley’s most talented artists (like Victoria Mimiaga) and entrepreneurs ply their trades.

Quite simply, Matt and Jan Mathews have made one of the largest imprints on Mill Valley when it comes to community vitality in the 30 years since they moved to town. The couple steered their proposed preservation and revitalization of the inimitable Mill Valley Lumber Yard property built by lumber magnate Robert Dollar in 1892 through a lengthy, robust approval process, and subsequently set about making it a buzzworthy destination for both residents and visitors.

Watch the film below. ​Video by Summertime Films, commissioned by the Mill Valley Chamber. Thanks to Norm Hunter and his team. Many more films to come showcasing the boundless innovation, community vitality and entrepreneurial spirit of Mill Valley.